Preparing for college admissions interviews can feel like a herculean task. When the excitement of going to study abroad begins to sublime, international students begin to wonder what to do. But there’s always a way to put your best foot forward during the interview. With proper planning and preparation, you can go in for an interview with lots of confidence. To help you do that, here are some general tips for preparing for College Admissions Interviews.
1. Dress for Success
As with any interview, make an effort with your appearance. We all know the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” but you’ll definitely leave the impression of not taking things seriously if you show up wearing sweatpants and a novelty t-shirt. We’re not saying you have to go full-out suit and tie, but putting a little forethought into your outfit is a good idea. This is key when preparing for college admissions interviews.
2. Master the Handshake
You can tell a lot about a person by how they shake hands. A firm, assertive shake is best—it shows you mean business and are confident. Beware of going in too strong though, you don’t want to hurt your interviewer! Whatever you do, don’t have a limp dead-fish handshake. Nobody likes those.
3. Prepare Your Answers
As with all interviews, preparation is key. One great way you can prepare for a college interview is by reviewing popular questions. Ask a friend or a parent and go through the questions with you. Let them play the interviewer and you the interviewee. This will give you an idea of what to expect at the interview. Also, by reviewing a large number of questions, you will not be blindsided by what might be asked in the real interview. Prepare for questions like “Why do you want to attend ABC school?” and the likes.
4. Be Original
It’s great to prepare with mock interviews but endeavour not to memorize your answers. It is better to have a natural, flowing conversation with your college interviewer than to give clearly memorized answers. Avoid writing down your responses otherwise so it doesn’t seem like you’re answering verbatim. You can craft an answer through practice without it being the exact same wording every single time.
5. Prepare your own Questions
Towards the end of the interview, you’ll likely be asked if you have any questions. The best answer here is YES! By having two or three questions of your own, you’re demonstrating a real interest in the school plus you’ll get your questions answered.
6. Maintain Eye Contact and Posture
Maintaining eye contact is very important. It shows that you are engaged, present, and interested in the interview. Glancing around the room or looking down implies you’re either distracted or very nervous, both of which can get in the way of the conversation. Additionally, it’s best to sit up straight and avoid fidgeting. Do your best to suppress any nervous ticks.
7. Be Yourself
The point of a college interview is for the college to get to know you as a person. The interviewers have seen your transcripts, scores, and accolades. But they hope to meet the real you through the interview. Be yourself, be honest and personalize your answers.