High 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.
If you’re a high school sophomore, senior year may seem light years away. So may the thought of your college applications. But two years will pass faster than you think. And the way you spend this year may have a big effect on your college career. Now’s the time to plan your sophomore courses and other activities so things fall smoothly into place later.
Choose your courses carefully
Some high schools offer honors or AP classes in sophomore year, while others don’t. If your school offers either of these options, you should take advantage, if you possibly can. Colleges want to see that you have stepped up to meet the challenges offered to you.
Check out the websites from some colleges you might be interested in attending, and see what high school classes they recommend. It will give you an idea of what to aim for. If possible, take a foreign language, and continue it for the rest of high school.
If your school doesn’t offer honors, AP classes or a foreign language, don’t worry. A college will not hold your high school’s lack of options against you. Dive into your schoolwork and get the most from it. Think of this year as a chance to expand your thinking in every direction.