I gave a presentation about preparing for the college interview at Beverly Hills High School yesterday to seniors applying to a pretty tough list of colleges! Most of the 60 students to whom I presented already had their interviews lined up within the next few weeks. Fall is a big interview time, as many Admissions Counselors from east coast schools visit Southern California around this time of year.
I interviewed applicants to Johns Hopkins for 15 years, and consider this to be a strong point in my repertoire. I told the students a little anecdote about a student I worked with a few years back. He applied to Princeton Early Action (non-binding), and when his interviewer contacted him to schedule the interview, we discovered that he (the interviewer/local Princeton alum) was a reporter for the New York Times!
Imagine – having your college interview conducted by someone who interviews people for a living! A little intimidating.
We prepped for several hours, until the student had a very strong idea of what he wanted to tell the interviewer about himself in that college interview. He was deferred in the Early Action round, and he later found out that when the interviewer learned that he had been deferred, he wrote a second letter to the Admissions office encouraging them to accept him. He was accepted in the Regular Decision round.
While interviews are not generally a large part of the admission process – especially when they are with alumni, who are a step removed from the actual admission decision – you never know how much difference a really brilliant college interview can make. Your goal – as with many parts of the college admission process – is to be memorable and likeable in your college interview, helping your interviewer describe you as a perfect fit for their institution.
Here’s our presentation to help you prepare for your college interview: