The interview is really your opportunity to get to know the institution better, as well as the interviewer to learn more about yourself. Keep in mind that these interviews are conducted by the alumni of the universities, not the admissions officers themselves. So I would assign roughly a 5% weighting to the importance of the interview process – not too important, but can potentially move the needle depending on how you look at it. It’s important that you research interviews and college admission.
The interview scorecard and feedback is one of the last pieces of the puzzle that an admissions officer will look at when on the fence of deciding whether to admit and reject a candidate. So it’s not something the admissions officers take too seriously, though it could sometimes make a difference when they are really on the edge of whether to admit or reject a candidate.
A few tips when going over college interviews:
- Be sincere and exhibit high integrity. I can’t emphasize this enough because the college admissions interviewer will know that you are applying to many universities, not just theirs. Do research on their school. Show that you care about their institution and would be thrilled if offered to attend.
- Tell the interviewer about your academic and extracurricular involvement. Don’t just brag about your accomplishments – tell them why you’ve decided to pursue the activities you did, and what about the subject matter or activity piques your interest. Don’t just read your resume down line by line – it shows you’re just doing this for college admissions.
- Ask the interviewer questions about him or her. An interview is not a one-way street. Certainly, they’re trying to evaluate your candidacy and see how you think and approach the world around you. But keep it a conversation and be natural about it – there’s no need to force in another accomplishment in your responses. Ask the interviewer questions about his or her background.
- Do research on the university. You don’t want to go into the interview cold and discuss generalized points of why you want to attend the university that every other university offers. Show the interviewer you’ve done your research, and feel free to bring a notebook and pen. This isn’t a memorization contest, you simply want to be engaged and thoughtful.
- Write a thank you email after your interview. This is important to show that you are thoughtful, but please avoid being too fawning. It’s very easy to tell when a student is sending an email to kiss upkeep it short, brief, and to the point. Be polite and courteous to your interviewer.
- Be on time or show up a few minutes early. Ah, yes – there are many things that don’t require talent, and being on time is one of them. Show up to the interview a few minutes early and find a seat. Sometimes at Starbucks or Panera Bread, the seats may be taken, so you want to take the initiative and take a spot for yourself and the interviewer.
These are just some suggestions that could help you with your college interview. Relax, breathe, and get a good night’s sleep before. The interview in the US college admissions process, unlike the UK system, is actually very minor. But it could help your candidacy when we’re talking about single-digit acceptance rates, especially for the Ivy League, and you want to perform to the best of your ability. Every edge could help – and hopefully, the interview may give you the boost you need to get accepted.
At AdmissionSight, we’ve helped thousands of students prepare for the interview. Book an initial consultation with us today to find out how we can help you ace your interview.