Interviews may not be the most critical component of the college application process, but applicants shouldn’t overlook them. Some schools, such as public colleges, don’t consider or offer them. However, institutions that conduct holistic reviews of candidates consider interviews. Of course, interviews seldom make up for weaknesses in applications. However, they can boost your prospects.
That said, it should be reiterated that if you come out as abrasive or uninvolved during the session, the procedure could harm your prospects. Certainly, some institutions give weight to interviews and make them available to applicants.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for instance, only accepts about 7.2 percent of candidates who apply to the institution. The college website indicates that choosing to participate in an interview boosts an applicant’s chances by about ten percent.
Being invited for an interview at your preferred university can be exciting but terrifying. You are thrilled that the college is contemplating accepting your application. If you are feeling jittery, the best way to manage nervousness is by preparing. This article summarizes how to make a good impression by answering some commonly asked interview questions.
Question on Why You Have Chosen the Institution
Regardless of the school conducting the interview, be sure to answer the ‘why us’ question. The officials will want to know why you think their institution is the right option for you. They may not ask directly, but there will be an inquiry of this nature. Remember, all colleges want applicants who are inspired to be with them. The best way for assessors to know whether you are the proper fit is through this line of inquiry.
When asked why you have chosen the institution, prove that you have researched the college. Your questioner will be expecting evidence that you have put some thought into the college application procedure and that you have evaluated prospective universities. When answering, tell your audience about the reasons that inform your decision and the key elements that make the college an attractive option. This is the best place to talk about such things as the college’s reputation, professors, culture, and course content.
In the end, your response will depend on the college and preferred program. Also, your abilities, interests, and personality will come into play. If you would love to work with a specific professor during your time in the institution, talk about it. Remember, you can always get professional statement of purpose editing assistance from experts online.
Of course, you could also highlight some non-academic factors that influence your decision, such as extracurricular activities and location. Just ensure that you don’t completely overlook academics. Whichever way you respond to this question, avoid saying you don’t know or indicating that you picked the institution as a second choice.
Here are some tips to help you prepare:
• Research the school and be ready to explain your reasons for applying;
• Prepare ahead of time and print out some key points;
• Present yourself well and don’t act disinterested;
• Demonstrate energy and enthusiasm.
Questions on Why You Have Chosen a Specific Program
This is another common interview question that college students should expect during the admission process. It is intended to determine candidates’ eligibility for specific programs. The question also tells your interviewers whether you are an ideal candidate for a scholarship.
With this question, the assessors are looking to ascertain that you have conducted serious research and understand what the program entails. They also want you to clarify that you have thought about your education and understand what you are searching for. Top colleges want candidates who have seriously considered their career and academic goals.
When responding to the query on why you have picked a specific program:
- Be precise in your reply and give a few clear reasons;
- Don’t replicate the information on the college website;
- Research the classes and programs offered at the institution;
- Talk about alumni or faculty and how they may have influenced your choice;
- Avoid providing generic and ambiguous responses;
- Re-emphasize your interest in the institution.
By asking this question, the college wants to find out what makes you tick. Comprehending why and how you made this important life decision offers a degree of insight into your priorities and decision-making procedure. In terms of wrong responses, avoid indicating that your main reason for picking a program is to make money. You could also talk about what you hope to gain from the program.
Questions on Your Future Plans
Another question you are likely to encounter during college interviews relates to your future plans? This question is somewhat broad and does not require you to detail a specific plan for your life. Instead, consider highlighting the position you would like to be in regarding your education or career.
Does your plan entail enrolling for a postgraduate degree? Or are you looking to be employed in a specific sector? If you intend to acquire the knowledge and skills you need to start your own business, feel free to talk about it. The point of this question is to determine whether the candidate has taken time to think about their future.
Question on the Value You Will Add to the College
How will your presence on campus contribute to the college? Most colleges try to assess what candidates add to their campus communities. The goal is to find the best applicants who fit into the universities’ culture and mission. Some interviewers approach this question directly, while others look for less direct ways of getting the information.
Since this question is very common, you need to prepare for it before your interview. Stay away from responses that relate to data, test scores, or grades. The interviewer can get such information from your resume and transcripts. Also, avoid generic and predictable answers such as being a hard worker or being organized.
Instead, be creative and come up with a unique response. You could, for instance, highlight those unique talents or hobbies that will make you a positive addition to the student body. Since this question asks about the student community, your answer should be related to the student body. Consider those activities you are likely to participate in outside the classroom.
Question on What Makes Your Unique
Colleges receive thousands of applications each year and can only accept a few candidates. When interviewing for college, it is crucial to take every opportunity to impress and stand out. By asking this question, interviewers hope to assess your skills and qualities that make you the ideal candidate. In essence, the admission officials give you a chance to distinguish yourself from others seeking to fill the same slots as you.
In addition to wanting to know what sets you apart from the pool of candidates, interviewers also look to assess what you value most about yourself. The characteristics you highlight when answering this question highlight your key strengths, abilities, and soft skills. The most important insight for answering what makes you unique is being honest and preparing your answer in advance.
Consider the following as you prepare your answer:
- Request feedback from others regarding your unique abilities and strengths;
- Evaluate your background and those skills that make you an ideal candidate;
- Pick specific traits and skills and mention them in your response;
- Relate your response to the program and college.
Question About a Failure or Challenge You Have Overcome
Can you describe a challenge you have overcome in the past? This is a common question that college applicants are asked, and you should expect it during the college interview process. Of course, we all face challenges daily. However, not all of them are worth mentioning during an interview.
By asking about a notable challenge that you managed to overcome, the interviewer is looking for information to help them determine your problem-solving skills. The officials are also seeking to determine your creativity and whether you are a team player. They want to know if you can easily come up with a solution when faced with challenging scenarios. Remember, campus life is filled with hurdles, and only the most organized and creative learners thrive.
To answer this question, start by describing a challenge you faced. You can then present a description of the steps you took to solve the problem. Conclude with the important lessons you learned from the experience and how they helped you grow.
College interviews can be exciting but scary. Preparation is key, which means going through some common questions to expect during the session. Consider why you have chosen the program and do your research. Also, make sure to define your key skills, characteristics, and qualifications.