January 2009 Newsletter
The highly selective colleges are typically the ones that include interviews as part of the admissions process. Depending upon the individual college, interviews are required, recommended or optional and they are either evaluative or informational. Interviews can be conducted on campus with an admissions counselor or a current student, usually a senior. They can also be held with an alumnus/alumnae from the student’s geographic area.
In preparing for an interview, it is important to check the college’s policy before scheduling one. At colleges where the interview is optional, students should arrange for an interview if they feel that the interview will improve their chances of admission. Making a good impression on the interviewer can help a borderline candidate. Good interviews can also humanize the admissions process. The interview can be a productive learning experience where there’s an exchange of information. The student learns more about the college, while the interviewer learns more about the applicant, more than grades, test scores, essays, a list of extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation reveal.
In Preparation for the Interview
- Find out the interviewer’s name(s) and Google that person.
- Prepare an activity sheet and bring it with you to the interview.
- Research the college to find aspects that are of particular interest.
- Schedule a tour and information session prior to the interview.
- Prepare questions that you may have that you cannot find in the college’s literature.
- Prepare answers to anticipated questions.
- Know the answer to the following question: Why do you want to come to this college?
- Be prepared to talk about your academic, personal and extracurricular interests.
During the Interview
- Arrive about 2 minutes early.
- Greet the interviewer by name.
- Make eye contact with the interviewer and smile at appropriate times.
- Be honest, energetic, enthusiastic, and most of all, be yourself.
- Listen to the questions and take a moment to reflect on your answers.
- Ask questions!
- Watch for signals as to when the interview is over, and then briefly sum up your interest.
- Thank the interviewer and ask for his or her email address.
After the Interview
- Analyze what transpired during the interview, so that you will handle subsequent interviews better.
- Write a thank you note to the interviewer.
- Express your appreciation for the time the interviewer gave you.
- Explain in a few words your continued interest in the college.
- If you think it is necessary, restate an answer that you may have not expressed clearly.
Let Ivy Coach take the mystery and frustration out of the college admissions process and assist you every step of the way.
Contact Bev Taylor to get more information on what Ivy Coach can do for you in helping you to have a successful college interview.