Don’t Do These Five Things in Your College Interview

The good news is that it is unusual for a college interview to decrease your chances of admission. Most interviews are conducted by alumni who love their school and get excited about meeting young and interesting people. They are not ogres looking for reasons to trap you or trip you up. Most interviewers want to discover the gem that admissions officers missed and are looking for reasons to admit you, not deny you admission to their college.

  • DON’T be disrespectful. Of course you aren’t going to enter your interview, ready to hurl insults at your interviewer; but, be conscious of more subtle things that may indicate you don’t respect your interviewer or the school that he or she represents. Arrive on time. Dress appropriately in clean clothing that is not overly casual or reveals too much. Make eye contact and thank your interviewer at the close. Basic manners will go a long way here.
  • DON’T tell the interviewer you are dying to attend Dream U because, well, it’s Dream U. Telling an interviewer that you want to attend based on rankings is the equivalent to the interview kiss of death. Make sure you have thought about what you want in a post-secondary education and can tell your interviewer why Dream U, specifically, is a great fit for you.
  • DON’T be unprepared. Asking questions that can be answered with simple research, such as “Do you have a study abroad program?” is a waste of the interviewer’s time and shows you really aren’t very interested in attending that school.
  • DON’T treat the interview like a Q&A session. Remember it is a discussion, not a ping pong match. So, feel free to ask your interviewer follow up questions during the interview or segue to different topics when appropriate.
  • DON’T forget to smile. At the end of the day, an interview is a personal interaction between two people who share an interest in the same school. An interviewer who is able to connect with you will be more likely to recommend you with enthusiasm.

I know that interviews can be stressful; but, if you keep these five things in check, you should be able to get through them with ease. Who knows? You might even enjoy them!

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