College Interview Tips

We’ve got some college interview tips for you. If you’re a rising senior, summer is the perfect time to start preparing for your college interviews with alumni. Start thinking about how you’re going to answer certain questions like, “Tell me about yourself” or “What’s your favorite book and why,” or “If you could be any fictional character from a novel, who would you be and why,” or “What is your most significant accomplishment?” You don’t want to sound rehearsed by the time you do go on your college interviews but not preparing is a mistake that too many college applicants make.

College Interviewing Tips, College Interview Tips, Tips for College Interviews

We’ve got a college interview tip for you: Don’t speak as though you’re Elle Woods on your interviews! That means not saying “like” every other word (photo credit: Jerry Avenaim).

Applicants who don’t prepare will stutter when they’re asked their favorite book. Or maybe even worse, they’ll name a book that they’ve most definitely read for school like “The Great Gatsby” or “Catcher in the Rye.” College interviewers want to know that you love learning…and that you love reading. Reading books that are required reading at your high school does not convey a love of learning and reading. Reading books for fun does. So if you’re not a reader, spend the summer reading. Read lots of books and all kinds of books. It’ll help make you more interesting. It’ll help give you things to write about in your college essays. It’ll help give you some talking points in your college interviews. You should absolutely devote a portion of your summer — whether it be every night or every other night or even once a week — to reading for pleasure. It’s that important.

Another tip we’d like to give you is to never answer a question with a phrase like “to be honest.” Why would an applicant say such a phrase? Maybe it’s a force of habit. Maybe they didn’t mean anything by it. But saying “to be honest” means that they may not have been honest previously or they had to make a conscious decision not to be dishonest. So just don’t say phrases like this. It blocks out everything an interviewer is going to hear directly after it. They often just hear that phrase over and over again in their heads. Just as they do when an applicant repeats the word “like” over and over again. Don’t do that either.

Check back soon for some more college interview tips! And check out this college interview video!


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