Executive Education

Here are 6 tips to make sure you are college-interview ready

interview ready

Many times, the college admission process stipulates an interview for the purpose of the evaluation of the applicant. While there are representatives appointed for the same, you might be given an option to be interviewed by a college alumnus. Either way, you are expected to perform well to qualify for the college seat. College interviews are not very common, and even where they are prevalent, admission representatives often stress on your academic qualifications more than your performance during the interview. That being said, you must not think that they are only technical requirements.

Interviews offer a reality check for the colleges to assess your interpersonal attributes, practical knowledge, presence of mind, and whatnot. You might have a brilliant resume but failing to impress the interviewer with your personality and interactive abilities may create a dent on your prospects. Physical presence and verbal abilities speak volumes about the potential of an applicant to become a resourceful student. Hence, you cannot mess up the interview.

There are a few things you might want to keep in mind for the interview.

  1. Know Why You Want to Attend That College
    The whole point of the interview is to assess your readiness and interest to study in college. The interviewer would most definitely ask you what motivated you to apply for a program in the college and you must be prepared well enough to answer that.

    interview ready

    He knows that there is a likelihood that you have applied for other colleges as well so he wants to assure himself that you are serious about your application.

  2. Prepare a brief introduction
    You may be asked to briefly introduce yourself at the start of the interview. Many times, students fumble or undergo nervous breakdowns because of the brevity that is expected in the answer.

    It is, therefore, advised that you prepare beforehand a brief introduction. Focus on your academic history particularly achievements to highlight your potential. You should also talk about your soft skills that can contribute to a healthy, congenial student environment.

  3. Dress up nicely
    Do not go to an interview wearing casuals, thinking “they gotta accept me the way I am”. Your outward presentation is essential in determining how seriously you consider your engagements.

    interview ready

    You must clean up, brush your hair, wear formals or semi-formals, and apply minimal makeup. Keep glamour for the fresher parties; here, you need to be subtle and mellow.

  4. Listen Well
    The fresh-out-of-school lot is an enthusiastic one, and they tend to have a more reactive response than is ordinarily accepted. During interviews, they often become fidgety and jumpy, and this causes them to listen poorly to the interviewer. One of the ways to ace a college interview is to listen well.

    interview ready

    Let the interviewer talk, and speak only when he’s done. Do not cut short his speech and begin talking. It projects a very poor image. Patience is the key and you might as well hone it before the D-day.  If at all you have to interrupt, make sure there is an “Excuse me, I am sorry to interrupt you but…” somewhere.

  5. Formal Tone
    Whatever language in which the interview should be conducted, you must adapt to a formal tone. Address the interviewer formally and avoid resorting to colloquial language.

    interview ready

    You are giving an interview, not chatting with a friend or a family member. Arrest the use of slang or macaronic hybrid language. You do not have to be very strict about this, but make sure you minimize the use of casual phrases as much as you can. Do not talk with the interviewer as if you both are best friends. This is important business—and treat it as such.

  6. Ask Questions
    It is always advised that you ask questions at the end of the interview. Prepare a list of questions about college or its courses that you may have.

    interview ready

    You can ask about when the college announces the results of the scholarships, whether switching from one program to another is easy, or how long should you wait to hear a reply. Of course, do not ask stupid questions just for the heck of asking questions. If there are no questions to be asked, say thank you and wrap up.

Dr. Amarendra Bhushan Dhiraj
CEO and editorial director of the CEOWORLD magazine, an extensively kudized author, noted journalist, syndicated columnist, and ostensible entrepreneur. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or connect on LinkedIn.
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