Getting into a good university entails going through several processes that demand your best efforts. Even the simple act of submitting an application form requires observing a high level of meticulousness if you really want to secure a spot in the university of your choice.
Arguably, the most important steps in the application process that you need to accomplish are your essay and your college interview. Through these two, you get to show who you truly are, which will allow admissions officers to study you more closely and determine if you’re a good fit for the university.
Between a college essay and an interview, however, the more nerve-wracking is the latter because for the most part, you don’t know what’s coming at you. Even if there are common college interview questions that other people may tell you about, you don’t exactly know when and how they’ll be asked. It’s quite typical for admissions officers to restructure questions so that they’ll get the kind of information they want from you.
Despite the many surprises that may transpire during an interview, it still helps a great deal to have some good answers ready. It’s going to be easy to modify them so you can effectively respond to the variations of the questions that you prepared for.
To make this crucial part of the process less stressful, here are a few things you need to know in order to ace your college interview.
1. You need to be able to articulate why you have chosen the school and why you’re a perfect fit for it.
Do research on the different programs offered by the school that work into your plans beautifully. At the same time, college application consultants recommend expressing your passion and explaining how your presence can actually contribute to the school’s dynamics.
2. Ask smart questions.
If you wish to know more about the university during the interview, the following are the questions you should avoid asking:
– When is the deadline for applications?
– Is there a women’s water polo (or some other sport) team?
– What are the most popular majors?
These are basic questions and you can easily get answers for them when you go online and check the website. Don’t waste time with these questions; instead, come up with questions that will demonstrate your genuine interests as well as your need to be enlightened in order to achieve your goals.
3. Do share your personal growth.
Be ready to clearly share the story behind the important shifts in your life that led you to the university and your choice of college course. A college consultant shares that interviewers view growth stories as one basis for evaluating the potential academic performance of college applicants.
4. Be your authentic self.
You may think that you need to come up with fluff to make yourself more interesting and impressive, but the truest you is good enough, especially when you’re able to share your passions down to the smallest details. Admissions officers are very discerning people; they can easily tell who is merely faking enthusiasm and just really trying to impress. During the interview, don’t sabotage your chances by pretending to be something that you’re not; make the real you work for you.
5. Prepare to talk about the most influential person in your life.
Questions about the life-changing personalities in your life will always arise. Think hard about your Nana who loves you unconditionally, or your high school guidance counselor who’s a caring, listening ear and friend, or your big brother in the military who always encourages you to go for your dream. Be ready to share the special moments you have shared with this valuable person that were most helpful to you.
6. Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
When you’re asked to talk about yourself, you need to be able to pinpoint the qualities that work for you and how they work for you, as well as the weaknesses that you’re trying to overcome. Your interviewer wants to see that you can easily think and speak about yourself; when you’re able to do so, it means that you have a solid understanding of who you are and what you want to become.
7. It always helps to know that latest goings-on in the world.
Interviewers ask questions about national and global politics, issues and trends. Having something to say about these subject matters will surely add weight to the conclusion about you.
8. Learn how to nail impromptu speeches.
College interviewers/admissions officers will spring upon you the most random questions like, “If you’re given absolute power for one day, how will you change the world?” just to see how quickly you can think off the top of your head, and what your thought process is like.
All in all, prepare yourself as much as you can for the interview, but make sure that you don’t sound rehearsed. Present your best self but be completely sincere. Genuineness is definitely of great value in college interviews and will work to your advantage.