I gave a presentation 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 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 many 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 – being interviewed for college 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. 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 Admissions 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 interview can make.
I’ve posted the presentation I gave at BHHS below: