Making the Most of a College Interview

While the idea of a college interview can sometimes cause students anxiety, in general, interviews can only help your chances of gaining admission to a school. You should consider scheduling an interview even if a school doesn’t require them. The following information should help you prep for and ace any college interviews on your calendar.

Why Interview?

Taking the time to travel to a school and interview is a great example of demonstrated interest.
Interviews are an opportunity to meet with college reps, gain information and make a more informed decision about which college to attend. Interviews are also an opportunity for colleges to get to know you better (and rarely will an interview negatively impact your admission chances).

What to Expect

Most interviews last approximately 30 minutes. You can expect these types of questions:

College-fit questions

  • Why do you want to attend our college?
  • What can you contribute to our college campus?

Talk about what you've learned about the college and why you feel it's the right place for you. (Remember that you have to research a college ahead of time to answer this type of question well.) Discuss your extracurricular activities and achievements that show your character.

Personality questions

  • What three adjectives best describe you?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Give examples of how your chosen adjectives describe you. Talk about how you've used your strengths to accomplish something. Talk about how you overcome your weaknesses. For example, you can say, "I have a hard time learning new languages, so I set aside more time to study them."

Questions about activities, interests and goals

  • What activities do you find most rewarding?
  • What is your favorite book?
  • What do you want to do after graduating from college?

Discuss how you think college can help you meet your goals. Be sincere and honest in your answer — don't say things just to impress the interviewer.

What to Ask

  • Specific questions about majors and programs of study
  • Questions about life on campus
  • Questions seeking advice for incoming freshman
  • Questions that showcase your talents and interests
  • Questions that showcase your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the school
  • Questions about fit (for example, “What kinds of students seem happiest at this school? What kinds are least happy?”)