College Interview – What Questions Should You Expect?

by Devin Yeo

College interviews are another chance for you to tell the admissions officers more about yourself. You will want to take the interview seriously, because it helps paint a better picture of you as a student.

Although it’s not a good idea to over-prepare yourself for a college interview, you should always anticipate certain questions that interviewers are prone to ask. These questions are designed to find out about your interests and passions. Following are some of interviewers’ favorite questions:

“Why do you want to come to this college?”

This question is to gauge how well you know about the school; i.e your level of interest. Some schools track interest and use it as a criteria for admission, so you’d do well to do research on the school you’re applying to. Read up the college’s literature and website, and tie it with your interests. Mix those with some reasons of your own, like the fact that it has a close-knit student community. If you can give some specific examples, the interviewer is likely to be impressed with your research.

“How would you contribute to this community?”

Colleges want givers. They want people who are able to add life to their campus. So make sure you let them know how you are going to do it. Talk about your skills, your experiences and your contributions. A good tip is to tell them how you plan to give back to the community; whether it’s tutoring fellow classmates in a subject you are strong at, chartering a new community chapter in the campus or sharing your ideas with fellow students.

“Which activities are most meaningful to you?”

Like the essay, you would want to mention activities that are your passions. You want the interviewer to know what makes you tick. But unlike the essay, you can discuss your activities at length without word limits. Resist the temptation to brag though. Talk with a natural style, and if you’re passionate about what you do, it’ll show. Talk about specific anecdotes; interviewers like hearing about personal stories. For example, if you are a music enthusiast, you can talk about your first performance and how you nearly fumbled on stage because you were too nervous. Don’t make up stories though.

“What books have you read lately?”

A lot of applicants think that this is a ‘trap’ question that they must give a book that is either intellectual or have good values. It doesn’t have to be. Just talk about a book you did read. Avoid the usual clich�(c) titles that you read in English class though. Sicne part of the purpost is to gauge your initiative and creactivity, it’s better to pcik a book you found rather than the one assigned to you. Don’t lie about the books you read though; if the interviewer happens to be familiar with a particular book you fabricated, you’ll be in trouble.

In the end, the interviewer wants to know more about you, so just be yourself.

Devin is a college applicant who has researched the complexity of the college admissions process for two years. His acceptances include the honors program at the University of Michigan and Cambridge University in the UK. He runs an admissions website dedicated to helping students in the college admissions process.

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