Are Interviews Required for College Admission?

are-interviews-required-for-college-admissionInterviews for college admission are not an official requirement like SAT or ACT scores. However, many colleges use interviews during the final stage of the admissions process.

College interviews may either be formal, and thus designed to officially review the student’s academic credentials, or they may be informal, and thus designed to create a casual environment for the student and admissions counselor to freely talk.

What is the most Common Interview Question?

According to the College Board, a college interview is important because it provides an opportunity for the prospective student to share why they are interested in the college. Ideally, it will result in a long term academic relationship. The first question that interviewers ask generally focus on why the student wants to attend the college. The follow-up to this question will be about what exactly the student can contribute to the college. Therefore, interviewees should be prepared to clearly communicate how their academic interests and passions will translate into tangible benefits for the college.

In order to effectively demonstrate their suitability for the college, students should research detailed information about the college. This is similar to a job interview when a candidate researches the target company to demonstrate their interest in and knowledge of the company. Knowing statistics and intimate facts about the college will help. Students should ultimately use their academic achievements and extracurricular activities to demonstrate their character and project future accomplishments.

What are Other Common Interview Questions?

Interviews for college admission will always include an open-ended question that asks the student to introduce themselves. This question appears simple, but it is actually designed to facilitate a discussion about the student’s personality and personal choices. Students should avoid describing their personality or disclosing highly personal information. Instead, they should carefully and cordially summarize their academic and personal background highlights. For example, they could discuss their passion for sports, which would lead into talking about how they are assertive and dedicated.

Sometimes, interviewers will ask the student more specific questions. For instance, they may ask for adjectives that best describe the student or for a few personal weaknesses. The student should be prepared to discuss areas of improvement that can be enhanced through attending the target college. Students should also consider the subculture of the college when describing their personality. For example, if they are interviewing at a serious business school, they should maintain a formal, yet friendly attitude.

What are Difficult Interview Questions?

The interview may scrutinize the student’s academic record through asking them about their high school grades. For example, they may ask if the student’s high school record accurately reflects their effort and ability. Interviewers typically want to hear about a poor grade or major event that occurred. Students must carefully craft their answer in order to avoid revealing poor personal choices. Therefore, students should accept blame, but honestly explain the situation and what they learned from the experience.

On the other hand, the interviewer may test the student’s literacy choices in the form of a question about a favorite book. Naturally, not every student will have the time or desire to read fiction in their free time. As an alternative, students should think about an important book that influenced them, inspired them and challenged their world view.

Many colleges use some type of formal or informal interview during the final phase of the admissions process. All students should prepare for possible interviews for college admission during the application process.