Acing your College Admissions Interview

You thought filling out your college applications and writing admissions essays was hard? Well, the college admissions interview can be equally as disconcerting. It doesn't have to be that way if you are prepared! In this article, we will teach you how to ace your college admissions interview. So, keep reading!


Preparing for the Interview

Prepare for your college admissions interview beforehand to increase your chances of success. Follow these tips:



Read about the School

Perhaps one of the most important things you can do to make a good impression during your college admissions interview is to know a lot about the school. This benefits you in two main ways. One, you will know what the school is looking for in its students. For example, the school may look for students who are proven self-starters or who are creative. Two, a thorough knowledge about the school shows the person interviewing you that you have done your homework, are genuinely interested in attending the school, and are a good fit for the school.


Read everything you can about the school before your interview. Read school brochures, go on the school's website, read books about the school, read news articles, read blogs, webpages and anything else you can get your hands on. The more you know, the better.


Make a List of Questions You Want to Ask at the Interview

You will be given a chance to ask questions during the college admissions interview. This is a good time for you to discover if the school is a match for what you are looking for and help you get answers to questions that pertain to your education at the school. However, do your homework before writing your questions. You shouldn't ask questions that are easily answered with a little research. Instead, ask questions that pertain directly to your situation. For example, you could questions like, "What types of students are happiest at your school?" or "What should I do to prepare for an education at your school?"


Choose an Interview Outfit

The term "don't judge a book by it's cover" has merit, but not when you are on a college admission's interview. The admissions officer will most likely be judging the book (you) by it's cover (your clothes). Put your best foot forward and look your best. You should look clean, modest and professional. This isn't a time to make a fashion statement, so stick with traditional clothing that you would wear in an office and stay away from trendy fashion or loud colors. If you are male, wear a dress shirt, slacks, jacket, tie, and dress shoes. If you are female, wear a modest dress or skirt (below the knee) or good fitting slacks (not too tight). Pair a skirt or slacks with a blouse and jacket. Make sure the neckline of your blouse or dress is not too low. You shouldn't show any cleavage. Wear a pair of dress shoes (pumps or flats), but don't wear super high heels.


At the Interview

You have prepared for your interview and now the day is here. Make sure to follow these tips during your interview to make the best impression:



A smile is important because it makes you appear friendly and confident, as long as your smile looks natural and you aren't overdoing it. You don't want to smile throughout the entire interview. But, a friendly smile during the open and close of the interview, and occasionally throughout the interview during light conversation is appropriate. Try to remember that the best smiles arise when you relax and stop trying too hard.


Make Eye Contact

Good eye contact makes you look confident and interested. Make frequent eye contact with the admissions officer, but remember to glance away occasionally. You don't want to stare intensely into the admission officer's eyes. That could be interpreted as cocky or threatening.


Speak Clearly

Too many people mumble or talk so quiet that they can hardly be heard, which can make them look like they lack confidence. Plus, it is difficult to carry on a conversation when it is hard to hear the other person. Make a good impression by talking clearly and at an appropriate volume. Enunciate your words and speak loud enough that the interviewer can hear you, but not so loud that you sound like you are yelling. Also, beware of any vocal tics that you may have. Try not to clear your throat too often or make any other repetitive noise that may be distracting during the interview such as "um".


Take Your Time Answering Questions

Take your time answering questions during your interview. The interview isn't a race, so don't treat it like one. If you answer questions without thinking first, you may not give a good answer. Take a moment to think about the question and allow yourself a brief pause to form an answer in your head before you say it out loud.


Ask Follow-Up Questions

Wait to ask any questions until the interviewer asks you if you have any questions. At that time you may ask whatever questions you wrote down when preparing for your interview. Make sure you always have prepared questions – it shows you are taking the interview seriously and prepared in advance! You should have the questions memorized; it's best not to refer to a piece of paper.


After the Interview

Following up after an interview is important! Here are some ways to make a good impression:


Write A Thank You Note

Send the admissions officer a brief thank you note after the interview. This serves two purposes. One, it's polite. Two, it puts you fresh in the admission officer's mind!


Follow Up After the Admissions Decision

Send a brief note to the admissions officer after you receive the admissions decision. You should send this note whether or not you were accepted. If you were accepted, the note could mention that you are grateful and excited to be attending the school. If you weren't accepted, you can thank the admissions officer for giving you the interview opportunity. You never know if you will reapply to the the school in the future. A friendly follow-up note may put you in a better light for your next interview.


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