Does the University of Chicago Interview Everyone?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

two females sit across a table; the one in facing the camera is conducting a college interview with the other female

Does the University of Chicago Interview Everyone?

Embarking on the University of Chicago interview process once meant opening doors to a cherished academic haven. Though this tradition has since ceased, its essence carries forward in the university admissions tapestry. Our upcoming narrative unveils the veil off this once pivotal step at UChicago, broadening the scope to the interview realm in higher education.

We extend an invitation to traverse through this narrative, extracting lessons to fortify your readiness for similar endeavors elsewhere. As we unfold the legacy of these interviews and their modern-day counterparts, we aim to equip you with a robust understanding. The path ahead unveils insights into showcasing your academic and personal narrative in the university admissions journey.

Embracing the Video Profile

The University of Chicago adopts a fresh approach to higher education evaluations, deviating from the often nerve-wracking traditional interview process. Instead, first-year applicants are encouraged to submit a two-minute video introduction as part of their application.

four female students studying inside a room

This innovative method not only replaces the traditional interview but also provides a more relaxed, personable platform for students to genuinely express their personalities, interests, and any other pertinent information that may not be conveyed through standard application documents.

The video doesn’t require extensive rehearsal or editing, embodying a stress-free method for applicants to share their narratives in a personal and authentic manner. This video profile aspect reflects the university’s modern approach to admissions, recognizing the evolving dynamics of communication and personal expression in the digital age.

One significant advantage of the video profile is the unveiling of your authenticity. Unlike the static nature of written documents, a video captures your enthusiasm, tone, and non-verbal cues, which are crucial for effective communication. It’s a chance for your personality to shine through, to share personal stories and aspirations, and to connect with the admissions committee on a more human level.

This medium transforms applicants from mere names on paper to individuals with distinct personalities, stories, and unique attributes they could bring to the University of Chicago community.

Moreover, the video profile nurtures creativity. It provides a canvas for you to visually and audibly express your individuality. You have the liberty to choose the setting, attire, and format that best represents your personality and interests. Whether it’s a simple straight-to-camera talk or a more creative take with varying shots and backdrops, the essence is to create a memorable and engaging narrative.

The geographical flexibility that the video interview process offers is particularly beneficial for international or out-of-state applicants. Traditional barriers of geographical location and the financial implications of travel are eradicated, ensuring that every aspirant, irrespective of their location, has an equal opportunity to make a compelling impression.

Furthermore, the video profile isn’t just a one-off task; it’s a precursor to the digital interactions becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s academic and professional landscapes. It provides a platform for you to practice and become accustomed to a form of communication that is progressively becoming indispensable.

The skills honed during the preparation and execution of the video profile, such as articulation, presentation, and self-reflection, are transferable life skills that would be invaluable as you transition into higher education and eventually into your professional careers.

Creating a compelling video profile may initially seem daunting, but with a bit of preparation, it can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Being authentic, practicing delivering a clear and confident message, keeping it simple yet engaging, and showing enthusiasm for joining the University of Chicago community are key factors that can make your video profile stand out.

In conclusion, the video profile aspect aligns with the digital era while providing a personalized platform for you to share your narratives. It’s a refreshing, modern take on university admissions that fosters a more inclusive and holistic evaluation of prospective students, paving the way for a diverse, dynamic student body that truly reflects the ethos and values of the University of Chicago.

Evaluating Your Video Profile: What Stands Out?

The University of Chicago has modernized its admissions process by embracing a video profile method as part of the University of Chicago interview experience, showcasing a progressive approach to evaluating applicants.

Unlike traditional interview techniques, this video profile emphasizes both articulation and presentation, providing a holistic view of the applicant. It’s not just about what you say; it’s how you say and present it that counts.

Side view at multi-ethnic group of students using laptop while studying in college

As you venture into this unique aspect of the admissions process, it’s crucial to understand what elements might grab the attention of the admissions committee. Here’s a closer look into some aspects that can help your video profile shine:


Being genuine is crucial for creating an engaging video profile. The admissions committee aims to understand the real person behind the application. Expressing your interests, aspirations, and experiences authentically will resonate well with the evaluators. This is your opportunity to showcase genuine enthusiasm for your field of interest or the causes you are passionate about.

The University of Chicago appreciates a diverse community of individuals who stay true to themselves and are motivated to contribute their unique perspectives to the university community.


Clear communication is key to your video profile. Practice enough to ensure your points come across succinctly and coherently. A clear, well-structured narrative will help the admissions committee follow your thoughts easily. Remember, this reflects not just your communication skills but also your ability to organize your thoughts logically and present them understandably.


The video profile is more than a monologue; it’s a platform to engage with the admissions committee. Your enthusiasm for the subjects or extracurricular activities you are passionate about should be evident in how you speak and present yourself. Creating a connection with your audience, making the evaluators feel your passion, and envisioning you as a part of the University of Chicago community are all part of engaging communication.


Your presentation style is a reflection of your personality. While content is crucial, how you present it is equally important. A well-presented video can capture the attention of the admissions committee and make your application memorable.

Elements like the background, attire, lighting, and sound quality all contribute to a good presentation. It’s advisable to keep the setting simple and professional to maintain focus on you and what you are saying.


Although the university doesn’t require an extensively rehearsed video, some level of preparation is necessary to appear confident and articulate. Preparing for this aspect includes organizing your thoughts, practicing your speech for clarity and coherence, and getting familiar with the technical aspects of recording a video. A well-prepared video profile reflects your seriousness and commitment to gaining admission to the university.

Technology Utilization

Effectively utilizing technology can enhance the quality of your video profile. Ensure good video and audio quality to provide a clear, easy-to-follow narrative. Familiarize yourself with basic recording and editing tools to ensure your video appears polished and professional. However, remember that a highly edited or overly produced video is not required. The emphasis should remain on the content and your presentation.


Given the two-minute time frame, being concise and to the point is crucial. Prioritize the key messages you wish to convey and practice articulating them within the allotted time.

Reflecting on the Future

This is also a chance to reflect on what you aim to achieve at the University of Chicago and beyond. Highlighting how the university aligns with your long-term goals can create a compelling narrative.

In essence, the video profile is a multifaceted approach to evaluating applicants. It’s an opportunity to portray a well-rounded picture of who you are, what motivates you, and how you envision your journey at the University of Chicago. Preparing well for this unique aspect can significantly enhance your chances of leaving a memorable impression on the admissions committee.

Resources for Interview Preparation

The University of Chicago has transitioned to a video profile format for undergraduate admissions, yet the importance of solid interview skills remains, especially for graduate applicants. Acquiring good interview skills holds significant value in both academic and professional spheres.

Young diverse friendly girls handshaking

Acknowledging this, the University of Chicago offers resources to aid students in honing their interview skills. One notable resource is the guidance provided by GRADTalk consultants, who offer invaluable assistance through mock interviews and strategy sessions. These services aim to help students communicate confidently during interviews, whether conducted online or in person.

About GRADTalk

GRADTalk is a dedicated service provided by the University of Chicago aimed at improving the communication skills of its students, with a particular focus on preparing for interviews. The consultants at GRADTalk provide guidance on a wide range of communication aspects crucial for successful interviews, tailoring their services to meet the individual needs of students.

Mock Interviews: A Simulated Environment

Mock interviews are a crucial service. They simulate the interview environment, providing students with a safe space to practice and receive feedback. During a mock interview, you will encounter typical interview questions, and your responses will be evaluated for clarity, conciseness, and confidence.

The feedback is constructive, allowing you to understand your strengths and areas for improvement. The realistic simulation alleviates interview anxiety and improves overall performance.

Strategy Sessions: Developing Your Narrative

In strategy sessions, you can work with consultants to develop a coherent and compelling narrative for your interviews. These sessions help identify key experiences and accomplishments that should be highlighted during the interview. It’s crucial to craft a narrative that aligns with the program or position you are applying for, which helps in presenting a focused and well-structured response during the interview.

Online Resources

Beyond personalized assistance, the University of Chicago also provides online resources for interview preparation. You can access webinars, workshops, and a multitude of online materials covering various aspects of the interview process at any time, providing a flexible learning environment.

Peer-to-Peer Practice

The University of Chicago boasts a vibrant and collaborative student community. Engaging with peers for mock interview sessions can also prove beneficial, as it provides diverse perspectives and feedback, enabling well-rounded preparation.

a college debate team talking

Technical Preparedness

In the digital age, many interviews, especially initial rounds, are conducted online. Understanding the technical requirements, ensuring a stable internet connection, and choosing a quiet, well-lit environment for the interview are crucial for success. Guidance on these technical aspects is also provided, ensuring you are well-prepared.

Alumni Interaction

Engaging with alumni who have undergone similar interview processes in the past can provide invaluable insights. Their experiences and advice can serve as a guiding light for you as you prepare for interviews.

Continuous Improvement

Interview preparation is not a one-off task but a continuous journey of improvement. The resources provided aim at instilling a culture of continuous learning and improvement among students.

In summary, although the traditional interview may no longer be a feature of the undergraduate admissions process, the University of Chicago has ensured that students have ample resources to prepare for interviews at the graduate level or beyond.

The comprehensive resources available through GRADTalk consultants and other platforms within the university underscore the institution’s commitment to equipping its students with essential life skills, among which effective communication stands paramount.

Through diligent preparation and utilizing the resources available, students can adeptly navigate the interview process, setting a strong foundation for their academic and professional journey ahead.

Technology: Aiding the University of Chicago Interview Process

The University of Chicago has adeptly integrated technology to maintain engagement with applicants, reflecting a modern and inclusive approach to evaluations. Let’s explore how this integration enhances the admissions process, making it efficient and accessible:

Flexible Platforms:

Applicants can choose any platform to record and upload their video introduction. This removes technical hurdles and reduces anxiety associated with unfamiliar platforms, ensuring the focus remains on the content rather than the technicalities of creating and uploading the video.


The video profile system broadens access, allowing all applicants, regardless of location, an equal chance to present themselves to the admissions committee. This is a boon for international or remote applicants who might find traditional interviews logistically challenging or financially straining.

Efficient Review Process:

The digital format enables the admissions committee to review applications in an organized manner. Unlike traditional interviews, the digital format streamlines the review process, allowing for a more flexible and time-efficient evaluation and ensuring thorough reviews despite a high volume of applications.

Improved Interaction:

Video profiles provide a personal understanding of applicants, offering a richer context than written documents alone. This interaction enables a more comprehensive evaluation, making the process more engaging and insightful.

Technological Preparedness:

Engaging with digital platforms and online presentations is crucial in today’s academic and professional environment. The technological aspect of the admissions process serves as an early introduction to digital tools, preparing applicants for future academic endeavors.

Data Security and Privacy:

With digital adoption comes the responsibility of safeguarding personal information. The university ensures that the platforms used adhere to stringent data security and privacy standards.

Continuous Improvement:

Technology allows for continuous refinement in the admissions process. The university can gather data on the efficiency and effectiveness of the process, making necessary adjustments to ensure it remains robust and relevant.

student girl studying and learning in college library

In summary, the technological shift in the admissions process at the University of Chicago is a progressive step towards a more inclusive, efficient, and modern evaluation platform. This forward-thinking approach aligns with the modern digital era while ensuring a comprehensive and fair evaluation of applicants, setting a precedent for other institutions to follow.

Through diligent preparation and utilization of available resources, you can navigate the admissions process adeptly, laying a strong foundation for your academic and professional journey ahead.

Gleaning Insights from Interview Experiences

Navigating the interview process at a prestigious institution like the University of Chicago often feels like exploring uncharted waters. The unknown nature of the questions, the demeanor of the interviewers, and the overall atmosphere of the interview room can stir nervousness among applicants. However, preparation is a powerful antidote to such anxiety.

Platforms like Glassdoor are a boon in this regard, offering firsthand interview experiences from those who have trod this path before. These shared experiences can serve as a helpful guide for prospective students. Here’s a closer look at how you can use these shared experiences for effective preparation.

Glassdoor, along with other similar platforms, forms a community where individuals share their interview experiences across various institutions, including the University of Chicago. These shared experiences provide insights into the kind of questions asked, the format of the interviews, and the demeanor of the interviewers.

They also often include reflections on what went well and what didn’t, offering a hindsight view that can significantly aid your preparation.

One notable aspect highlighted on these platforms is the nature of the interviews at the University of Chicago. Known for its rigorous academic standards, the institution extends this rigor to its interview process as well. By going through the shared experiences, you can discern whether the interviews are formal or conversational, technical or general, aiding in tailoring your preparation accordingly.

For instance, if the interviews lean more towards a discussion of academic interests and achievements, preparing a narrative about your academic journey and future aspirations would be beneficial.

Moreover, the shared experiences often reveal the types of questions asked. While the questions may vary from one interview to another, having a list of frequently asked questions and preparing answers for them can provide a solid base for the interview.

Beyond the questions, the demeanor of the interviewers is another facet that comes to light through shared experiences. Knowing this can help in setting the right tone for the interview and also in alleviating some of the anxiety associated with the unknown, making the interview room feel less intimidating.

The general sentiment towards the interview process, as shared on these platforms, can also provide a psychological preview of what to expect. If the sentiment is largely positive, it can be motivating. If it’s negative, it’s an opportunity to prepare mentally for a challenging experience, which is better than being caught off-guard.

Furthermore, many shared experiences include reflections on what the interviewees felt went well and what didn’t. This hindsight view is a valuable resource as it provides a perspective on what to focus on during preparation and what pitfalls to avoid.

Lastly, the shared experiences often provide a timeline from the application to the interview and then to the admission decision. This can help in setting realistic expectations and in planning the post-interview period.

In conclusion, platforms that provide insights into interview experiences are an invaluable resource. They offer a realistic preview of what to expect, which can be instrumental in tailoring your preparation accordingly. By delving into these shared experiences, prospective students can equip themselves with a clearer understanding and a better strategy to navigate the interview process effectively.

Benefits of The Video Profile in The University of Chicago Interview Process

The introduction of video profiles in the interview process at the University of Chicago marks a modern, holistic approach to evaluating applicants. This shift caters to a generation adept at digital communication. Here are some key advantages that the video profile brings to the process:

lady in mustard sweater checking her laptop inside a dim room

Personal Touch:

Unlike static written documents, a video profile adds a personal touch to your application, offering a vivid portrayal of the individual behind the paper. It gives the admissions committee a glimpse of your personality, enthusiasm, and communication skills. The nuances of voice modulation, facial expressions, and body language provide a level of personal insight that written documents cannot.

Creative Freedom:

The video profile is a canvas for you to showcase your creativity and uniqueness. It allows you to present yourself in a manner that resonates with your personality and interests. Whether it’s a straightforward narrative or a creatively crafted video, the process of creating video profiles lets you tell your story authentically.

Reduced Stress:

Traditional interviews in formal settings can be nerve-wracking, often stifling your ability to express yourself freely. Video profiles alleviate this stress significantly. You can record in a familiar, comfortable setting at a convenient time, leading to a more authentic interaction.

Broader Representation:

Video profiles allow you to showcase a broader spectrum of your skills, interests, and achievements. You can include visuals or other creative elements for a more comprehensive representation of who you are.

Time Efficiency:

The admissions committee can review video profiles at their convenience, making the process more time-efficient compared to traditional interviews that require scheduling.

Global Accessibility:

With video profiles, applicants worldwide can submit their profiles without the logistical and financial burdens of traveling for an interview. This global accessibility fosters a more diverse applicant pool.

Technological Adaptability:

The use of video profiles reflects technological adaptability, preparing you for a modern academic and professional environment where digital communication is crucial.

Environmental Responsibility:

The digital nature of video profiles reduces the need for physical travel, aligning with environmental sustainability goals.

Enhanced Evaluation:

For the admissions committee, video profiles provide an enhanced evaluation tool. They can replay, pause, and review the video profiles at their own pace, ensuring a thorough evaluation of each applicant.

In conclusion, incorporating video profiles into the interview process is a progressive step. It fosters a more authentic, creative, and inclusive application process, setting a positive tone for your journey at the University of Chicago.


The University of Chicago interview process, with its emphasis on video profiles, is a testament to the university’s progressive approach to adapting to modern evaluation methods. It not only alleviates the stress often associated with traditional interviews but also provides a platform for authentic self-expression, aiding the admissions committee in making well-informed decisions.




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