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About this blog: We are writing this blog to give practical advice to students and parents, to reflect on issues affecting college admissions, and to provide a platform for a robust community discussion on post-secondary choices. We occasionally f...  (More)

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Preparing for college interviews

Uploaded: Sep 28, 2016
(Written by Lori McCormick)

College representatives offer interviews to students prior to submitting their applications. For those of you who are preparing for your interviews, here is a list of questions that interviewers could ask you, as well as questions you could ask the interviewer.

Questions from the Interviewer (to you)
- How would you describe yourself to someone who doesn’t know you?
- What are your academic interests?
- What is one activity you do outside of school that you are proud of?
- What is your favorite subject in high school? What about most challenging? Why?
- What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- What made you decide to apply to (insert name of college)?
- Give me an example of a time you had to make a tough decision. What was the outcome?
- How have you been a leader or displayed leadership?
- Describe a challenge or barrier you have had to overcome?
- What will you contribute to (insert college name) campus community?

Questions for the Interviewer (from you)
- Ask specific questions about the academic programs, or clubs, organizations, housing, etc. that you found most interesting about the college campus – and ask them to elaborate on it.
- I noticed that (insert activity) is offered at (insert college name). Could you please tell me more?
- What types of support and resources are available to students with learning differences? (if applicable)
- What types of support are offered to students for future career, job and internship opportunities?
- What types of emergency preparation has (insert college name) made to keep students safe? (For example, crimes, natural disasters or extreme weather)
- What is it about (insert college name) that you think sets it apart from other colleges? Sometimes the interviewer is an alumnus, so they will be able to provide first-hand accounts)
- As an incoming freshman, what advice would you give to help me settle into college life?

When you are preparing for your interview, the most important thing to remember is to be yourself.

Happy Interviewing!
What is it worth to you?


Posted by SEA_SEELAM REDDY, a resident of College Terrace,
on Oct 2, 2016 at 5:53 am

SEA_SEELAM REDDY is a registered user.

Most important question to ask is:

I plan to go to your college, having to leave my beautiful town, sunny California and my family and friends. Does your institution provide me the inspiration to learn, educate and inspire me to nurture my interest to save the nature, earth, humanity, and society.

If that institution is strong in these areas it is well worth the money and time away from family.

Generally, most institutions are no better than CALTECH, UCB, Stanford, UC Davis, UCSD, Claremont colleges, UCLA. We have some great ones.

Exceptions: MIT, Georgetown, Harvard, U Penn, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Chicago etc.

The ones out of town have to give you clear edge to leave this town.


You are in a rich education focused state. Think many times before you pick other institutions.

Posted by It's All About the FIT, a resident of Woodside,
on Oct 5, 2016 at 10:46 am

As an educator focusing on Higher Education, It is not about the weather, it is not about leaving home, nor is about other peoples' passions. What it IS all about is the fit between the potential student and the institution. Parents frequently are surprised at how adept their college bound children are in finding that special fit. And they are just as apt to say, can we get back in the car, these are not my people.

There are thousands of wonderful colleges in the United States, that might provide a different experience than staying close to home in 'sunny California'. College is a time to expand horizons and experience something new, learn about a new culture, and engage with people in the United States that do and think differently than those tucked away in California. Please don't force students into colleges that adults want them to attend. Let them make their own choices. They are adults now, and it is time for the parents to let the student make the choices.

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