Since it’s the season for college interviews, we figured we’d give you a few college interview tips so that you avoid the mistakes that so many college applicants make. During the interview, pay careful attention to your interviewer. If you talk too much, there’s a good chance that your interviewer will check out. Does he or she have glazed eyes? Did he take out his iphone to scroll through some emails? Did he look around the room a bunch, maybe check out the clock? If such is the case, you need to stop talking. Being successful at college interviewing is as much about knowing when to say nothing as knowing when to say something. The college interview, after all, is an opportunity for your interviewer to talk to you — as much as it is an opportunity for you to talk to your interviewer.
In many cases, interviewers are far removed from college. They go to work every day. They miss the good old days when they could hang out with their friends and go to class and learn. They want to reminisce about their college experience. They want to share their story. They don’t often get to do that anymore. So don’t deprive them of their opportunity. People love to hear themselves talk — so give your interviewer a chance to talk about himself or herself. You’ll find they’ll rate you better after. Take an interest. Ask questions and listen to what he or she is saying. Don’t ask general questions. Ask questions that directly correspond with their experiences. If your interviewer wrote for the newspaper at the school to which you’re applying, ask them about that experience. Maybe you’d be interested in writing for the newspaper?
Here’s another tip: Don’t give one word answers when you are asked questions about yourself. If asked your favorite class, don’t just say English. Talk about your teacher. Talk about why English is your favorite class. Talk about some of the books you love and why they’re your favorite books. Talk about your love for writing. That sort of thing. Don’t go on uninterrupted endlessly, but do try to share stuff about yourself. This kind of information is what’s going to set you apart from other candidates on your review. Your interviewer will have stuff to write about rather than just listing your favorite class. And that kind of detail on a review can make you come across a whole lot better to college admissions counselors!