College interview tips for current LHS seniors

With college application deadlines right around the corner, prospective college students must tackle an extensive checklist of responsibilities before applying, including the alumni and admissions officer interview. Though some may see the college interview as one of the most dreaded parts of the application process, a few effective tips might make the experience worthwhile and memorable for both the applicant and the interviewer.

Prior to the interview, make sure to check the website of the particular college to find out the interview deadline for either early or regular decision. Email the alumni or admissions officer to schedule an ideal date for an interview, since usually the college will have interviewers in your area around the time of applying.

When you have a date set, prepare for your interview by first doing the appropriate research on that college. Find out the specific aspects of it that attract you to its campus, whether it be its research opportunities, extracurricular activities, classes, social scene, environment, or any other features that make you want to study there. The interviewer will most likely ask you to talk about certain parts of the school that you find particularly appealing, so be prepared to do so, but don’t try to memorize a script.

“I recommend taking some notes beforehand to make sure you have a general understanding of the college,” said LHS senior Matt Stephens.

Once at the interview, remain calm and take some time to gather your thoughts. Arrive at the interview location 15 minutes earlier to settle down. Shake your interviewer’s hand when greeting them and maintain eye contact so you seem interested at all times yet not too intense. Remember that the interview is less of a serious job interview and more casual like a conversation, so don’t be too nervous going into it. Ask questions periodically; the interview is not only for the interviewer to know more about you as an applicant, but also for you to find out more about the school. Be creative with your answers and stay engaged with what they’re asking. If you are stumped with a question, don’t be afraid to ask him or her to repeat it or simply say that you need more time to think about an in-depth question and will return to it later.

When you’ve reached the end of your interview, shake your interviewer’s hand and ask some last-minute questions about the school. Take his or her business card as a way to contact him or her with any additional questions you have about the school in the future.

The interview is only a small part of the application process as most schools put little emphasis on it regarding its effect on your admission. So, don’t forget to relax and have fun!