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To ace your college interviews you should first consider why you are interviewing, prepare answers to the sample college interview questions below, and dress appropriately! Read on for more college interview tips.

About College Interviews

There are many benefits to meeting face-to-face with an admissions officer after you apply to a college — for you and for the school. Think of the college interview as a chance to show that you're more than just test scores and grades.

Perhaps you do not think your college application presented the real you or you want to learn more about the school - this is your chance to present more and to ask questions. You might want to explain why your grades slipped or why your test scores were not as good as they could have been - this is your chance to prove yourself. It's an exchange of information, you learn about the college and the college learns about you.

When Are Colleges Interviews?

Most colleges don't require an interview, however, if you can land an interview it is the one part of applying to college that can help make or break your admissions status. Typically colleges interview students in January and February before admissions decisions are made, and after your application has been reviewed. Early decision candidates will be invited to interview in November and December, similarly before admittance is determined. But, there is also the opportunity to request an interview with a perspective college even before you apply. If you are very interested in a school, arranging a college interview can help you decide to apply early decision or to apply at all, and will begin a relationship with the school that can benefit you in the application process.

College Interview Tips

A college interview can last anywhere from 30-60 minutes, and tips for success in a college interview are the same for any other type of interview - be confident and prepared. That said, it is absolutely normal to be nervous, so it is important that you prepare! Keep in mind that interviewers are more interested in learning about you than hearing right or wrong answers; otherwise test scores and transcripts would have sufficed! Here are some tips for how to prepare for a college interview:

  • Research the school, from their motto to sports teams - note your interests and questions.
  • Read the sample questions below and write down answers for each.
  • Practice in front of a mirror, notice your composure - sit up straight, smile, make eye contact.
  • Dress appropriately! Conservative, ironed clothing and a nice pair of shoes.
  • Relax and be yourself - it is okay to be nervous!

College Interview Questions

To give you an idea of what kind of questions you will be asked, here is a list of common college interview questions. Try to develop answers to these interview questions and practice them with a friend, family member or in a mirror. Preparing answers and practicing in a "mock interview" scenario will prepare you to sound confident and to avoid long pauses or rambling.

  • Why do you want to attend X university?
  • What is your strongest/weakest point?
  • What have you done to prepare for college?
  • What has been your greatest experience in high school?
  • What do you want to do in the future?
  • Tell me about yourself. (You should focus on about three things.)
  • Tell me about your interests.
  • Tell me about your involvement in extracurricular activities.
  • Tell me about your family.
  • What do you think about (insert a current event of the past week)?
  • What is your favorite book? Who is your favorite author?
  • Which of your accomplishments are you the most proud of?
  • If you could meet any important figure in the past or present, who would it be and what would you talk about?

Other Materials You Need In Addition To College Interviews

Explore the resources below to learn more about the application materials you will need when you apply to college:

>> Learn more about College Applications and how to complete them.

>> Learn more about College Admissions Essays and tips on developing essay topics.

>> Learn when and how to request Letters of Recommendation.

>> Learn how Test Scores and Transcripts are used admissions.