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What should I know about the college before going into an interview?

Office Hours #2: SDSU College Student Panel

This question was posed by a question during one of our most recent "CareerVillage Office Hours" sessions. During Office Hours sessions, we invite students to pose questions related to a specific topic. In this case, the topic was college life. If you answer this question, we will reach out to the students who attended this office hours session to inform them of your response, and all students on CareerVillage will benefit. If you would be interested in hosting an office hours session on a particular topic, please reach out to our staff!

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Kate’s Answer

You should have answers to these questions:
Why did you apply to this college? What do you like about it? What programs inspired you? A professor/ class/ program?
Why this college vs. the other colleges out there? Whether or not its true, the college you're interviewing at wants to know that you're excited about their specific program.
Size matters --- small colleges are different from large ones. Know which ones you want and why. If you're considering a variety - what will help you decide?
How will you get involved in the community? College is about learning through the work - but also through your interactions with a diverse array of peers. What kinds of programming, clubs, volunteering did you do in high school that aligns to what you want to do in college? Or is there something you couldn't do before that you're excited to do at college that this college offers?
Know a bit about your major or the specific program you're applying to and why you chose this one -- also gives you questions you should ask at the end of your interview.

Kate recommends the following next steps:

Review Student Life on the college website
Talk to a student who goes there about their experience
Review academic programs on the college website
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Ricardo’s Answer

1. Know what school you want to go to and how much it will cost.
2. Do your research by looking up information and the guidelines.
3. Meet your academic advisor to discuss what classes you should take based on your major.
4. Look for scholarships and student grants along with financial aid to pay for your schools expenses.
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JB’s Answer

Be prepared to share why the school aligns with your beliefs, philosophy and career plans.

Here are some sentences you should be able to complete based on the school you're interviewing with:
"I've always wanted to attend a large university because...",
"I've always wanted to attend a small, private school because..."
"I appreciate the [Liberal Arts/Technical/Athletic] reputation of the school because..."
"I'm planning to study [Business/Biology/Philosophy] and your school came to the top of my research because..."

Your High School should have a subscription to Naviance, a tool that belongs to Hobsons Education and allows students to conduct research on colleges and universities based on their interests. Many students today are selecting schools using tools like Naviance to help make school decisions.

Good luck!

JB recommends the following next steps:

Reach out to a recent alumnus on LinkedIn in a field of study that interests you
Talk to the alumnus about their experience at the college or university
Ask the alumnus if they were to do it all over again, what would they do differently?
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Jillian’s Answer

Interviewing & applying to college is very similar to interviewing & applying for jobs as an adult. You are not only being interviewed to see if they want you, but you should also be interviewing them to see if you want them too!
A. Know WHY you want to go to school there - is it for a specific program such as athletics or educational (i.e. they are well known for their nursing program or business program)
B. Do research on the school's history & culture - what type of student body do they have - why would you be a good addition?
C. Be prepared to discuss your achievements! What clubs were you in, did you complete volunteer activities, how were your grades, what recognition did you receive in high school?

best of luck!
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