Both on- campus and alumni interviews allow you to express your interests and share something about yourself that is not apparent in your transcript, test scores, essays and activities resume. Interviews also give you the chance to learn more about a school.
Most schools offer, and some schools require, on-campus and alumni interviews. Make sure you’re up to date on each school’s policy by looking through their website or calling the admissions office.
Read on for tips to make the most of your interviews:
- Schedule your on-campus admissions interviews to coordinate with other on-campus events— plan to attend an info session, a tour, a sports event or even a theatre production.
- For alumni interviews, check the school website to know whether an alum will contact you or if you are responsible for requesting an interview.
- Your on-campus interviewer will be familiar with your admissions file. Their goal is to get a sense of who you are and what you’ll bring to the campus community. Be prepared to tell them what’s special about you and why you belong on their campus. Plan to share your passions and talk about what you like to do in your free time. Talk about how you see yourself as a member of their college community.
- Get ready for your interview by reading through the school’s website. The interview is your opportunity to show that you’ve done your homework and also to learn about things that are not available online. Think of a few questions in advance.
- In order to prepare you may want to ask a family member or friend to role play. You’ll be more comfortable with your presentation if you practice. The interview presents you with the chance to bring up anything in your record that you’d like to explain, like a temporary drop in your grades.
- At the interview, remember to present your best self: avoid slang and offensive language, and dress appropriately. Arrive a few minutes early, turn off your cell phone, spit out your gum, shake hands, make eye contact and be confident.
- After the interview, remember to send a thank you note.
Interviews offer a chance for both you and your interviewer to get acquainted and see if this is a good fit. Try to relax, and most importantly, be yourself.