Perhaps more than any other part of the application process, the admission interview can make the difference between getting into the school of your dreams and being passed over for somebody else. If you've been asked to attend an interview, you've already managed to impress the committee at your school with your academic and non-academic background. The interview is really your chance to show the people in charge of admissions who you are and why you want to earn an undergraduate degree at their school. Because this part of the process is so crucial, it's important to do everything you can to make those few minutes speaking with school officials a success. During the interview, you truly are in control of your own destiny.
There are varying opinions about how potential students should prepare for the admission interview process. Some feel it is best to select your ideal school and then learn as much about the institution as possible. That way, some argue, you will be very likely to be granted acceptance based on your extensive knowledge of the college should you be given an interview. Of course, the key word here is should. There is a chance that you might not be granted an interview at all, meaning that all your research, although informative, was largely pointless. Therefore, it's much better to begin preparing for the interview after you get a call from an official telling you they would like to sit down and talk.
When you have received confirmation that you will indeed be attending an interview at the school of your dreams, the next step is to research the institution. Find out everything you can, beginning with the school's history and moving on to its programs and its reputation. Gather information from diverse sources. The Internet will be an invaluable tool during this process. The school's website will give you some useful and basic information regarding location, programs, and students. If you have specific questions, you may be able to get some useful answers from current students at the school. Student message boards are also a great source of information. Even if you don't have questions, read through the boards to get a taste of what being a student there is like. If you can, try to access newspapers produced by the town or city where your school is located to see whether there are reports of special events or awards. You can also use the Internet to conduct a broad search. Using a search engine like Google or Yahoo, type in the name of your school and see what comes up. You can also use these search engines to find out more about the town, city, or region where the school is located. Of course, remember that you'll only want to discuss positive information during your interview. If you come across a blog complaining about the professors at your potential college, it's probably best not to mention this during your interview.
In addition to arriving at your interview armed with a ton of knowledge about every aspect of your school, be sure to follow all of the general interview rules as well: arrive on time, dress presentably, don't interrupt the person interviewing you, provide succinct, clear answers, and have a few questions of your own prepared. Taking the time to thoroughly research the school and behaving politely and professionally during the admission interview will give you a great shot at getting into your dream college.
Last Updated: 04/24/2014