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The College Admission Interview

Maryline Michel Kulewicz and Tracy Sullivan of College 101 Admissions Consultants

The college admission interview is a great way to humanize the college application. It provides the admission counselor the opportunity to get to know the student as a person and not just as a number, and more importantly, it allows the student to tell their story. 

What is the Purpose of the College Admission Interview?

The admission interview is a conversation where the student and the college learn more about each other to determine if there is a match. With the more selective colleges, the interview often takes a more evaluative approach where the student’s overall performance is one of the factors that is considered in their final application assessment. The most common approach though is the informative interview, which allows the college and student to ask questions in a more casual and relaxed environment. These interviews do not weigh in as an admission factor, but offer a chance for the admission counselors to get to know the student better and for the student to learn more about the school- a win-win.   

An interview can seem terrifying for some students, but colleges are honestly just looking for ways to connect with the student and learn more about their interests. The interview is rarely ever the deciding factor in an admission decision.  A student should think of the interview as a chance to share information beyond their transcript– talk about their passions, their future goals, go deeper with an activity that is important to them, demonstrate how they will contribute to the college’s vibrant campus life - just be real!  Interviews are also a way for the student to learn first-hand if the college is a “good fit” for them.  It is important to note that not all colleges offer interviews. Check the college admission requirements on the college websites to see if they include information about the types of interviews that are available and the registration timeline. 

Preparing for the College Interview 

The most effective way to have successful results with the interview is simply to prepare. Regardless of how nervous a student may be, it will be easier if they take time to prepare ahead for the interview. One of my favorite interview resources is from the College Essay Guy- “How to prepare for the college interview in 1 hour.”  Highlights are below.  

1. Prepare an answer to the following three topics 

• 10 minutes: Research the “Why Us”.  Why do you want to attend their college and how does their college help you meet your goals.

• 5 minutes: Think about potential majors, interests, and the fields of study that you may want to pursue - and why? 

• 5 minutes:  Identify your favorite interests besides academics.

2. 5 minutes: Prepare three questions to ask your interviewer. A few sample questions are  below. 

• Inquire about a specific program that you are interested in and what have students from this program accomplished after graduation?

• What makes students at your university different?

• What sort of internship and career-placement services does the school offer?

• What types of onboarding programs do they have for first-year students?

FREE RESOURCE: if you would like a complete list of College 101 Interview Questions, email [email protected].

3. 5 minutes: Write down 4 or 5 things you would like to share with the representative about yourself.   

4. 5 minutes: Organize the information onto one sheet of paper and keep it in front of you for reference.

5. 20 minutes: Read through the brief article below from the College Board to help with potential interview questions and response tips:    

We have an in depth PDF that offers questions and strategies.  Email [email protected] for a copy.

6. 5 minutes: Meditate - as Amanda Augustine, a career-advice expert says,  “Meditation can be as simple as closing your eyes for a minute, taking a few slow, deep breaths, and visualizing yourself crushing the interview.”

 Good luck and enjoy the journey! 

College 101 Admissions Consultants LLC.
Email: [email protected]. Phone: 508-380-3845.


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