Truth be told, I have never been involved in a college admission interview. However, this struck me as a fascinating subject, so I called up my local university, was connected to the admission’s office, and ended up talking to the Dean of Admissions’ secretary. Mentioning that I was researching a how-to article about college admission interviews, I was able to find out some great information about what not to talk about during the college admission interview. Incidentally, she also told me some valuable things to discuss during the interview as well.
Don’t talk about:
*Failures or weaknesses without being ready to describe your goals to overcome them. It is useful to think long and hard about your weaknesses before your interview. As you come up with a few, or many in my case, you want to choose the weaknesses that you feel you can say something substantive about. Again, think about goals that you can describe which will help you overcome these problem areas.
*How much you dislike things. A person who is overly derogatory toward schools, people, systems, organizations and leaders comes off as negative and cynical. Colleges want to admit students who intend to work hard and reach high but attainable goals. So don’t be a cynic. Seriously.
*All of your pipe dreams. You do not want to try to impress your interviewer by describing in detail all of the businesses you will start up and all of the countries you will help and so on and so on. You will be asked about your goals, plans and objectives. Interviewers like to ask questions like “Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?” Your answer should be concise and well-thought-out. A bad answer would be, “I’m gonna be so rich from real estate that Donald Trump will pay ME rent.” Simply say where you will be and describe a little of how you intend to get there.
*Religious beliefs (unless you are trying to get into a private, religious college). In most public colleges and universities, it is simply not appropriate to refer any deity in a formal, academic setting. So you actually want to avoid profanity as well.
*Don’t show off. Even if you are really smart and you have truly studied up on the school, do not come off as a haughty person. Be deferential without being obsequious. Be confident without being cocky.
Here are some things to be sure to talk about:
*Often the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. Make sure you have spent some time studying the college or university’s website so you don’t ask dumb questions. Examples of good questions are: “How soon into my college career should I declare a major?” and “What would you say are the characteristics of an ideal student at this college?”
*You may ask the interviewer a few questions about him or herself, if they allow it. Do not get very personal. Try, “How long have you been associated with this University?” and “What aspect about working with this institution do you feel is the most satisfying?”
*Try to draw the interviewer out about successes of the institution. This will show you are interested in being a part of a successful college.
Other than these tips, the rest is up to you. Dress right and men, be sure to shave, and with the right attitude and academic history, you just might be accepted!