A college acceptance interview is conducted to learn more about you as a student and if the interviewer believes you would be a good fit for the campus. In some cases, the interviews are not intended to evaluate you but instead are designed to give you more information about the school and campus. While not every college participates in conducting college acceptance interviews, it’s important to be prepared for one in the event that you’ll be called to do one. This is particularly true if you’re applying for prestigious schools, such as ones included in the Ivy League.
The structure of these interviews will vary by the college, with some having alumni conduct the interviews and others having admissions staff asking the questions. Some will require you to set up an interview at the time of submitting your application, while others will reach out to you only if they have further questions. Regardless, you need to be prepared for what may happen when you are called in for your interview.
You can think of your college interview like a job interview if you’ve ever had one. The interviewer will be looking for your honest answers, but there’s a general expectation of what you should be answering. This means that you need to have prepared answers for whatever questions may come your way, but they need to be genuine and not feel like canned responses.
Remember, your interviewer will likely be giving interviews all day, so you’re going to have to put in hard work to make sure your interview is memorable.
To help you prepare for the interview questions that may be asked at your college interview, here’s a list of the seven most difficult interview questions that you’ll need to be prepared for. We’ve even given you tips for how you can go about answering them!
Why Do You Want to Go to School Here?
Although this may seem like an obvious and easy question to answer, the biggest mistake you can make is not taking this question seriously enough. If you answer poorly, the interviewer will likely leave questioning why you even applied to the school or believing that you’re not a good fit for the university. Knowing how to answer this question is two-pronged.
You’ll need to do some soul-searching and consider why you really want to attend the university in question. Maybe they’re world-renowned for the engineering schools and that’s your intended major. If that’s the case, make sure you say that you admire the program and it would be a great opportunity for you to continue your studies at a school with such accolades. Maybe you admire the culture and the steps the university is making in social justice issues or environmental issues. Make sure you mention your admiration for the university’s commitment to causes you believe in and how you believe your interests align, and you’d be honored to study there.
Why Should We Accept Your Application to Our School?
This particular question is one of the most difficult to answer. For many people, it’s terribly difficult to talk about your strengths and achievements because you don’t want to come off as overconfident or cocky. This is particularly true when you may be getting accepted into a college, but other students who are just as qualified as you will be turned down.
You’ll need to remember that your academics, excitement, and drive aren’t unique to a prospective college student. If you answer with those three adjectives, you won’t impress your interviewer. You’ll want to really tap into what makes you unique, and that may require getting personal.
What Will You Bring to Our University?
College isn’t a one-way experience. Colleges are looking for applicants who are selfless and like to give back. If there’s a particular skill set you bring to the table, such as experience working with children with special needs, make sure to mention that you’d like to give back to college’s community by volunteering at the school’s hospital or medical program. You’ll want to think about how whatever you’re passionate about relates to the college’s initiatives. The interviewer is looking for someone who can get excited about a particular issue and commit to taking action on said issue.
What’s Your Most Prominent Weakness?
Similar to the first question, this question here will more than likely be asked during your interview. Though it’s scary to talk about your areas for improvement when you’re interviewing for acceptance to a university, colleges are looking for individuals that are self-aware enough to realize their weaknesses and what they are doing to overcome those weaknesses.
In a sense, it’s a trick question, because the interviewer is looking for you to state what your weakness is and how you work to overcome it. One important thing to remember when answering this question is that you should give a legitimate weakness.
Are You Applying to Other Schools?
This seems like an odd question to ask, but the interviewer is trying to feel you and your desire for the school at which you’re interviewing out. You don’t necessarily have to give specifics about where you’re applying to. In fact, it’s better to talk about the schools in generality, so as to not give up your preferences.
Sometimes, the interviewer is just curious, but other times they’re trying to assess how likely you will be to accept an offer of acceptance to their school. Additionally, be sure to circle back and say what excites you about the school that you’re interviewing at.
What Questions Do You Have for Me?
In the vast majority of college interviews, the interviewer will open the floor up for you to ask him or her questions. Do not say that you don’t have any questions. Additionally, don’t ask any questions that you can find the answer to on the college’s home page. Doing either of these two things will show the interviewer that you don’t really have much interest in the school, even if that’s not true at all. Have three to five questions prepared to ask that are thought-provoking questions. Your interviewer will be impressed at the thought you’ve put into prepping for the interview.