Application Process: Interviews

Most of the top universities try to interview their applicants.  Interviews are most often done by volunteer alumni.  They are busy people and so you need to accommodate their schedules, not the other way around.  When an interviewer makes contact with you, ask if they need any documentation from you.  Some may ask you to fill out a form to make the interview easier for them.  Thank them via e-mails immediately after the interviews to reinforce a good impression.  If you think there are issues that were not addressed during the interview, that thank-you e-mail may be your last chance to do so.  Don’t ask questions like “what are my chances” because 1) the interviewer doesn’t know, and 2) if he thinks you really don’t qualify, he wouldn’t want to tell you either.

Your interview is a chance for the college to know how you are as a person.  They like to see a person who is socially appealing and can get along with others well (i.e. not a loner or a weirdo).  Demonstrate your passion, commitment, uniqueness, and social skills.  Research the school a bit and prepare some intelligent questions to ask.  (Sometimes you ask questions not to get answers, but to show that you did your research and are really serious about the school.)  Show them you’re excited about the school and really want to go there.  Don’t appear to be a snob, but don’t unduly humble yourself either.

Remember, most interviewers do this volunteer work because they have a passion for kids and education.  They generally do not do this with the intention of being the “gatekeepers” of the schools.  Therefore, don’t be too nervous even if you are talking to a top lawyer in a big law firm.  Interviews should be an enjoyable process for you.  Be yourself and relax.