Northwestern Interview

November 20, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Northwestern Interview

How Do You Get An Interview With Northwestern?

In addition to what the admissions committee can read in your application, the Northwestern interview gives them further information about your potential fit for the school. It also gives you the chance to learn more about the university. However, the interview is not a requirement for applying to Northwestern. To better understand the interview procedure, carefully read the following.

Interview Procedure

Northwestern University has introduced a mixed interview procedure for the 2022–2023 academic year. Although students will have the opportunity to specify on their request form whether they feel comfortable meeting in person, interviews will often be conducted remotely. Some interviews may then be completed in person, depending on the interviewer’s comfort level and availability.

Please be aware that Northwestern does not prefer in-person or virtual interviews over the other; both processes will be taken into consideration equally.

Who carries out interviews?

All off-campus interviews are conducted by regional alumni volunteers on the Alumni Admission Council (AAC), therefore the ability to conduct interviews is dependent on the alumni’s location, availability, and capacity. Before speaking with students, every AAC interviewer goes through a rigorous training process and agrees to abide by a Volunteer Code of Conduct.

Female student having a discussion with an adult in a room.

How can I set up the interview?

Upon applying to Northwestern, you might be curious “How do you get an interview with Northwestern?” All Early and Regular Decision applicants who attend high school in a location with active alumni interviewers will be contacted by the admissions office; watch for an email with instructions on how to arrange a time slot. When there is availability, the coordinators for alumni interviews will accommodate scheduling requests.

What should I anticipate if I opt to interview?

Requests for interviews are granted based on available space. If there is room, alumni interview coordinators will link students who want interviews with alumni volunteers. Your alumni interviewer will get in touch with you by phone or email to arrange a mutually convenient time for the interview.

Expect a conversational atmosphere where you can be yourself, unwind, and both ask and answer questions. You don’t need to prepare any more materials before the interview or submit your interviewer your résumé or any other documents.

Male student talking to man in a room with a table.

It’s not an issue if you are unable to interview as guaranteed by the school. Even though Northwestern has a strong network of alumni volunteers both domestically and overseas, it is unable to conduct interviews with every application.

In addition, you must recognize the following:

  1. Northwestern interview invites are not based on the quality of an application, but rather purely on alumni geography, availability, and capacity.
  2. If you are unable to attend the interview, your application will not be at a disadvantage.

You can be confident that it won’t be taken into account when officers will assess your application if your location or capability prevents you from being invited for an interview. Your participation, writing samples, and letters of recommendation all provide a wealth of knowledge about who you are and what drives you. Many students have been admitted in the past without having to go through an interview.

Northwestern will accept interviews from InitialView for international students who do not have the chance to speak with Northwestern alumni volunteers throughout the interview process. InitialView does not review or rate the interviews, thus a student is not at a disadvantage if they choose not to participate, like alumni interviews. Only members of the admissions committee perform the evaluation, which offers a different viewpoint and extra information on your English language skills, personality, academic interests, and prospective fit for Northwestern.

For the 2022–23 cycle, all InitialView interviews must be finished by November 1 for Early Decision or January 2 for Regular Decision.

What Are the Questions To Expect In A Northwestern Interview?

What are the questions to expect in a Northwestern interview? If you decide to participate in the alumni interview, the questions and subjects may be discussed.

Questions About the Applicant

Inquiry-based questions are used to learn more about you as a person. They could enquire about your high school experience, extracurricular activities, interests, and background or upbringing.

Questions Regarding the Desire to Attend Northwestern

You can be questioned during your interview about your motivation for applying to Northwestern. They might inquire as to what program you applied for and why what groups or extracurriculars you might be interested in joining, and how you intend to engage with Northwestern society.

a female student writing a college essay

Questions About Strengths or Weaknesses

Depending on the situation, your interviewer might or might not ask you about your personal strengths or flaws. They might inquire about your achievements, your path toward self-improvement, or what you see as your greatest strength.

Questions Regarding Future Goals and Aspirations

Your interviewer might inquire about your aims and goals as a result of the conversation’s natural flow. They could inquire about your ideal work and any other long-term objectives you may have.

Possible Questions for the Interviewer

You will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have that a quick Google search cannot resolve. Maybe you are interested in learning more about what it’s like to be a student or what they liked most about Northwestern. You are welcome to enquire about the interviewer’s background and time at Northwestern. Utilizing this information from a past student can assist in providing answers to inquiries that need a more personal perspective.

What Kind Of Students Does Northwestern Look For?

Now that you have an idea about the Northwestern interview, you might wonder “What kind of students does Northwestern look for?”

Northwestern admissions officers search for applicants who challenged themselves in high school and graduated in the top percentage of their class due to the university’s prominence. The academic program at Northwestern is demanding, and they want their students to succeed! The administration at Northwestern has designed the application procedure with certain prerequisites to make sure that candidates are up for the challenge.

Northwestern is viewed as a very competitive institution, regardless of the GPA scale your high school used. Northwestern admissions adhere to their “fit factor” while deciding a student’s application status in addition to considering all official grades, test results, and transcripts. Officers can use this fit factor to dig deeper than test results and discover a student’s application’s actual content.

Test results can be an indication of your dedication, work ethic, and confidence, and Northwestern seeks motivated students. They also desire students who value honesty, community service, and integrity. These are the characteristics they will be looking for on your application since these are the students who belong at Northwestern.

Curiosity and Enthusiasm for Academics

According to Northwestern Admissions, academic work at the university level is unfulfilling without passion. In your application, emphasize the tough coursework, enjoyable projects, novel subjects, and various experiences that piqued your interest to demonstrate your enthusiasm for academic success.

  • Describe a project or assignment when you went above and above just out of curiosity.
  • Has there ever been a time in your academic career that you were especially excited about? What was the subject or class, and are you still as enthusiastic?
  • What is it about Northwestern’s programs that pique your interest in learning and inspire your academic fervor?

Community Engagement

Like every great university, Northwestern aspires to provide for its community and its citizens through its research. Chicago offers a wide range of neighborhoods and communities that could benefit from Northwestern’s expertise; whenever you can, especially during the Northwestern interview, emphasize your commitment to making your neighborhood a better place.

  • In high school, how did you give back to your neighborhood?
  • How do you expect to improve your community with your educational background and job path?
  • Should you get accepted to Northwestern, how do you plan to serve Chicago, and how will you bring that into the world when you graduate?

Openness to Personal Characteristics

Too many college admission teams don’t spend enough time getting to know the tiny details about their applicants, and this is one aspect of the admissions process that sets Northwestern apart. Northwestern admission is a firm believer in simplicity.

Three students talking in a bright room full of school materials.

When you’re in college application mode, it’s simple to develop tunnel vision. It appears all you can think about while writing your essays is academic language and test results. Take a step back when completing your Northwestern application, and allow the subtle details that define you to come through.

  • What do you think are your advantages and disadvantages? (These could be anything; perhaps you excel at arithmetic or wish you were better at a certain sport or activity like basketball, yoga, or painting. Get imaginative!)
  • What do you enjoy doing the most by yourself?
  • What is a societal injustice about which you are very passionate? (Consider topics related to contemporary cultural moment: politics, the environment, or even a health and wellness issue.)

Growth at Northwestern

The main thing Northwestern will be searching for on your application is the reason(s) you originally decided to attend their university. You’ll be well on your way to submitting an engaging application if you keep making connections between what you have to offer and what Northwestern can do for you.

  • Why do you consider Northwestern to be your ideal university?
  • What does “thriving” mean to you, and how may Northwestern’s campus help you achieve this standard of living?
  • What courses, organizations, or extracurricular activities at Northwestern most excite you?

Does the Northwestern Alumni Interview Matter?

Northwestern interviews are an optional element to your application for admission and are not required. Northwestern’s regional Alumni Admission Council (AAC), with locations around the country and abroad, conducts all interviews off-campus. Again, remember that Northwestern University does not conduct interviews on campus.

Female student holding a folder in a room with her classmates.

Given that the Northwestern interview is not required, does the Northwestern alumni interview matter? Interviews with alumni provide applicants the chance to hear from alumni/us about what it’s like to attend Northwestern as a student.  As discussed earlier, the school is unable to offer interviews to all applicants due to the restricted number of alumni volunteers. Because interviews are not a necessary part of the application, candidates who cannot or do not wish to participate in an interview are not disadvantaged in the admissions process.

Meanwhile, it is highly encouraged that you take the offer for an interview if you can. You should take advantage of the interview with the institution for several reasons:

  1. You are demonstrating your sincerity and want to learn more about the college when you make the time to meet with a college representative. Additionally, since you choose to interview, the college is more likely to admit you because you are more likely to accept their offer. In essence, the interview is a chance for you to showcase your shown interest, which many institutions consider when deciding who gets into their programs.
  2. You can discover more during the interview. Finding the right college for you is more important than finding the top school in terms of college admissions success. You may learn a lot about a college and determine if it’s a good fit for your personality and interests by scheduling an interview. You’ll almost always have the chance to ask questions during the interview, so make the most of it.
  3. The interview gives the college a chance to put a face to data. Put yourself in the admissions staff’s position. To decide who gets in, they can use a variety of transcripts and test results. If they meet you in person, you will be more than just a face to them. Use your interview to present a detailed picture of your personality and interests because all highly selective universities use a holistic admissions process. In an interview, it can be far simpler to show off your enthusiasm, curiosity, idiosyncrasies, and sense of humor than it is in a written application.

How Do I Prepare For A Northwestern Interview?

An engaging college interview demands planning and energy. Even though an interview does not ensure admission, it can help you demonstrate why you should be admitted. The lack of preparation for interviews among many candidates frequently surprises college interviewers. Of course, you wouldn’t want to be one of them. So, to answer “How do I prepare for a Northwestern Interview?” review these suggestions as your Northwestern interview draws near and get ready.

  • Examine the institution. You should be prepared to discuss your application’s rationale. Prepare specific examples of the things about the school that you enjoy and would like to experience.
  • Get ready in advance. Print out the interview location’s directions. Review the information you provided on your college application. Prepare your laptop computer, headset, internet connection or any other devices to be used if it’s a virtual interview. Make a list of your inquiries. Do not ask anyone to come along or to move around near your interview is (if virtual).
  • Show yourself off appropriately. Put on a clean, conservative look. T-shirts and jeans are not permitted. Get there a little early or login into the interview link at least 10 minutes before it starts. Smile and be courteous. Speak naturally without using slang or profanity.
  • Bring your resume or list of activities. This will lead to several inquiries that provide you the chance to highlight your skills and accomplishments.
  • Be enthusiastic and contain your energy. You will have the opportunity to discuss why you wish to attend this college during the interview. Be sure to convey your enthusiasm in your responses. Be energetic throughout the interview however, be careful not to overstep your bounds as the one being interviewed.
  • Be prepared for common interview questions. You will be asked to define yourself and the contribution you plan to make to the college by many interviewers. In both instances, be as descriptive as you can and give striking examples of your special skills.
  • After each question, speak for at least a minute or two. If you are stumped, request further clarification on the question. In your response, be as firm and positive as you can.
  • Remember to ask questions. This demonstrates your genuine interest in the college and is expected by interviewers. Ask questions that demonstrate your research skills. For instance, inquire about a course of study that interests you.

Taking the Northwestern interview or from any institution is generally to your advantage. When making crucial selections about which college to attend, you will gain more knowledge about the school, and the admissions staff will be more confident in your interest in their institution. Remember that picking a college is often a four-year commitment that will impact the rest of your life.

If you need assistance in choosing which college is for you or regarding the admissions process, feel free to contact AdmissionSight. Connect with our experts and discuss programs and services at AdmissionSight that could help you with your application. Set up an initial consultation with us today.

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