Mistakes on College Interviews

College Interviewing Mistakes, Mistakes on Ivy League Interviews, Ivy Interviewing Mistakes

Don’t wear sunglasses on your college interview as Tom Cruise did for his Princeton interview in “Risky Business.” Oy vey.

It’s college admissions interview season and we thought we’d share with you a number of common mistakes on college interviews so that you can hope to avoid them. This post on “US News & World Report” entitled “Avoid These Top College Admissions Interview Mistakes” by Bradford Holmes isn’t bad. It delineates six mistakes way too many college interviewees make from “going overboard with the bragging” (absolutely true!) to “being shy” to “skipping school research” to “acting disrespectful or rude” to “showing immaturity.” But Homes isn’t nearly specific enough. He states the obvious without delving into detail and it’s all about the detail because, for instance, no student thinks they’re bragging until it is clearly brought to their attention.

If you haven’t, you should check out our video on mistakes on college admissions interviews. But let’s start with bragging. Yes, stating that you’re an Intel Science Talent Search finalist is a brag. No need to state that. Is it impressive? You betcha! But show, don’t tell. Talk about your love for science research instead. There’s always a good chance your prestigious award will come up in conversation anyway — when the interview brings it up. Maybe it’s on the resume that you present the interviewer. Count on his or her ability to read! What you don’t want to do is state what’s on your resume. You want to be a real person, not a bullet point lister.

And as to acting rudely, wearing flip-flops is already starting you off on the wrong foot with your interview. It’s a total sign of disrespect. It shows that you don’t care, that you’re apathetic. Try to impress instead! Show that you do care very much! Nobody is going to go to bat for the kid who doesn’t care. You’re “too cool” to need your interviewer’s help (a.k.a. too lame). If you’re a guy, wear shoes. And pants. No shorts. No t-shirts. Wear a button-down or a polo. If you can grow facial hair, make sure you’re cleanly shaven. We’ll discuss what women should wear in a future post on college admissions interviews so check back soon for more tips and common mistakes!

And do you need college interview prep? We bet you do. Most answers given by students on college interviews are exactly what you shouldn’t be saying. So fill out our free consultation form or email director@theivycoach.com to discuss how we can help you prep for your upcoming alumni interview. They do indeed matter!

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1 Comment

  • Anna says:

    This article will help several applicants get a better idea of the things they are supposed to write and say in interviews for college. Great read! Thanks!

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