When it comes to the university admissions process, the interview is usually one of the final hurdles a student needs to clear. The interview is particularly important for students who are applying to selective colleges and universities or those that place a heavy emphasis on personal statements, application essays, and other components of the application.
Less selective schools may place less emphasis on interviews, but they can still be crucial because they give you the opportunity to showcase your unique qualities as an individual and show them why you deserve to be given preferential treatment as an incoming student.
If you’re worried about how you’ll do in the admissions interview, rest assured that it doesn’t have to be terrifying. Preparing beforehand can go a long way. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how you can make the most of your admissions interview so that you leave a lasting first impression on your future university.
Know what to expect
The interview will likely last anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. Since they’re short on time, admissions officers will likely jump straight into the interview as soon as you walk into the room. The interview is not meant to scare you or make you feel uncomfortable.
The goal is to learn as much as they can about you as a person and determine if you might be a good fit for the school and vice versa. The interview is usually conducted by 1 or 2 admissions officers, sometimes with the assistance of an admissions representative.
Depending on the type of interview and the school you’re applying to, the interview may be conducted in person or over the phone. Some schools may even conduct interviews via videoconference.
Confirm the interview time and place
Before you show up for the interview, confirm the time and place with the admissions representatives. Not only will the interview itself be smoother if you’re prepared, but it will also help put you at ease if you know exactly what to expect.
If you’re interviewing at a school far away from where you live, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get there. You don’t want to show up late, especially since you might be competing with other students for acceptance.
Prepare ahead of time
There are a couple of things you can do to prepare for the interview ahead of time. First, familiarize yourself with the school. Google the name of the university and read through the information available on the website. This will go a long way toward helping you feel confident. If you have time, also look at the school’s ranking and reviews from current students. Next, think about what you want to talk about during the interview.
Choose a few topics you’d like to discuss and jot down a few thoughts about each one. You don’t want to sound like a robot, but you also don’t want to be at a loss for words. If you’re struggling to think of what to say, you can always ask the admissions officers questions about the school.
This will not only help you get the ball rolling, but it will also show the officers that you’re genuinely interested in the institution.
Many students prefer to take advantage of a professional university admissions tutor. Alongside help with preparation for the interview process, tutors can help to work through the academic side of an admission process, focusing on subject areas that you may need help with in advance. An admissions tutor will work with you to fill your knowledge gaps, giving you the best chance of admissions success.
Dress for success
Some would argue that this is the most important part of the interview. Your outfit and overall appearance can contribute to making or breaking your interview. We know it can be stressful to figure out what to wear, but don’t let it keep you up at night.
Worrying about your outfit is only going to stress you out more and make it harder for you to sleep. Here are a few tips to help you pick out the perfect outfit: Find out what the dress code is for the school, and follow it as closely as possible.
If there is no dress code listed in the admissions materials, ask the admissions department what students are typically wearing. Make sure your outfit is clean and as wrinkle-free as possible. Try to avoid bold colours and patterns. Instead, pick neutral colours that will go with anything.
Try to avoid wearing jeans. While they are casual, they are also too casual for an interview. Instead, wear a knee-length skirt or smart trousers.
Show, don’t just talk about, your passions
During the interview, you’ll want to talk about your hobbies, interests, and any other passions you might have. You want to talk about your passions because they give admissions officers a window into who you are as an individual.
What better way to show that you’re a truly unique person than to talk about what you love? You don’t need to be a world-famous athlete or have won a Nobel Prize to talk about your passions. Although those things are great to have, remember that it’s the small things in life that matter most.
Talking about your passions shows the admissions officers that you are passionate and engaged. These are both qualities that are highly sought after in incoming students.
The interview is one of the final parts of the college admissions process. It allows admissions officers to get to know you better as an individual and determine whether your strengths outweigh your weaknesses. When you walk into the interview, you want to make the best impression possible.
The best way to prepare for the interview is to do your research and practice answering common questions. You want to walk into the interview feeling confident and prepared. When you do, you’ll walk out feeling like you’re one step closer to earning a spot at the school of your dreams.