Preparing for an interview requires self-reflection and preparation. The following are questions that are frequently asked during college interviews. Think carefully about each one. It is important to think about what it is that makes you unique. When you approach the interview in an honest and authentic way, rather than trying to say what you think the interviewer wants to hear, you can’t help but do well. Remember, you are also trying to decide if this school is the right fit for you. Also, keep in mind that the purpose of the interview is for the interviewer to answer your questions and to get to know you on a more personal level than your application can show. Be yourself and you will stand out!
- Tell me about yourself
Be honest & open. Don’t try to figure out what they want to hear. Focus on three top things to talk about that make you unique. (e.g. passion for a topic, an activity you are actively involved in, volunteer experience). Be specific, you want them to remember you.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Choose two strengths and explain how you’ve used them and how you will continue to do so. Think of a challenge you have but always mention how you manage to compensate for it. Talk about a specific time when you worked hard to overcome an obstacle. What strategies worked for you? Keep it positive.
- Why are you interested in this college?
Talk about what it is specifically about this college you are interested in. State your major of interest (or potential majors if you are undecided) and three other things about the college you are interested in. If you do know what you’d like to major in, talk about why this subject inspires you. Talk about your academic goals. Be sure to use the correct program/major/school name for the college you are interviewing with. Be sure to RESEARCH the college and STUDY your reasons for selecting it. Give other reasons for being drawn to this college as well (for example, does the school culture appeal to you?)
- What is a great piece of advice you have received and why?
Describe advice given to you by a teacher, parent, grandparent, employer or even a book/movie character and describe HOW it impacted you. WHY is it great advice?
- Why do you think you are a good fit for this college?
Think about your academic, personal and social strengths and describe how you will contribute/enhance the school community and how the school will help you grow. If you plan to become a leader in an activity on campus, talk about that.
- Give an example of a time when you took a leadership role.
What was your role? How did you contribute? This does not have to be a leadership position (although it can be). If you aren’t the president of a club, or captain of a team, you can talk about when you stepped up and took a leadership role.
- Give an example of how you worked as part of a team.
Think about any recent project you completed at school, work, or volunteer activity when you were a member of a team. Speak about how responsibilities were shared; what did you and the team do to complete the project on time; what were some of the challenges and how did you/team overcome them?
- What do you see yourself doing in the next 10 years?
Talk about some specific goals or activities that you would like to do. This can be related to academics, sports, arts, etc. Show that you are motivated to achieve your goals.
- What would you change about your high school?
Schools learn what matters to you by finding out what you would change. Be respectful and specific. Make it clear that you want your school improved for everyone’s benefit.
- Whom do you most admire and why?
Talk specifically about why you admire this person and include details if possible. The purpose of this question is to learn more about your values.
- What is your favorite book?
Talk about why. Did you learn something? Could you really relate to a character in the book? Did it inspire you? How? The interviewer wants to know if you are intellectually curious and read beyond what you must read for school.
- What do you do for fun?
The purpose of this question is to understand more about your personality. Spend time thinking about why you enjoy these activities.
Questions for the interviewer – Always ask a question!
It will show that you are interested, engaged and that you have done your research.
- You can ask a research-based question.
Show that you’ve done research about the programs and ask a specific question that couldn’t be found on the website easily. It’s okay to prepare this beforehand and bring it with you.
- You can ask personal questions.
For example, if the interviewer is an alum, you could ask why they went there and what they liked about the school.
- Ask about something you talked about during the interview
This shows that you are engaged and have been listening during the interview