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Learn how to ace your college interview

Last updated on July 31st, 2018 at 03:00 pm

Personal interview belongs to the admission process at many colleges–not only at the prestigious one. Are you ready to pass this hurdle?

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, and basically they try to understand whether you are ready to study at their college, 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 college

Q1: Why did you choose our college and not another one?

A1: Show them that they are special in your eyes. You can say that you like their study program (possibly pointing out certain subjects), and the college environment.

You can also praise their reputation (if they have a good one), or anything else that caught your eye on their educational institution.

A research you do before the interview (browsing their website and googling about the school) will help you to come up with good answer to this question.

 

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. 🙂

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

 

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, such as patience, responsibility, good memory, enthusiasm for the subject, 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 do your best to overcome the hurdles and keep going.

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.

 

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

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. 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 reality. Two weeks later, nobody will remember what you said in your college interview… Once there, however, you should do your best topass the interview.

 

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 guy who spends all days watching TV series on their laptop, or hanging out (though most students do exactly that nowadays).

 

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 plans for your future.

 

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 they should also try their best to bring some value to the community of students, teachers and alumni.

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 yet checked the subjects–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?

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, not only yourself.

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 Interviewpenguin.com – Your best career coach since 2011:

  • 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!
  • Body language in an interview – What do your gestures and movements say about you? Can we control our non-verbal communication?
  • What job is right for me? Starting your professional career? Deciding about your studies? Or feeling unhappy in your present occupation? The article should help you to find your true calling in life.
  • College interview tips – Basic advice for the college interviews. Your success does not depend only on your answers to their questions…

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