The alumni interview is one of the least important components of the college admissions process. And so it always boggles our minds when folks who are not our clients come to us around this time every year desperately seeking interview prep. We’re not so surprised that they feel so anxious. Rather, we’re more surprised they feel anxious about this comparatively insignificant component of the admissions process when they didn’t come to us in the preceding months to fix mistakes that they may not have realized were mistakes on their applications, in their essays, their activities, their senior year coursework, their testing, and much more — because those components of the admissions process are by no means insignificant.
Alumni Interviews Placate Alumni
Don’t get us wrong. A bad alumni interview can hurt a student’s case for admission. A great alumni interview can marginally help a student’s case for admission. If a student says something racist or homophobic (or, to a lesser extent, can’t name a book they’ve read for pleasure), yes, that may well end up in the alumni interviewer’s interview report and severely damage the student’s candidacy — for good reason. If a student wows an alum with their intellectual curiosity and love of learning, it’s another point in the applicant’s favor, serving to render the applicant likable to admissions officers. But do remember that alumni interviews are designed as much to make the alumni feel as though they’re a part of the college admissions process as it is to gauge the strength of applicants. Those alumni, after all, are the donors to the universities and these universities wish to keep their alumni happy. They want to make them feel involved — as though their voices are being heard with respect to the future direction of the schools.
We’ll Prep You, But There’s No Reason to Feel So Anxious
So if you want alumni interview prep, we are happy to offer you one hour of interview prep — to sharpen those answers and offer feedback on how you can present as more likable and more intellectually curious. But this anxiety about interviews, it’s ridiculous. It reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the college admissions process. It’s not necessary and anxiety certainly doesn’t serve an applicant as he or she walks into a local coffee shop (why so often Starbucks?!) to meet face-to-face with an alum of the school the student most wishes to attend.
If you’re interested in interview prep, simply fill out our free consult form and indicate interview prep at the bottom. We’ll then be in touch.