How to prepare for college interview?
I just received a request for a local alumni interview for my first choice school. I’ve heard its a pretty informal meeting with basic questions on my HS experience and college goals. I’ve been practicing with my parents but I'm still pretty nervous! Does anyone know the type of questions they’ll be asking or suggestions on how to prepare?
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I found this article which I think will be helpful for you: https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-prepare-for-your-college-interview/. And I think this link will take you to multiple articles about interviews: https://blog.collegevine.com/category/college-admission/college-interview/. I know it's hard but try not to overthink it too much. A lot of the time the meetings can be fairly informal and like you're just talking to get to know someone and other times they might seem a bit more serious. It's going to depend on the personality of the interviewer you get paired with.
Get ready for the "tell me about yourself" question. Have a general idea of what you're going to say and what you want them to know about you but make sure your answer doesn't sound too rehearsed. Try to avoid just listing accomplishments you've done or rattling off your whole life story. Pick the things you care about in life, the stuff that makes you interesting, and focus on that. Try to come at it with a good attitude and sense of humor. The more genuine you are in the interview the easier it will be for you and you'll come off as a good person to the interviewer.
Also, make sure you arrive a little early. Not too early though in case they have multiple interviews that day. You don't want to make them feel rushed to end the interview before yours early. I'd say anywhere from 5-15 minutes early is probably ideal
Think about it from their perspective. What school are you applying for? If it's a comp. sci. school, assume a lot of the questions will have to do with your prior experience as a coder, and your ability to work with a team. The way I practice for interviews whether it be job interviews, internships, or college interviews in the future, I write one work topics on Popsicle sticks and throw them in a jar. Draw one stick and for one minute talk about this topic. This will help with nerves when having to answer questions.
Practice box breathing to fight your flight/fight response and alleviate nerves. 1) Breath in 5 seconds 2) Breath out 5 seconds 3) Hold for 5 seconds. This is extremely beneficial for me whenever I am nervous.
Assume they will want to understand your personality. They will be asking for your strengths and weaknesses as a person. For this make sure that you know your strengths/weaknesses and avoid the dreaded word "um". Additionally, make sure that your answers to their questions do not contradict previous statements. Interviewers look for holes in your story. This will be extremely detrimental if it happens to you. Keep your story straight.
Be honest, they love honesty. When you're honest, your compassion will show through, talk straight from the heart! Be enthusiastic about your work and let the interviewer know that you are excited for the future and believe you can bring great benefit to their program.
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