Caltech Interview

November 22, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Caltech Interview

How Do You Get An Interview With Caltech?

How do you get an interview with Caltech? There is no Caltech interview offered for undergraduates. The most effective way to establish a personal connection with an admissions officer is through your writings and teacher recommendations.

Apart from the required and optional essays, you should also concentrate on gaining good teacher recommendations in place of a Caltech interview. This can assist Caltech to understand who you are outside of the classroom and how you might fit in on their campus. One recommendation from a math or scientific instructor and one from a humanities or social science teacher is required by Caltech. These instructor ratings assist the admissions committee to learn more about you, much like a Caltech interview would.

You may additionally submit up to two additional recommendations from mentors or supervisors in addition to the two necessary instructor evaluations. These assessments can also draw attention to your distinctive character and interests, much to how you might do so in a Caltech interview.

College professor talking to a student in a room next to a computer.

These additional assessments ought to come from acquaintances you know from a different field. For instance, you could request a recommendation from your summer internship’s old boss regarding your leadership abilities and work ethic. You might also get a description of your church’s service initiatives from your youth pastor. Like a Caltech interview, these evaluations can make you stand out from the competition.

What then ought to be evaluated in these assessments? Here are some suggestions:

  • Personal achievements (both in and outside of the classroom)
  • Participation in extracurricular activities
  • Proven leadership abilities
  • Interests and talents
  • Special skills

Like how a Caltech interview would help the admissions committee understand more about you, these evaluations assist Caltech in understanding your interests, kind of learner, and contribution to their community.

What Are the Questions To Expect In A Caltech Interview?

What are the questions to expect in a Caltech interview? As discussed earlier, applicants are not given the opportunity for a Caltech interview. Thus, make sure to invest enough time and energy toward the Caltech-required and optional essays.

View of a philosophy teacher discussing in a room.

Caltech supplemental essays for 2022-2023 are as follows:

Caltech’s Required Academic Question

Because of the rigorous core course curriculum, Caltech students don’t declare a major until the end of their first year. However, some students arrive knowing which academic fields and areas already most excite them, or which novel fields and areas they most want to explore. If you had to choose an area of interest or two today, what would you choose? Why did you choose that area of interest? (Max: 200 words)

Caltech’s Required Short Answer Questions

  • At Caltech, we investigate some of the most challenging, fundamental problems in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Identify and describe two STEM-related experiences from your high school years, either in or out of the classroom, and tell us how and why they activated your curiosity. What about them made you want to learn more and explore further? (Min: 100/Max: 200 words for each experience)
  • The creativity, inventiveness, and innovation of Caltech’s students, faculty, and researchers have won Nobel Prizes and put rovers on Mars, but Techers also imagine smaller-scale innovations every day, from new ways to design solar cells to 3D printing dorm decor. How have you been an innovator in your own life? (Min: 200 / Max: 250)
  • The process of discovery is best advanced when people from diverse backgrounds come together to solve the greatest challenges in their fields. How do your past experiences and present-day perspectives inform who you have become and how you navigate the world? (Min: 200 / Max: 250)

Caltech’s Optional Short Answer Questions

  • If there are aspects of your identity that you feel are not captured elsewhere in this application, please provide that information below. (Max: 150 words)
  • When not surveying the stars, peering through microscopes, or running through marathons of coding, Caltech students pursue an eclectic array of interests that range from speed-cubing to participating in varsity athletics to reading romance novels. What is a favorite interest or hobby and why does it bring you joy? (Max: 100 words)
  • Did you have a hard time narrowing it down to just one interest or hobby? We understand – Caltech students like to stay busy, too – tell us about another hobby or interest! (Max: 50 words)

On its website, Caltech notes that its application evaluation process is “more of an art than a science,” which may come as a surprise to some. “You are more than a GPA and a set of test scores,” the admissions team emphasizes. The officers read every application and every essay to get a feel of who you are and decide whether you would be a good fit for Caltech. The university suggests that you take your time writing the answer to these essays.

What Kind Of Students Does Caltech Look For?

Based on a variety of variables, the California Institute of Technology decides whether you will be a suitable fit for the school. Your high school grades and the courses you are taking are significant. But other crucial characteristics are considered. It is the responsibility of the admissions officers to position you for success.

A female is shaking hands with another female

So, what kind of students does Caltech look for? Caltech looks for the following qualities in a candidate before admitting them:

Passion For Math

Math will be involved. A lot. It serves as the basis for each course at Caltech. Higher-level mathematics calls for critical thinking and problem-solving abilities that the school value highly. And when they become experts in the field, Caltech wants students to be eager to dive into the weeds. You won’t be satisfied there if your goal is to just breeze through your mandatory math courses to get to your major.

A Love For Physics And Chemistry

Most revolutionary developments in science and technology include physics and chemistry to some extent. The core curriculum at Caltech will immerse you in the fundamental sciences, humanities, and social sciences well before you dive headfirst into your major.

Appreciation For the Social Sciences And Humanities

More than just arithmetic is covered in the first-year student’s core curriculum. The humanities and social sciences need just as much writing and analysis-heavy homework in your first year, with more coursework needed in each of the years that follow. Every autumn, 82% of undergrads sign up for HSS courses. Why? Caltech wants to ensure that you can think critically, refine your problem-solving skills, write well, and articulate yourself in these courses and in your future research activities even while you are knee-deep in a challenging problem set.


Thomas Edison said that all his unsuccessful attempts to create the lightbulb were not failures—he had merely discovered 10,000 different approaches that didn’t work. Professors at Caltech anticipate that you’ll quickly find yourself in over your head. So, you may share with Caltech: Are you likely to fold your tent when faced with a seemingly insurmountable issue set? or push through?

Cooperative Attitude

An introvert is possible. But if you come here expecting to always be able to handle things on your own, you will not succeed. The majors here are team sports, including engineering, geoscience, chemistry, computation, and neural systems.

The whole Caltech experience is based on students working together in small groups: Blending diverse viewpoints is beneficial for your living arrangements (most students live in on-campus housing for four years), the problem sets you will tackle, and the interdisciplinary research you will do.


At the nexus of creativity and curiosity is Caltech. Techies have a variety of features, but the way they combine them could be the most common. For its own sake, you want to understand how things operate. You don’t enjoy going back on beaten pathways.

Even if you don’t have a North Star, your research may be motivated by this desire to find new ways to aim for it. You can get there with the help of a Caltech education, which will allow you to forge and travel your own special route to creativity and discovery.

Single-Minded Dedication

Do you know who Alex Honnold is? He is a rock climber who has down some of the most difficult cliffs in the world without the use of ropes. He ultimately succeeds in doing what other top climbers might hesitate to do. Like Alex, techies lack the inner voice that tells them when enough is enough. The result? You will affect global change. However, you will give up a lot of sleep along the way as well as a simpler route.

A Way of Release

You don’t need to claim to be “well-rounded” because the school already knows how much you adore STEM. And while academic ability and commitment are given, occasionally putting all your attention into something else might be refreshing.

Caltech discovered that self-care is crucial, as is having a safe place to go when things get too much. The officers want to know about the extracurricular activities you’re passionate about, whether they entail athletics, theater, music, art, speedcubing, or something else.

View of students sitting on their desk in a classroom.

There is no one “kind” of Caltech student; rather, there is strength in the diversity of experiences and viewpoints. Our admissions evaluation procedure is student-centered and created to give each applicant personalized attention. Caltech utilizes Committee-Based Evaluation (CBE) to ensure that each application is thoroughly examined while considering the applicant’s particular educational and personal history.

Does the Caltech Alumni Interview Matter?

Does the Caltech alumni interview matter? Since applicants do not have a chance to present themselves through a Caltech interview, they are required to answer additional college-specific prompts when applying to Caltech in addition to the personal statement on the Common App, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application. Additionally, Caltech provides three optional prompts.

View of two people talking while sitting.

The supplemental essays are the section of your application where you can demonstrate that you are more than simply grades, test scores, and a list of activities, so you should view them as your chance to stand out since Caltech admissions are incredibly competitive.

In addition, teacher endorsements are “extremely essential,” according to Caltech. That implies you should start building ties with your teachers as soon as you start your academic career, while typically, you should contact the teachers you had in your senior year of high school. You should also take some time to think about who is most qualified to speak highly of both your character and intellectual talents.

Since there are relatively few students enrolled at Caltech overall, admissions are very important to the school. The community of Caltech prides itself on being “fully immersed in inclusivity, concern, and collaboration.” Therefore, in place of a Caltech interview, utilize the Caltech essays and request for strong recommendations from your teachers to explain how you will uphold these ideals as a member of the Caltech community.

If you are applying for other schools that offer an interview, you should grab the opportunity. Even while most schools’ admissions committees do not give college interviews as much weight as other aspects of your application, they are nonetheless considered. Although the interviews are frequently described as “recommended,” you should think of them as “necessary” because they can improve your chances of being accepted into highly selective programs. So be sure to accept their invitation if you want to show that you are a strong applicant.

How Do I Prepare For A Caltech Interview?

Applicants would be extremely busy in admissions season and would most probably panic. “How do I prepare for a Caltech Interview?” this question might have crossed your mind multiple times already. The good thing is you don’t need to worry about the Caltech interview since it is not offered for undergraduates. You can focus on crafting the best college essays now.

Here is a list of general pointers for answering the Caltech Questions:

  • Be genuine. These pieces should demonstrate your true voice. One method to stand out is to just be yourself because many students will be more concerned with attempting to impress admissions officers than they will be with giving truthful answers.
  • Be precise. Including specific, insightful facts is another method to create articles that readers will remember. Avoid providing the same broad, generic responses that admissions staff will read repeatedly. You’ll stand out more if you’re more specific.
  • Display enthusiasm. Passion for science, technology, mathematics, and/or engineering is one of Caltech’s primary prerequisites. Don’t be afraid to “geek out” a little in your writings and demonstrate this excitement. You should also show a passion for learning and exploration.
  • Be introspective. If you think your contribution to Caltech will be evident, explain it to the admissions committee. Relate your answers to the contributions you will make to the Caltech community, labs, and classes. Give clear instances of your actions and how they will benefit the university.

College interviews are typically used by institutions to learn more about applicants than is provided in the activities area of the standard application or the college essay. Interviews give admissions committees more insight into the personalities, motives, and interests of potential students. They are a practical approach for assessors to observe how pupils behave and carry themselves in conversation. It’s important to prepare in advance and search for the do’s and don’ts of college interview preparation.

Furthermore, seeking a professional’s advice would be the best strategy for improving your chances for admission. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process to get accepted to the top universities in the world. On average, 75% of our students are admitted to an Ivy League university, Stanford, MIT, UChicago, and Caltech, one of the highest track records in the industry. Feel free to set up an appointment today to book your initial consultation.


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