Tips on how to ace a college interview from an Admissions Representative

By Dolores Dell

Working as an admissions representative at a college in New Jersey there were a lot of great potential students I came across daily. Each student I met with had one important thing in common; they all wanted to attend the college that I was an admissions representative at. The one thing that set them apart from each other was how well they prepared and in turn performed at their college interview.

For me, a college interview was very telling as to how a student was going to perform during their entire college career. The students who showed up prepared, well dressed and on time were usually very serious about the decision they were about to make and I usually saw that intensity throughout their studies until graduation. It is important to understand what admissions representative not only look for but come to expect from you so that you can make the best impression possible.

First off, be on time! It sounds simplistic but it will stand you out from the crowd. The way to ensure punctuality is to know where you are going. If you can, take a practice drive there maybe a few days before your appointment so that you know the exact route. Also, take into consideration the time of day your meeting is taking place. If it is during a busy rush hour allot time for that as well. Another great idea is to call your admissions representative for directions, don’t rely on MapQuest, get the directions from someone who drives the roads everyday, they can usually give you some great tips. And lastly, even if you did all of the above preparations and are still running late, simply call your admissions representative and let them know you are running late and hopefully what time you are looking to arrive.

Another very important point is to dress appropriately. This was a huge problem when I was an admissions representative. Students would show up in tee shirts, jean, hats and tank tops. All of these items are appropriate when attending school but not during the admissions process. This is your time to shine, to make a lasting impression to the person who may give you allowance into this school. Women, wear either a skirt (to or below the knee) or dress pants. Make sure that you shirt is appropriately cut. It covers both your midsection and bust. Men, wear dress pants with a shirt and tie and/or jacket. This is the best way to make a great first impression.

While in the interview be yourself! Tell the admissions representative why you are interested in this school and what you have to offer. All of you have something special that you bring to the table, is it that you have a great high school GPA? Or you are captain of the baseball team? Vice president of your class? Or maybe you were in all of your high school plays? Tell the admissions representative about your likes and dislikes especially in the classroom, they may have some valuable information that will help you make a better decision especially about majors or electives. No person expects you to be perfect in every subject or be interested in every subject so just be honest!

And finally, ask questions. Bring a list into the interview with you. This is a huge decision and you interviewing the school as much as the school is interviewing you. Make sure you are comfortable with everything. Asking questions isn’t just recommended it’s expected and it shows that you came fully prepared!

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