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College Admission Interview Tips

Written by: Editorial Staff

January 28, 2013
Filed Under Education 


college interviewContributed by Info Guru Emily Crone

A college interview is much like a job interview—you have to put your best face forward and show your passion and maturity.

Once you have chosen a university, this is your big chance to prove why you are the perfect student for their school. Use these college admission interview tips to prepare yourself to blow their socks off.

10. Reference an alum

Reference an alum

Do you have a friend or family member who attended this school? Be sure to tell the interviewer. Let them know how positive their experience was and how you look forward to the same wonderful experience. Some schools even give a legacy advantage to students whose parents attended.

9. Have a strong handshake

Have a strong handshake

When you enter the room and when you leave the room, give the interviewer a confident smile and a firm handshake. It will help you look mature and ready to tackle what they throw at you. A soft handshake, or no handshake at all, can convey a lack of confidence. This strong handshake will also greatly help you in the career world.

8. Do you have any other questions?

Do you have any other questions?

At the end of the interview, you will inevitably be asked if you have any other questions. The worst thing you can do is say no! Be sure to have a few prepared to show that you are truly interested and well-informed. Remember that some of your questions will be answered before you have the chance to ask them, so have several in mind just in case.

7. Beyond college

Beyond college

While you are being interviewed to go to a college, you will likely also be asked what your goals and plan for the future are beyond school. You may be unsure of what your major will be, but your college admission interview is an important time to sound goal-oriented and focused. Decide on an ideal career path you can explain if asked.

6. Your contribution

Your contribution

In addition to being asked why you want to go to their school, many colleges will also ask why they should want you. They might ask how you will contribute to their school. Will you be a part of interesting extra-curricular programs? Will you be doing any volunteering programs with them? Can you play a role in student government?

5. Your uniqueness

 Your uniqueness

You will likely be asked how you are unique. Perhaps you are an activist for a great cause or are trying to make changes in your high school’s student government. Think carefully about how you stand out from your peers and be prepared to explain it.

4. Prepare an elevator pitch

Prepare an elevator pitch

In the career world, it’s common advice to prepare a 30-second “elevator pitch” that you can use to quickly convey who you are and what you do. You will likely be asked “Tell us about yourself” at the beginning of your college interview. Imagine you’re in an elevator with someone who asks the same question, and you only have a short amount of time to answer. Prepare a brief statement about who you are and what your aspirations are, and make sure to mention that one of them is attending this college.

3. Dress the part

Dress the part

Once you are admitted as a student, you will be a reflection of your college, so the admissions department wants to enroll students who appear professional and mature. This is not the time to be casual and sloppy in flip-flops and jeans. It’s the time to wear dress pants and a button-up shirt. Women can wear a nice dress of reasonable length. While college campuses are usually casual, it’s important to wear professional clothes in your interview.

2. Do your research


The worst thing you can do is go into the college interview uninformed. Spend plenty of time searching through the school’s website to learn about their history, extracurricular programs, living options, and what departments you are interested in. They will ask why you are interested in their school, so be prepared with a detailed answer.

1. Prepare

Do your research

Never go into an interview blind. Do an online search for common interview questions and practice. Put the questions on notecards and have a friend or family member quiz you until you feel comfortable. When you’re in the actual interview, you will know exactly how to answer many of the common questions without blinking an eye.

Before you know it, you will get your congratulations letter and it will be time to start packing and planning your dorm room!


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