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Ace Your College Interview

The interview is a standard component of the admissions process at many colleges and universities. Colleges want to ensure that the students selected are actually a good fit for the school, and that can be difficult to glean from a high school transcript and brief application. An interview is one method that gives the university the opportunity to meet applicants and prospective students who they are considering for merit scholarship awards. Relying on this process gives an individual at the university the final say regarding your admittance into the institution, rather than the admissions department. For knock-out interviewees, the opportunity to meet with a department head or chair will be a great benefit that will boost their chances for admittance or receipt of a scholarship.

Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated if a college requests an interview. It is a required step in the admissions process that will help ensure that you have landed on the doorstep of the institution that is the best fit for you. Here are some things to consider before your interview:

Dress Professionally

First impressions are everything—that said, leave your tattered denim in the closet for the day. Dressing the part indicates that you are taking the admissions process seriously and it affirms that you have a vested interest in the outcome of the interview.

Have a Positive Attitude

It is important that you enter the interview with a positive attitude. After all, getting prepared for college is an exciting time, and the facilitator expects that your attitude will reflect that. It is easy to feel as though interviews are used to identify your flaws. Not so. Colleges want you to be the addition that they are looking for, and as such, they are simply trying to identify what you will bring to the school.

Allow the Facilitator to Lead the Discussion

This is important. Allowing the facilitator to take the lead will take almost all of the pressure off of you. You might attend one or two college interviews; the facilitator on the other hand, has probably participated in hundreds and has already established a path for the questions to follow. Most likely you will find that the purpose of the interview is purely to gauge your level of interest in their institution.

Share Your High School Experience

When you discuss your high school experience, include your likes and dislikes. Emphasize the most positive aspects of your education, but don’t hesitate to be forthright about the negative aspects. Colleges are looking to add observant, articulate, and opinionated young adults to their campuses. Providing a detailed and poignant description of your academic experience will be of great benefit. This is also the appropriate time to discuss extracurricular activities, sports, and personal interests that you have developed and pursued through out the past few years.

Ask Questions

There is no better way to express your interest in a college than by asking questions. Make sure that you research the college heavily before the interview so that you can develop appropriate sincere questions. This is the part of the interview that is most beneficial to you: ask the right questions and find out what the college can offer you.

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