College admissions interviews are common at some of the top schools – ranging from Harvard to Princeton. Schools like Stanford have recently started using them, and most Ivy League schools offer them at their admissions offices.
What should I expect in college interviews?
You should expect the following:
-a friendly conversation that focuses on your background, both in high school and general upbringing
-questions about your achievements – which ones you’re most proud of, which you’ve spent the most time on, which you’re most passionate about
-questions about why you want to go to Yale – why did you apply, what do you want to learn while there, what makes Yale different from any other school
How do I do well in college admissions interviews?
First, relax! The worst thing you can do is be too nervous and awkward in your interaction.
You need to:
-build a relationship with the alumni interviewer – that’s BY FAR THE MOST IMPORTANT. Think of them as a somewhat stern Uncle – who you need to make a good impression around but your world will not end if you don’t
-act like an adult. Shake their hand, look them in the eye when talking, thank them for their time at the end and send a followup note or email
-dress well. Wear a nice dress shirt with a tie and khakis. Don’t wear a suit – that goes a little overboard
How important are college admissions interviews to my chances at getting in?
I’d say it accounts for about 10% of the final decision. I discuss college interviews in my guide to Ivy League admissions.
A bad interview won’t ruin your chances, but a great interview can often PUT YOU OVER THE TOP.
This is why campus visits can help, because you’re guaranteed an interview and an opportunity to impress friendly admissions officers. This is also part of planning early to get into the best universities.
Want to attend Ivy League schools? Check out my insider’s course and guide to getting into Harvard, even with a 1360 SAT from a public high school.
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