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Advice for college interviews

When applying to selective schools, applicants often have to go through interviews in the process. If you’re the interviewer, what’s something you look for (other than passion)? If you’re the interviewee, what’s one thing you wished you knew about interviews before starting one? #interviews #job #job-application #college #college-interviews

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Subject: Career question for you

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John’s Answer

Stephanie are you worried about your admissions interview? If so, you’re not alone. Many students stress over their admissions interview, and well-prepared students, like you, want to do as much as they can to prepare for the questions they will be asked ahead of time. Fortunately, there’s one question you can always prepare for—the classic, “tell me about yourself.” Although this question may seem open-ended (and daunting), there is a specific formula you can use to answer this question with ease!

You should see the “tell me about yourself” prompt as an opportunity to show the interviewer your most important qualities and to describe how you might contribute to the school community. As with any interview you will have over the course of your career, college years and beyond, this prompt is meant to give the interviewer an idea of what qualities you offer that are relevant to the university — in this case, as a member of that college’s core values. In brief, your answer should be part auto-ethnography, part forecast. Of course, you should talk about yourself and your background, but mostly as a vehicle through which you can deliver an accurate and appealing portrait of yourself as a productive and insightful member of the matriculating class. Stand-alone details and dead-end stories are rarely relevant in answers to this kind of question. That being said, you won’t want to sound like just another drone looking to fulfill their pre-med requirements wherever they can. While it’s good to avoid pointless details, you should work to connect your more unique experiences with your future goals.

Because this may well be the interviewer’s first question, it will set the tone for the rest of the interview. Be ready with a strong, but not overly rehearsed, answer. Keep in mind that this is not an invitation to share your life story or overly personal information with your interviewer; doing so will make you appear unprofessional and unprepared. Since you should have researched the school thoroughly before the interview, you will have a good idea of how your personality and academic and extracurricular interests will fit in there, so make an effort to connect what you know about the school with your personal strengths and the topics you’ve covered in your answer. Keep in mind that, if the school offers you admission, the admissions officers want you to choose them as much as you wanted them to choose you, so you should express how interested you are in attending. Tell the interviewer about your prospective major, if you have one, or what your main area of interest is and what you hope to study. Also, describe a few personality traits (roughly three), which will allow you to segue into your academic areas of interest and extracurricular activities and why they are important to you. End your answer with why you want to attend that college.

Hope this is helpful Stephanie
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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Stephanie ! Great answer's here, I also agree with John especially! I think it's important to know about the school , so you can pepper some of those topics in. Let's say you are passionate about community service and the school you are applying to is a major player in community service and has a lot of opportunities, so maybe you can add that into your answer at the end while talking about your service. It is also important to always be professional, and dress well even if in a virtual interview. Be sure to make strong eye contact by staring into your camera or directly at your screen, allow for good lighting and test your equipment before interview day. I would also prepare some questions to ask your interviewer but make sure they are more detailed and not things that can be found easily online. Lastly, rehearse, know what to say but don't be so over prepared it doesn't come out as genuine. Be honest with your experiences, speak from your heart and if you are unsure about an answer then think about it before answering- you can kindly let your interviewer know that you would like a couple seconds to think before answering! Also thank them for this opportunity maybe you can add it in after the "tell me about yourself" question - a short and sweet "and thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview" or at the end of the interview. Remember they like you, so don't stress and be yourself!

I hope this helps, best of luck!
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Kenya’s Answer

For any interview I would always recommend being yourself instead of trying to impress the interviewer. The best thing you can do is provide personal experiences. If you can provide vivid descriptions of your experiences the interviewer is most likely to remember the experience you had and then tie it to the person and remember your name. Interviewers want to learn more about the person behind the data in front of them. They see your grades, GPA etc. but who is the person behind the data?

Always ask questions, the interview is just as much for you as it is for them. You want to understand why you should pick the college/university or Job. What can they do for you and how can they fit with your goals, morals, ethics etc. Ask about the interviewer about experiences with students or staff and why they would recommend you join. Ask about what makes them stand out. As someone who has conducted several interviews I always appreciate the questions asked during the process and most times those are the candidates I remember most.

Hope this helps!
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Janice’s Answer

College interviews are part of the selection process for a particular college entrance.
You may be asked your reason for choosing a particular college. Was it the program you are interested in, is it the location?
Academics will most likely be discussed, grade point, test scores. Discuss any barriers.
Discuss your hobbies, clubs, sports, music interests and clubs/groups you are involved.
How have you prepared for your career interest? Do you have any work experience or volunteer activities to relate? Do you have a mentor for your career? have you job shadowed?

This is your time to also ask questions about the college or career path.
Good luck Stephanie!


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