Acing Your College Interview

Seniors, take a deep breath.  You’re more than halfway through application season! You’ve probably finished most, if not all, of your essays and can now put your focus elsewhere.  For some, this means tackling college interviews. While most colleges do not require interviews, many offer optional interviews with alumni or admission representatives.  These are a great way for the college to put a face to the name on the application, and really humanize the process. Making the effort to interview also shows that you truly care about being accepted to the school.  

College interviews may be your first interview experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ace your interview.  The key is to prepare and practice. Here are a few dos and don’ts to get you started:


  • Arrive on time.

    • Tip:  Before your interview figure out travel logistics.  Find out where the closest parking lot is, how long the walk will be to the admissions office, etc. This information can usually be found on the college’s website or a campus map.

  • Prepare specific questions to ask your interviewer about the school, academic program, etc.

    • Tip:  Look through the website and confirm that your questions cannot be easily answered there.

  • Offer a firm handshake and keep eye contact when greeting your interviewer.

    • Tip: It can take time to develop a firm handshake.  Be sure to practice before the interview.

  • Send a thank you email to the interviewer within 24 hours.

      • Tip: Refer to something you discussed during the interview or had in common with the interviewer.  

  • Be yourself.

    • Tip: While it’s important to practice, don’t practice too much. The goal is to have a comfortable conversation with the interviewer.


  • Dress inappropriately (torn jeans, revealing clothing, too casual, etc.).

  • Slouch or yawn during the interview.

  • Have your phone out or the ringer on.

Have a parent or friend conduct a mock interview to help you develop your interview skills.  It’s also a great time to practice your answers to common college interview questions, such as:

  • Tell me about yourself.

  • Why do you want to attend our college?

  • What can you contribute to our campus?

  • What 3 adjectives best describe you?

  • Why do you want to major in _____?

  • What is your favorite book?

  • What do you like to do for fun?

  • Tell me about a challenge you faced and how you overcame it.

  • What makes you unique?

  • What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now?

  • What do you want to do after graduating college?

  • If you could change 1 thing about your school what would it be?

  • If you had $1,000 to give away what would you do with it?

Simply Admissions is happy to conduct mock interviews with students. Please contact us for more information.