How to Ace a College Interview

Instructor: Leah Salyer
Interviewing for college can be a daunting process. Fortunately, there are some great tips available to help you prepare so that you have the best chance for success. Read on to learn more about how to best handle your college interview.

Practice on Someone You Know

Practice is always beneficial. Practice with friends, family or teachers, and have them ask you the types of interview questions that you expect you'll be answering in your college interviews. Questions may include 'Why do you want to be a student at our school?' and 'What do you have to offer this institution?' Take this practice seriously and make sure you are answering like you would in your actual interviews. Request feedback from those who are helping you practice. Find out how you come across to them and ask them what they think of your responses to their questions. Take a look at this lesson on The College Admissions Interview to learn some tips and tricks for how to approach your interview. This would be a great lesson to review before any practice sessions as well.

Show Interest and Ask Questions

When you are applying to a college, you will have questions about the institution. Whether these questions are about the campus, the classes or faculty, or the student demographics, your interviewer will want to know. Interviewers also like knowing that you are well informed about the college itself and appreciate questions that are not easy to answer from simply reading over the college website or a brochure. Take the time to develop questions that aren't going to waste your interviewer's time. Use your interview to get some of these questions answered, and make sure you have your questions ready ahead of time. Your interviewer will see that you are truly interested in the school and in your experience there as a potential student. This lesson on What to Ask deals with the proper questions to ask during a teacher interview, but may provide some guidance as to how to organize and plan your questions prior to your admissions interview.

Show Them Your Best

Make sure to be yourself during the interview and show them who you really are. A big part of the college interview is to see if you are compatible with the college program and if it is compatible with you. Be clear on why you are applying to this particular school, why you want to go there, what you want to accomplish and why you think it's the best fit for you. Also, show the best side of yourself. Treat the interview as something that is important by dressing appropriately, arriving on time, and being as prepared as possible. This video lesson on How to Prepare for a Job Interview may help you work on showing your best self to your interviewer. Be sure to focus on the During the Interview section of the lesson as it will be most likely to answer any questions on how to best present yourself while being interviewed.

Offer Your Gratitude

Show your interviewer that you appreciated their time and interest in you by sending a thank you card. This is a great opportunity to mention anything that you had in common with your interviewer as well as expressing your continued excitement in possibly attending the school. You may wish to review this lesson on Following Up. While this particular lesson is referring to job interviews, a lot of the content will still apply to following up with college interviews.

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