First: an application. Second: an interview. Sound a little like job hunting? It does, but it’s also a common application procedure many students have to endure if they want to get admitted into college. If you’re one of those students, here are five tips to help you survive:
1. Research. While your interviewer might ask general questions, it’s your job to get specific. Before your interview, research the school as well as you can, and think about how you can tailor your answers. Does the school you’re looking at have a certain class you’d love to take? Does it have a major that suits you? Does it have a club or activity that you want to be a part of? Talk about these things, and demonstrate how much you belong at that specific school.
2. Dress the part. Like any interview, take it seriously. That means dressing professionally. If any part of you is worried that you’re dressed too casually then you probably are.
3. Ask questions. There are few better ways to show your interest than to ask questions of your interviewer. Ask about the life and environment of the school, not just the usual inquiries about class sizes and financial aid. In other words, try to ask questions that aren’t already answered on the school’s website. Showing curiosity will not only give you deeper knowledge of the school, but will make a lasting impression.
4. Use business etiquette. While your interviewer will most likely be friendly, remember that you’re not chatting with a friend; instead, you’re interviewing, so act like it. Shake your interviewer’s hand before and after meeting. Then follow up with a thank you note. A personal touch and a professional demeanor will set you apart from other prospective students.
5. Be yourself. While you should be professional and courteous, you should also be yourself. An interviewer isn’t out to scare or interrogate you, but to make sure that you’re a good fit for the school.