Many colleges don’t require admissions interviews, some only recommend them, still others don’t offer them at all. If you have a chance to interview with a college admissions rep, don’t pass it by. A good interview can create a friend and advocate for you when the final decision about your application is made. And at the very least, interviews help you become a real person to someone in the admissions office. That just might help you get admitted!
• Interviews rarely hurt students in the admissions process, and they often help.
• Most colleges won’t interview students until the end of the 11th grade or beginning of the 12th grade.
• Because college interviews have become so popular, it is important to schedule them weeks, if not months, in advance.
• Schedule most important interviews after less important ones so that you gain some experience.
• Call the Admissions Office to set up an interview
• Make the travel arrangements necessary to get to the campus
• Prepare for the interview
✔ Figure out what you want the admissions rep “to get” about you
✔ Put together an activities resume and bring it with you to the interview
✔ Write down 3-5 things reasons why you want to go to this college and bring them with you to the interview
✔ Write down 3-5 questions to ask the admissions rep and bring them with you to the interview
✔ Practice answering questions that the admissions rep is likely to ask
• Do the right things at the interview
✔ Smile! Act positive and be upbeat! Remember the first three or four minutes of an interview is when the interviewer forms an impression of you.
✔ Use your prep materials (resume, written reasons you like the school and questions) to get you through the interview.
✔ Do everything you can to get the interviewer to talk about him or herself, i.e., “Why did you decide to work as an Admissions Officer?”
✔ Be super-considerate to the person.
• End the interview on a positive note
✔ As you leave, ask for the interviewer’s business card, shake his/her hand, and thank the person for the interview. Tell the interviewer that this college is one of your top choices, if not your #1 choice.
✔ When you get home, email a thank you note
Most colleges don’t offer interviews to juniors, but if you can talk someone into an interview as a junior, by all means do it (but only if you are prepared)
summer before your senior year
This is a good time to begin scheduling interviews
Sometime during the fall of your senior year is probably the best time to do admissions interview.
Because you or your partner/spouse will probably be making travel arrangements for college trips, it probably makes sense for you to call admissions offices to set up interview appointments for your child. You will know the trip schedule and what times are available. However, if your child wants to do it, by all means let her or him do it! The most important thing you can do is make sure that your child is prepared for an interview.