How to Prepare For a US University Admission Interview

A lot of colleges will encourage you to meet with an admissions representative or an alumnus in the application process for college, whether on campuses, within your community, or via the internet. The interview provides the college that you’re applying to an opportunity to review you and decide whether or not to accept you for admission (although they’ll be more concerned with your grades, test scores, as well as your college essays). But your college interview isn’t as intimidating if you know what you can anticipate.

Most of the time, an interview won’t be a major factor in your college admission. However, if you do organize an interview, you should make sure you take it seriously. This is a chance to display the unique qualities you have to offer to your college. Tell them about the things that the typical application does not allow you to discuss and develop a strong connection with admissions gatekeepers. In this post, I go about some frequently asked college interview questions that you should be prepared for. I discuss the reason you’re asked these questions and then how to give great answers. Additionally, I’ll give you some general advice that will assist you in getting ready for your big day.

College interview preparation College interview preparation


A Short Introduction to College Interviews

An interview at a college gives a college a chance to provide more details about the institution and also answer your questions. In addition, it gives the school an opportunity to meet the person who is behind the paper and discover more about your hobbies and what you’ll bring to the campus.

In reality, only a handful of schools have interviews in addition to essays. Do not hesitate to read how to write an admission essay with examples. Most schools that do have interviews have the option of having them optional or suggested. They are usually very selective private schools or smaller ones, including Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth. Many of the major public universities don’t even allow interviews because there are numerous applicants.

If you’re given the possibility of being interviewed, make sure you do it. It’s in your best interest to seize the opportunity to be interviewed since it shows you’re truly interested in the school, which could improve your chances of acceptance. Furthermore, it provides you with the opportunity to provide the school with more about you than you would have been able to add in your Common App.

Don’t stress about an interview for too long, however. It’s more like a pleasant conversation than an interview for a job. If you’re polite and attentive, as well as prepared, this will only increase your chances of being accepted. The interview also gives you a chance to find out more about the school and will help you determine whether it would be the right match for you.


Top College Interview Tips

Make sure you ask specific questions. Do not inquire about questions that are readily found on the school web pages – it can make it appear like you’ve not done your homework. Make sure you come up with questions that only a person who attended the school is able to answer.

Practice loads. Practice makes perfect: the longer you work on your answers, the more natural and comfortable you’ll appear when you’re in the real world. Set up a table with your family, friends, or a college counselor and ask them to ask you the best interview questions. Be honest and professional in your responses. After that, ask the interviewer what you think you did. You’ll also feel more confident and more proficient following each college interview. To prepare better, write an essay about yourself beforehand. Ensure that you record any intriguing questions that you were asked, as they might come into later interviews.

Be yourself. The most important factor in being accepted is to find the college that best suits your needs. You must be authentic in order for the interviewer to know what you’d bring to the community of the campus. Before interviewing, consider what makes the school appealing to the applicant, what you’ll contribute to your school’s community, and the things you’d like to learn.

But remain your best self. Be yourself: show the interviewer that you are your best self, that side of you that’s professional, well-mannered, mature, and confident. Don’t arrive tardy or in poor dress, and these are all likely to influence the impression that an interviewer gets of you. Dress in a way that makes you feel at ease and confident. Remember that the interviewer would like the interview to go well!

Don’t worry about the duration. Interviews typically last from 30 to 60 minutes. However, there are some that last fifteen minutes. Before you go to yours, look online and determine how long they normally last. While it’s often the case that longer interview times can be an indication that they’re running smoothly, it’s important to remember that the majority of on-campus interview times are scheduled back-to-back as well as off-campus and online interviewing is generally conducted by graduates who work as professionals and therefore, they are usually on busy schedules. 

Thank the interviewer. Send a message of appreciation following the interview. If you have something from the interview that was beneficial to you, tell the interviewer. Reminisce about your best moments and chats. If you had a connection with your interviewer via the course of a sport, book or hobby, or even a common event, remind them! In other cases, simply communicating your ongoing interest in the institution and thanking them for having the time to talk with you will be a big help.


The Most Common College Interview Questions

The questions I’m naming and describing are the most commonly asked questions my coworkers as well as I were asked during our admissions process. If you’re able to answer these questions, you’ll be capable of answering a variety of similar questions if you prepare for them.

Following each question, I’ll go over the reasons the college is asking them and what they’re looking for in the response, and the best way to prepare for the test prior to the time.

Question 1: Tell Me About Yourself

This is probably the toughest and most anxious test for students because it’s quite difficult to speak about yourself with no preparation. Because it’s so broad, it can be difficult to find the right place to start.

The reason they’re asking: Colleges want this information since they wish to learn what they can about you. This also lets them know about your interests and lets them steer the conversation to a subject that you are interested in.

What they’re seeking: You have to make your application stand out and differentiate yourself from other applicants. It is important to avoid clichés or descriptions that are too general. For instance, don’t simply declare that you’re a hard worker – discuss what has led you to be the person that you are and the reason you think it’s crucial. When you talk about your hobbies and interests, you can provide the interviewer with additional questions to inquire about. The interviewer wants the conversation to feel as natural as it can be and doesn’t have a specific script they must follow. My experience has shown that both the interviewer as well as the interviewee have the most natural conversations when discussing shared hobbies like music or sports.

How to prepare: Practice how you will answer the question. Discuss your hobbies, interests, and passions. Ask your acquaintances how they would describe your personality and what they admire about your personality. This can be used to have a chance to talk about interesting experiences in your life, like when you were a child and lived in a variety of nations. Most importantly, you’re looking to be remembered.

Question 2: Why Are You Interested In This College?

The reason they’re asking: Colleges want to know that you’re taking the application seriously and that you really want to attend the college.

What they’re seeking: You should discuss your desire to pursue the academic or major you are interested in as well as the value of the culture of the college, extracurricular activities that brought you to the school, and the unique characteristics that only this particular college has. It is essential to be exact and precise – be prepared to provide examples. Do not talk about prestige or rankings. Don’t tell people that you’re planning to attend due to its location or climate. None of this is a genuine reason to be interested in the particular college.

What to do: In order to succeed in answering this question, it is necessary to conduct extensive research about colleges prior to your interview.

Question 3: Why Do You Want to Major in …?

If, during the application process, you were asked which field you’d like to specialize in, you could be asked about your reasons for being attracted to that specific subject.

What’s the reason? Colleges are looking into your academic goals as well as what they want to know about your academic attraction. They’re also looking to know the reasons behind your decision and the reason you chose to study this particular topic.

What they’re searching for: Explain the reasons why a particular subject is inspiring you or makes you enthusiastic about it. Don’t mention that you’re studying an academic field in order to make lots of money or to have work security. This doesn’t show any real interest in your studies and appears shallow. Don’t say that you’d like to be a doctor due to the possibility of a high salary, and say you’d like to spend your entire life helping individuals and helping to make the world better.

What to do? Think about what aspects of the subject you’re interested in have inspired you to study the degree you’re interested in. What is it that you find interesting? What experiences from this field sparked your interest in this field? What can a degree from the field allow you to achieve your career goals in the future?


To find out more about Ampla Education’s interview coachingtest preparation courses and university application services, contact us at


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