Tag Archives: College interviews

How to Handle the College Interview

How to handle the college interviewHigh school seniors, have you scheduled interviews at any of the colleges you’re applying to? If so, great. If not, you should consider doing so. College interviews are a good way to learn more about a school and for the school to learn more about you. It’s a really a chance for you to shine.

If any of the schools on your list offer interviews, don’t pass up the opportunity. Check out their websites to get the details. Then tell them you’d like to sign up. If the college is far from your home, don’t worry. Many schools will connect you with an alumni interviewer living nearby.

Once you’ve scheduled an interview, prepare, but don’t be nervous. Remember, this is not a test—it should be an enjoyable experience. Every interview will be different, of course, depending on the college and the person who’s interviewing you. Some colleges use it mostly as a meet-and-greet opportunity, while others, like Harvard, may take a more academic approach.

Either way, most interviews will include some common elements. They’ll offer you the opportunity to talk about yourself and also to ask questions. Here are some tips on how to prepare ahead of time and how to handle the college interview.

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How important are college interviews?

Woman interviewingWelcome to November, seniors. Just when you think things can’t get any busier, they get busier! Just as you’re trying to complete those supplemental essays and keep up with your schoolwork, people tell you that you really ought to be interviewing with reps from all your favorite colleges.

But, since most schools claim these interviews are “optional,” it’s tempting to skip the stress and focus on the essays. Of course it’s tempting! But should you? Just how important are college interviews?

In recent years, colleges, admissions counselors, alumni and parents have hotly debated the value of the college interview. Some claim interviews play little role in the admissions decisions at many schools and ought to be phased out. Others argue the interview can give an applicant a leg up and is very important. Who should you believe?

First, it depends on the school. Some schools—even those in the top tier—simply don’t offer interviews. Amherst doesn’t interview. Nor does Berkeley. Nor do most state schools. At those schools it’s not an issue.

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