The Ins and Outs of College Interviews


Tumiso via Pixabay

College interviews can be anxiety-producing, but these helpful tips will help you to have a more successful interview.

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to expect, what to say, or how to act during college interviews. Here are some pro tips that can help you in your next interview.

Before the Interview:

1. Know the school

Make sure you do your research before the interview date about certain programs and activities that make the school unique.  

2. Have questions in mind

Think of some questions you have about the school.  If you are interviewing with an alumni, you might want to ask them about their personal experiences at the school.

3. Practice common questions that the interviewer might ask

Try to stay calm and collected and practice beforehand.  That being said, you also do not want to sound like you are reading a speech, so run through some points that you can reference during the interview instead of practicing each sentence.

4. Pick out an appropriate outfit

Try to dress appropriately for the location, while wearing something that is fairly business casual and not too flashy.  You want to come off as professional and focused, so make sure you are presenting yourself, not your outfit.

During the interview:

1. Arrive on time

Don’t be late.  In fact, be early.  You never want to keep someone waiting for you. As the saying goes, “early is on time, on time is late, and late is unforgivable.”

2. Give a firm handshake upon arrival

Limp handshakes may make the interviewer feel as though you may be nervous or uninterested.  It is ok to be nervous, but with a firm handshake, you will make a strong first impression and feel more confident during the interview.

3. Address the interviewer with their appropriate title

During the interview, be sure to address the interviewer formally, using Ms., Mr., or Mrs.

4. Be yourself

The interviewer wants to get to know you as a person, not your parents, siblings, peers, or friends.  It’s important to center yourself and craft original responses.

5. Ask Questions

Do not just recite your questions that you thought of before the interview.  Engage in the conversation and ask the interviewer questions about what they are talking about in relation to what you are interested in.

After the interview:

1. Give a firm handshake goodbye.

2. Thank the interviewer for taking time to meet with you.

Thinking through the interview ahead of time will ensure success, as you won’t run out of things to talk about or commit any social faux paus.  Good luck to all the seniors on their interviews!

Photo Source: Tumisu via Pixabay