College Interview Standard Operating Procedures:
- Arrive 5 minutes early to a college interview
The interviewer may have tightly scheduled several college interviews that day, typically on an hourly basis. If you arrive too early for an interview, it adds a degree of unnecessary stress to the situation. The most important rule is to never arrive late to a college interview. Arriving late to an interview creates an instantly negative impression that is very hard to overcome. Also, please make sure of the date, the time, exact location and travel directions in advance. Reply promptly to any communication and confirmations offered by the interviewer.
- Dress appropriately
Be sure to be well groomed and neatly dressed. If you dress too formally, you will look out of place and if you dress too casually, you'll provide the impression that the interview and the school you're applying to is not that important to you. It is easy to find the appropriate middle ground. Dress pants, button-down shirts tucked in, nice shoes and a belt is appropriate for men. For women, a sweater or blouse and a nice pair of pants or a nice skirt is appropriate. The style is often called business casual.
- Thank You Note
The last task is to send a thank you note or e-mail promptly after the college interview. A concise thank you note should express at minimum, gratitude for their time, an acknowledgment of your continued interest in the school and what you took away from the college interview.
College Interview Overview:
- The interview should feel like an interesting and rewarding conversation between two people.
Interviewers are usually involved in the process because they are devoted and enthusiastic about their school, probably after a very successful college and post-college career. The school wants to project a positive image of itself by being represented by a passionate and successful alumnus. Your goal is to get the interviewer to share with you their reasons why they feel the school was such an outstanding and memorable experience in their life. Encourage your interviewer to speak about their experience. You also want to gain credibility with the interview by determining what interests you have in common. This leads to instant conversation.
- Be ready to tell concise and interesting stories in response to several of the key college interview questions.
The goal of a good interview is to make yourself memorable in a positive way. Answering several questions in the manner of relating a concise story helps make your responses very personal and interesting. People instinctively pay attention and are interested in what a good storyteller has to say especially if the story told is personal in nature. The college interview questions and answers section, will provide you a sampling of many of the most popular college interview questions along with how to answer them. Be prepared to tell several interesting, personal and concise stories as answers to a number of these questions. Be ready with pertinent stories that relate your interest in pursuing a specific major, involvement in extracurricular activities, achievements you're most proud of, hobbies and any special personal experiences, background information that is meaningful, describes you as a person or is positive nature. Be interesting and conversational on your interview.
- Research the interviewer's background by using the power of the Internet
One of the most powerful methods of connecting with the interviewer on a personal level is to be cognizant of the person's background. Use the Internet to determine a person's background including career and educational achievements and general information such as age, when they attended the college you interviewing for and if they have earned a graduate or advanced degree. The objective of any successful interview is for it to evolve into a comfortable conversation between two people where each learns more about one another and the college.
- Be overly prepared for the “why” question
Be very knowledgeable about the school and the reasons you want to attend. A question that is guaranteed to be ask and can be asked more than once in several different ways during an interview is why you want to attend the given school you are interviewing for. Your answer has to be well researched, thoughtful and personal in nature. A wide range of responses are acceptable because authentic responses vary from candidate to candidate. Reasons centering on academics, the quality and type of student life offered, location and the college's reputation are all acceptable as long as they explain in a convincing fashion why the school right for you. Clichés are not welcome and a longer and comprehensive response is appropriate for this question. Well researched and personal answers will help you earn a good report by the interviewer. This site includes a section that provides the necessary research for you to be able to prepare for the “why” question of the interview, our college reviews. In addition, Read the on-line version of a college’s newspaper. This is a valuable resource to get a sense of the current state of a school.
- Have at least six questions ready to ask the interviewer
Having a number of good questions available can
be used in several ways. Asking the interviewer good questions at key moments
of the interview demonstrates interest on your part, and that you have
conducted thorough research on the school and most importantly it enhances the
conversation. One way or another, most interviews end with a segment where
you're going to be asked if you have any questions, be ready. Keep in mind
never ask an outright negative question. Keep your questions positive or
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