The No-sweat Guide to Acing Your College Interviews

college student

Can you still remember the very first time you were on stage for a random school performance? Your nerves were all frayed. Your stomach was cramping. It feels like you were going to vomit anytime soon. That never goes away. Even though you’re more confident and assured now, the prospect of facing the unknown still scares most people. College interviews are no different. They’re scary because this panel of people holds the key to your college and therefore, your life dreams.

Prepare

There is nothing in this world that you cannot face when you come prepared. Read up about the university/college. Get a haircut, so you’ll feel more confident about yourself. Don’t do it yourself. Actually, go to a salon with hair stylist tools, so you can get that professional look you should be aiming for. Get your affairs in order days before. Make sure that no one’s going to bother you the day before the interview. They are not supposed to burden you with anything.

Choose your clothes the night before. Make sure they will make you look composed and professional. Ask some friends who have already been interviewed by the same college/university. Prepare your answers and read them again before going to sleep. And that’s the most important part: sleep. You need not only a beauty rest, but for your mind to rest and calm down.

Be Original

The interviewers already have your resume. They know you are the current president of your high school’s debate team. They know you’re a varsity player. They know you’re good at science, too. So, why do you need to enumerate those things? Instead, offer what’s not in your resume. Talk about your experiences in the debate society-how you handled differing opinions, how the team coped with losses, and how you negotiated with the school administrator for better funding.

Take this interview as a chance to elaborate. Your resume is a snippet of who you are. It lists down the basic things, but it doesn’t give anyone a full view of what you’re capable of doing. This is your chance to take them along the journey.

Choose a Favorite

Whether it’s a book, music, art, composer, author, professor, or school subject, the interviewers are bound to ask you a “favorite.” The problem is that many high school students don’t have a favorite. Sure, they follow trends and listen to what their peers are listening to, but can you pinpoint an exact song as a favorite? It’s time to choose a book or a song and explain to the panel how this is relevant to you. Choose a book that you can somehow connect to your chosen college degree.

Practice Your Answers

Even the movies get it right. College interviews can be intimidating, but not if you prepare for the questions ahead of time. The most common interview questions are these:

  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  • Can you identify a challenge that you overcame?
  • What can you contribute to our university?
  • Why are you interested in our university?
  • What do you do during your free time?
  • Who in your life has influenced you?

Students

The interviewer will likely ask these questions among others. They don’t expect you to have all the right answers (there is no right answer, by the way). What they want to see is how you’re envisioning the future for yourself. They want to see confidence, tenacity, self-assurance, and goals. Although colleges and universities are designed to contribute to a student’s learning, they also want to make sure they’re taking on students that will add to their already impressive standing in the community.

Ask Questions

Many interviewees think that not asking questions shows they understood the college and the process. When the interviewer asked if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. They want to see what you’re interested in. It shows your interest in the college. It also shows that you’ve done some research about the school. For example, you can ask about the academic program that you’re applying to or even what’s university life for most students.

It may feel overwhelming to know that these people are the key to your dream college. Such thoughts, however, will merely make you nervous. They are not going to help in easing your mind and making you look and sound confident. Calm down. Gather yourself. Keep to the plan. These interviewers are trained to evaluate you based on time-tested and proven formulas. If they see that you’re fit to be in their college, then you’re going to get that admission letter soon.

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