Prepare for your college interview with this advice

Emily Phuong Tran, Co-Feature Editor

Now that you have submitted your college application, it’s time for interviews! 

Don’t be worried, interviewing is probably the best part of the college admissions process, since you’ll get to talk to real people and show them who you are. Admitted or not, every student I’ve talked to says they had a good interview experience. Interviewers know how daunting interviews can be, and they will try to make you feel comfortable.

The reason behind interviews is to allow colleges to potentially see what they may not be able to in your application. At the end of the interview, your interviewer has to fill out a report about you. Three things can happen: the interview confirms the impression you already gave to the admissions office; the interview reveals new information about you that benefits your application and encourages the admissions office to give you a second look if you were not considered otherwise; the interview reveals new information that casts doubt on your application and discourages your admission. 

As long as your application is genuine, you should not worry about the last part. Think of college interviews as a way for you to learn more about colleges from the people who went there. You might come out of it more or less excited about the school. 

Prior to doing my interview, I wrote a few bullet points for the questions below. Many interviewers will ask some variation of what you see below. Some, like mine, will ask none of the questions, but I still found the preparation to be helpful to get into the right mindset. 

You should also prepare some questions for your interviewer. As they are trying to see if you are a good fit for the school, you should also see if the school is a good fit for you. 


Interview Preparation Questions: 


What are you interested in potentially studying in college?

What’s the most negative experience you ever had in school?

What do you do when you’re not in school?

What’s the last cultural event you went to? What have you done or seen lately?

What high school accomplishment are you most proud of?

Tell me about your family background? Where did you grow up?

What is an example of something difficult you’ve had to go through, or an important event perhaps that took place in your life in the last few years?

Why [university]?

What are three interesting things about you that I wouldn’t know from your application?

What’s an example of an obstacle, a failure or a mistake that you learned from?

What are your academic strengths?

What are your academic weaknesses? How have you addressed them?

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? 

What classes are you interested in at [university]? 


Example questions for interviewers: 

  • What was your favorite course you took at [university]?
  • Which professors did you enjoy?
  • Did you study abroad?
  • Were you in any student organizations? 
  • What courses unrelated to your major did you like?
  • What is a common challenge for [university] students? How do they overcome it?
  • What are the best and worst things about [university]? 
  • What is important for freshmen to know? 
  • What didn’t you expect about [university]?