The Do's and Don'ts During a College Interview
Going to college is a life-changing experience. The whole process requires a certain level of preparation. However, college interviews are usually what many students take for granted. You might assume that it's just a requirement to complete your admissions process.
In truth, it's an opportunity to make your case to the admissions staff. They want to see that you have what it takes to be a part of their college. That includes speaking articulately, presenting yourself well, and more.
Follow this short, simple checklist to ace your college interview!
Do Look Your Best
Your appearance will be the first impression you make on the interviewer, so it is essential that you dress appropriately. Avoid wearing anything too flashy or too casual. Business attire is usually preferred.
Make sure your hair is groomed, and you have taken the time to pick out coordinated clothes that fit well. Choose neutral colors, which show that you take the interview process seriously. In addition, avoid wearing any flashy jewelry or makeup. The focus should be on you and your qualifications.
Do Arrive Early
Arriving early for an interview is a must-do. Being early shows that you are organized and eager to make a good impression. It is also important to be aware of the time zone where you are interviewing, as some colleges may be located in a different time zone. It is better to be early than late, but be conscious of policies and guidelines regarding being earlier than the set meeting time.
Do Research the University or School
Doing research on the university or school before applying for college is important for forming a good impression. Knowing about the university’s history, mission, programs of study, and faculty can help you prepare relevant questions and answers during the interview.
Additionally, if possible, make a visit to the campus and connect with current students. This is necessary to get a better understanding of the academics and extracurricular activities available. Being aware of the university's expectations can help you present yourself as a suitable candidate for admission.
On the other hand, do not mention the university’s name without actually knowing about it or talk about the university without researching. It will only give a bad impression to the interviewer.
Do Practice Answering Common Questions
Do practice answering common questions. It is important to take the time to prepare for your college application in order to present yourself in the best light possible. An effective way to do so is to practice answering questions about yourself, such as why you chose the school, why you are the right fit, or what you are looking to get out of the education program.
Furthermore, practice talking about your future goals and ask yourself questions that you think admission officers might ask. By doing so, you could make a great impression on your interviewer and give yourself a better chance of admission. You can also prepare with these tips.
Don't Bring Your Cellphone
A cell phone ringing or even having your phone out and visible could be distracting. It also shows that you are not focusing on the interviewer and the questions they are asking you. A college interview is not the place to be on your phone, as this could lead to a negative impression.
Bring all the important materials you need (resume, portfolio, etc.), but leave your cell phone at home. Not having a phone might be difficult to adjust to, but it helps develop active listening skills and eliminates the temptation of checking your phone. It shows that you are taking the interview seriously, and it helps you focus on the interview and the material you are presenting.
Don't Chew Gum
One of the most important things to remember is not to chew gum during an interview. This is because chewing gum during an interview appears unprofessional. It gives a negative impression of the applicant.
Chewing gum can be distracting, which can draw focus from the conversation, and the interviewer could misinterpret the applicant not taking the interview seriously. Furthermore, the popping and smacking noises from the gum are distracting.
Don't Give Unclear Answers
When participating in a college interview, be sure not to provide unclear answers. This can be a sign that you are not confident and lack the communication skills to articulate yourself.
Therefore, when asked a question, do not give a vague answer that does not provide enough information to demonstrate your understanding of the question. Instead, ensure that each answer is clear and concise and that it adequately provides the information requested.
It is also important to remember to be honest with your answers and provide examples where applicable. Unclear answers often leave the interviewer unsure of your responses and can make them question your true capabilities.
Don't Keep on Glancing at Your Watch
Glancing at your watch inconspicuously implies that you are not interested and are counting down the minutes until the interview is over. This can make the interviewer uncomfortable and make them doubt your enthusiasm for the college or the school’s program that you are applying to.
You should not look at your watch or any other distractions like your phone during the course of the interview. Remember to focus on the interviewer and make eye contact; show that you care about the interview and take it seriously.
Are You Ready to Ace Your College Interview?
College interviews can be daunting, but if you take the time to prepare, you’ll go into the interview with confidence. Make sure to do your research, practice answering questions, and be yourself!
Also, don’t forget to follow up by sending a thank you note and checking in periodically to show your interest. Now that you know the dos and don'ts of a college interview, why not practice and ace it?
Are you interested in learning more tips? Then make sure that you check out more of our articles.