How to Prepare for a College Interview

February 22, 2018

Cayla Lowrey ('18) said,

Photo Credit: Cayla Lowrey (used with permission)

Cayla Lowrey (’18) said, “I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview for a Presidential Scholarship for my college (High Point University) in February. It was so much fun to get to meet all of the other Presidential Scholars and my future classmates. My interview was about a half an hour and a little nerve racking. I just tried to remember to be myself and to answer all of interviewers questions honestly and with excitement. My advice to students regarding interviews is to not over practice. You don’t want your answers to come off as rehearsed, you want to sound genuine but well thought out. I was at an advantage because my school actually provided a list of possible interview questions; I went through those a couple times and thought about the points that I really wanted to get across and mention in my interview. I also think that a very helpful tip is to think about the things you definitely want to mention no matter what and practice working them in to your answers. Overall my experience was great and my favorite part of this process was connecting with my future classmates.”

Being a second semester senior and beginning to get into college does not dismiss all of the stresses of senior year; many girls must interview for acceptance or scholarships with alumni or admission directors at their respected schools.

Photo Credit: Françoise Corser/ Achona Online
Highly selective Colleges and Universities require a form of interviewing in order to be qualified for admission.

Although many college interviews and auditions will take place for some seniors in the next couple of weeks, students who have applied before the early actions and early decision deadlines have already been interviewed and have information or advice for those that:

Evelyn Martinez said, “My interview was for admissions to Duke University and it was at Wright’s with an alumni. I didn’t really prepare for it much other than just compiling why I want to go to Duke so that I could express that to my interviewer because I think one of the biggest things for these schools is seeing that the person is serious and passionate about going there.”

Claire Obeck said, “My interview was for acceptance into Washington and Lee University. An interview is optional at that school but it really helps show interest in the school which is important. I honestly didn’t really prepare for mine except for making sure that I had my answers for the basic questions like “why are you interested in this school?” or “what are you most proud of?” But other than that it’s just important to be yourself and act confident and calm. Make sure you are respectful to the interviewer too and dress nicely.”

Julia Lee said, “I interviewed for Tulane and it was with a Tulane alumni who had the same major I wanted. It wasn’t mandatory but it really helps an application when they see that you took the initiative to do the optional interview. We met at Buddy Brew one day after school for about an hour. He just asked me a few questions about what I planned to major in, what career I was considering, and what extracurriculars I had done at school. He also asked me what i liked about Tulane, New Orleans, etc. To prepare, I made a list of the things I liked about Tulane because I knew he was probably going to ask that, and I just quickly looked over the activity resume I had submitted so I didn’t blank on any activities I was involved in. I also looked people up online who had interviewed with Tulane in the past to get a sense of what it would be like, what questions they would ask, etc. It ended up being super relaxed and casual and the guy was really nice.”

Christina Alarcon said, “I have had interviews for every college I have applied to as I am applying for music education so the interviews are required along with auditions. Any advice I have would be to see if you can find the sample interview questions on the college website and if not, see if any past students have advice for the interviews. A lot of students post things about them on the internet. Any audition advice would be to not procrastinate on picking a piece and to make sure you feel confident because if you feel confident in what you are doing the audition will go better.”

Emily Anderson said, “I applied early decision to Duke University in December and not long after, an alumni emailed me reaching out saying she would like to meet. Over christmas break, we met at barnes and noble for about an hour. At first I was really nervous, but as we started talking it turned less to a question and answer session and into more of a conversation. Good advice I have is to do a little research on your interviewer, bring a printed resume to talk about your activities and give it to them after, and make sure you know why you want to go to those elite schools. Just have confidence, be yourself, and know some facts about the school or your planned major.”

Evan Greek said, “I had a college interview at Manhattan College in New York City. I would mostly advise those who get the opportunity to know your resume really well and think of things that are special about you to share so that you are memorable. I believe that the interview I had played a big part in my acceptance to Manhattan College even though I chose to attend a different university.”

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