Last updated on March 20th, 2020 at 07:24 am

Personal interview belongs to the admission process at many colleges–not only at the prestigious ones.

The members of the admission committee try to understand more about your personality, your motivation to study, the reasons why you chose their college, and also about the value you can bring to the community of students and teachers–if they decide to accept your application.

The people in the interviewing panel also try to assess your soft skills, trustworthiness, maturity. Basically they try to understand whether you are ready to study, and to successfully graduate a few years later. Let’s have a look at the questions they typically use in this interview.


Ten questions you will often deal with in an interview at a college

Two nice and young students are preparing for their interview at the college together. We can see them studying a paper, and smiling. They have a good time together. Q1: Why did you choose our college and not another one?

A1: They should feel special after your answer. You can say that you like their study program (possibly pointing out certain subjects from the curriculum), or the college environment (nice campus, great library, etc).

You can also praise their reputation (if they have a good one, of course), or anything else that caught your eye on their school and study program.


Q2: Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

A2: You should mention something that relates to the study program you apply for. It can be the occupation their graduates typically have–pharmacists, after graduating from pharmacy, managers, after graduating from business and management, etc.

Alternatively you can say that you plan to start your own business in the field, or you can go with some worthy goal, such as working for one of the non-profit organizations, or helping to save the world–quite a popular topic recently :).

Show them that you have some goals, and that your studies with them will help you to reach them.


Q3: If you shall characterize yourself as a student, what would you say?

A3: While it is good to list some strengths that help people with their studies–patience, responsibility, good memory, enthusiasm for the subject of study, passion for reading, etc; a bit of humility will also help you in this interview.

You can say them that you struggle with some subjects, or perhaps even with motivation, but always try your best to overcome the crisis and continue.

The goal is to show them that you enjoy studying, that you do not go to school just becasue your family expects it from you, or just becasue everyone else goes to school.


Q4: What value can you bring to our student community?

Student shake hands with the member of an admission committee , at the end of a successful interview. A4: At the end of the day, everyone minds their own business. You can say that you would like to participate in various competitions–if they give you a chance to participate and represent the school.

You can also say that you plan to organize some events for fellow students, or perhaps plan to become a resident assistant (* check the interview questions fro RA if this is your goal).

Try to think about your answer for a few minutes, and find something you can do for other students.

Of course, your promises do not have to turn true. Two weeks later, nobody will remember what you said in your college interview… Once there, however, you should do your best to pass it and get an admission.


Q5: What do you plan to do in your free time, while studying at the college?

A5: You can say that you would like to explore the area, enjoy the city, and maybe get some part time job. Or you can say that you’d do sports, and devote yourself to studies.

One way or another, the key is to show them that you are not a lazy fellow who spends all days watching series on their laptop, or hanging out (though most students do exactly that nowadays).

Special Tip: Download a full list of questions in a simple, one-page long .PDF, and practice your interview answers anytime later, even when offline:

full list of questions, PDF


Q6: What do you wish to do after your graduation?

A6: You can either say that you would like to get a job (one that relates to the study program), or pursue your academic career, perhaps at the same school.

Another alternative is a freelancing career, or even starting your own business. One way or another, you should convince them that you have some plan for your future–even a very uncertain one…

* Which college is yours? Learn how to answer the questions particular for each interview:




Q7: If you shall characterize a great student at this college, what would you say about them?

A7: You can start with saying that a great student should enjoy the subjects they study, devote their time and energy to studies, and that they should also try their best to bring some value back to the community of students and teachers.

The key is to show the members of the admission committee that you do not think only about yourself, but have the well-being of other members of the community on your mind.


Q8: What subjects from our study program do you like the most?

A8. Just do not say that you have not checked the subjects yet–that would be a bad answer. You should rather mention one or two subjects, and tell them how they relate to your values, or to your hobbies and personal interests.

You can elaborate on your answer, saying that you understand the importance of each part of the curriculum, and look forward to everything that awaits you at the college.


Q9: What do you consider your biggest success so far?

Girl sits on a white chair, waiting for her college interview to start.A9: At this point you can speak about anything you achieved, either in personal or in professional life. The best successes, however, are those that relate to a well-being of a bigger community.

Of course you are young, and maybe you have not done anything of this kind before. Feel free to talk about your personal achievements then, such as graduating from high school, winning some competitions, overcoming a difficult period in your personal life, etc.

Show them the lessons you learned in your successes (or failures), and how they helped you to mature and to get ready for your studies, and your professional career.


Q10: Do you have any idol?

A10: Not much to advise here. Just do not say a name of a criminal “hero”, or of a rock star. 🙂 Otherwise you should be fine!

Ready to ace your college interview? Not yet? Continue your preparation with – Your best career coach since 2011:

  • Body language in an interview – What do your gestures and movements say about you? Can we control our non-verbal communication?
  • How to overcome interview nerves? Our simple guide will help you to calm down and deliver your best in your college interview.
  • College interview tips – Basic advice for the college interviews. Your success does not depend only on your answers to their questions
  • Interview Success Package – Brilliant answers to thirty most common interview questions, and a guide on how to win the hearts of your interviewers. The one and only product you need to succeed in both your college interview, and job interview. Get it now, and benefit from having it in your entire professional career!

Matthew Chulaw

Matthew has been working in international recruitment since 2008. He helps job seekers from all walks of life to pursue their career goals, and to prepare for their interviews. He is the founder of website.
Matthew Chulaw

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