Six tips to nail that college admission interview
Imagine this scenario: the results of the college entrance examinations has just been released. However, instead of just seeing whether you’re qualified or not, it was indicated that you will be lined up for interview first. What do you do now?
Of course, one way to look at this is that you are already just a final step away from enrolling in your dream school under the course you’d really like to take. On the negative side, nothing is really guaranteed yet. What’s sure is this – the ball is in your hands!
Below are some tips that you should keep in mind when being interviewed for college admission:
1) Prepare a one-minute spiel introducing yourself. The interview panel will most likely ask you to briefly introduce yourself, similar to how human resource officers grill job applicants. Focus not only on your academic accomplishments. You should also mention extra-curricular activities you participated in.
2) Why are you really interested to be in that program? Remember, the interview is the final stage in the screening process, and this means that you have to stand out from the others. One question that the panelists will most likely ask is what got you interested to apply in the program.
You cannot just say that it’s because your parents asked you to pick that course. The panel must feel your passion for the discipline. You can mention short anecdotes or life experiences that opened up your interest in the subject.
For example, when asked why I became interested in journalism, I mention the fact that I literally grew up around newspapers since it is what my mom used to practice my reading skills. Not to mention, everybody in our house seems to be news junkies too!
3) Know more about the field you are trying to enter. It is likely that the panelists will ask you to share what you know about the discipline. It won’t hurt for you to do a little research about the career options for graduates of that field.
4) Read up about current issues in your field. It is possible that the panel will also discuss with you emerging issues about the field, like if you’re trying to enter health sciences programs.
5) Practice with a relative or a friend. Once you’ve already did all of those, it would be great for you to assemble talking points that you can rehearse with prior to the interview.
Remember, we are suggesting you to come up with talking points just to familiarize yourself with the possible questions. Trying to memorize a script might make you sound too contrived during the interview.
6) During the interview, be calm. Being familiar with the questions that might get asked should make you a lot more relaxed and confident during the interview. If there are questions that seem to take you aback, try to ask the panelist to repeat it not only to clarify what he or she really meant but also to give yourself more time to compose a response.