How to Prepare for a College Interview

How to Prepare for a College Interview ~ It’s nearly time for your big day. Your college interview is looming in the distance—and it’s time to prepare. No matter what school you are trying to get into, it’s always a good idea to start early on preparing for your college interview.

Related post: Here Are Some Resources For Choosing A College

Knowing exactly what to say is one of the best ways to win over your interviewers. This means that it’s crucial you know what to expect when it comes to your college interview.

In this guide, we’ll show you some of the most popular questions you might hear during your interview and give you tips and strategies you can use to give the right answer every time.

If your interview is coming soon, now is the time to get a head start and prepare for all possible answers.

So don’t wait! Let’s take a look at some of the most popular questions you might face and see how you can answer them!

Before you read on, check this video out! He gives some great advice.

“Tell Me About Yourself”

This question is perhaps the most ubiquitous of all interview questions and is one that you can answer quite simply.

When an interviewer asks about you, they are asking for more than just your basic information.

They are also looking for a creative response that will show how you are different from others.

If (or rather when) you get this question, consider what your interviewer is really asking.

For example, they aren’t asking what qualities you possess. Instead, they are asking what drives you to do what you do.

Don’t just say then, that you are passionate about a certain cause. Explain why that cause means something to you.

“Why Did You Choose to Major in…?”

Your interviewer will undoubtedly ask you why you majored in whatever field you chose to major in.

Luckily for you, you will likely have a straight forward answer. Still, it won’t be enough to say that you like the subject.

That much is given.

Instead, you should explain what drives you to feel passionate about the subject and how you envision using that subject for good in the future.

By doing this, you will separate yourself from the pack and help earn your spot on campus.

“What are Your Biggest Academic Weaknesses?”

If an interviewer asks you this, it’s important to answer honestly. In fact, you should begin reflecting now on what your biggest weaknesses are.

These weaknesses, of course, don’t have to be in particular areas of study. Perhaps you are fine in every area (though you shouldn’t tell that to your interviewer).

How to Prepare for a College Interview

You may have a bad habit of procrastination. Or you may have bad time management skills in general.

Whatever the case, you want to answer your interviewer honestly. Don’t worry about it making you look bad—no one is perfect.

You will look a lot better being honest than you will say you have “no flaws.”

“What Do You Enjoy Doing When You’re Not Studying?”

When an interviewer asks you this, she is scoping you out and trying to see if you are the right match for the university.

That’s why it’s critical that you know how to answer. It doesn’t really matter what you do when you’re not studying.

You don’t want to tell your interviewer that you spend hours playing Fortnite.

For this reason, consider everything that you do.

Maybe you are involved in church, or perhaps you have areas of study that go beyond the scope of the classroom.

Whatever it is that you do, put a positive spin on it and tell it to your interviewer.

“What’s Your Favorite Subject, and why?”

This is more of a perfunctory question, but it’s also one of the easiest to answer. Still, you want to put a lot of thought into your response.

Answers such as, “Math because I like it” simply won’t do the trick.

Instead, consider a response such as, “My favorite subject is math because I like finding patterns and identifying problems in certain situations.

There’s an inherent logic in math that attracts me, and I wish to develop my critical thinking and reasoning skills through this discipline so that I can bring value to the world when I graduate.”

Okay, maybe you don’t have to be that cheesy, but something along those lines won’t hurt.

“Give Me One Example of a Failure or Mistake that You Have Learned from”

This isn’t a question, but it’s still a common request from your interviewer.

If you are faced with this task, make sure that you have a good example of failure or mistake lined up.

You don’t want to tell a made-up story because interviewers can tell when you are talking just to sound good.

Instead, you want to dig deep and tell of a time when you learned from a mistake.

Perhaps you cheated on a test before and got busted, or maybe you underestimated the difficulty of an assignment.

Whatever the case, you want to frame your response as a positive so that your interviewer can see your growth and dedication.

“What Makes this College Your First Choice?”

It doesn’t matter if that college is your first choice or not. If you are faced with this question, it’s important to answer positively.

For this reason, it’s crucial that you do some brushing up on the school and can answer in more than just vague generalities.

Instead of simply saying, “I believe this school gives me the best opportunity to succeed,” explain why.

Read up on the history of the school and some of the school’s most notable professors, graduates, and programs.

Explain in detail the value you believe that the university can give to your life (and subsequently to your family’s lives).

By being specific, you will impress your interviewer and increase your chances of passing your interview.

“What Value Can You Bring to Our School?”

Don’t be afraid to brag a little. If an interviewer asks you this question, it’s important to seriously consider your strengths as a student and as an individual.

Remember that most universities aren’t simply looking for good students. They are looking for all-around good representatives of their brand and their reputation.

How to Prepare for a College Interview

This means that you should be specific about what value you can bring. Perhaps it’s your intelligence, or maybe it’s your attitude.

The specifics don’t matter as much as the fact that you truly believe you have something to offer.

Of course, you don’t want to be cocky. No one likes people who are full of themselves.

For this reason, it’s important that you strike the right balance between self-confidence and self-entitlement.

Doing so can help you win over your interviewer and earn yourself a college education.

“If You Could, What Would You Change About Your High School?”

If you are asked this, it’s crucial that you don’t go all-in on your former school.

While you may have hated the place with a fiery passion, it’s never a good idea to bring vehemence into your interview.

It may serve as a warning sign to your interviewer that you aren’t a good representative for the university, so remember to be careful what you say when asked about sensitive subjects.

In general, you should go with a specific problem with your school that’s vague enough to have an important lesson.

Perhaps your school had lax anti-discrimination policies or didn’t do enough to help underprivileged students.

You can talk about these issues in a calm, measured way—but it’s important that you have proof to back up your claims when you do so.

Remember that the interviewer isn’t asking to be involved in a windy speech about your past school’s problems.

They are simply asking for an area of improvement—and trying to see how you would have solved the diagnosed problems.

“Where Do You See Yourself Ten Years Down the Road?”

This one is easy. You see yourself employed, advancing in your career, and as a proud representative of XYZ University.

You don’t need a fancy answer to this question. Make sure that you tell your interviewer a little about your dream (if you have one).

Don’t worry if you don’t have specific plans for after graduation. Here’s a secret: no one really expects you to know what you will be doing ten years down the road.

In fact, your interviewers don’t even know what they will be doing when the next decade comes.

Rather than specifics, your interviewers are looking to see if you can plan ahead to the future and set realistic goals for yourself.

Keep this in mind as you prepare your answer.

“Can You Tell Us Your Favorite Book?”

In order to answer this question, it’s important that you actually have a favorite book.

If you’re not a heavy reader, it’s recommended that you read at least one notable work before your college interview.

Doing so can help you answer questions like this in more detail and with more believability.

Remember that it doesn’t have to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning book to be of note.

How to Prepare for a College Interview

You may say that your favorite book is Harry Potter, in fact, simply because it shows the importance of teamwork and working together.

“What Sets You Apart from the Rest?”

If you are asked this, remember not to be too cocky. You don’t want to look condescending in your interview.

Still, you want to be confident of your strengths and knowledgeable of your capabilities.

Perhaps it is your intelligence that sets you apart from the rest of your peers. You can say this without sounding rude.

Instead of saying, “My intelligence,” consider saying something like “My attention to detail and ability to see work through to its completion with a strong degree of accuracy.”

Your interviewer will get the point.

“Name One Person You Admire the Most”

With this question, try not to name someone too obvious. People like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln are too common, and you can bet that they are mentioned too frequently.

Try researching other world leaders who have made a difference in their nations.

Perhaps this is a freedom fighter from Africa who has helped save millions of child soldiers.

It could also be a particular creator or humanitarian from anywhere in the world.

Whatever the case, you want to be specific about why you admire this person and the qualities you wish to emulate from her.

“What are Your Academic Strengths?”

Again, this question doesn’t give you free reign to be cocky. If you are intelligent and good at school, you don’t need to answer with something like “Everything.”

Instead, you want to look at your skillset and give a more thorough answer.

Perhaps you have a high degree of accuracy, or perhaps you are able to manage your time and get your work done beforehand.

Whatever the case, it’s important that you tell your interviewer your strength and the value of it without sounding like you are full of yourself.

“Do Your Grades Reflect Your Ability?”

Perhaps one of the more difficult interview questions, this one requires a bit of thought and a whole lot of preparation.

That’s because there is no simple answer to this question. In one part, your grades do reflect your ability.

If you are acing every class and have a strong track record of success at school, that is a consequence of your work ethic.

However, this doesn’t mean that your ability is capped there. In fact, your ability could actually be much higher.

If your grades aren’t elite, this question may take on a different meaning. In this case, it’s important that you prepare a response that doesn’t make you sound lazy.

If you tell your interviewer that your grades don’t reflect your ability, it may sound as if you aren’t working too your full potential.

That’s why you should consider this question carefully and give a measured response.

Try something generic as in, “Grades are just one measure of a student’s performance and don’t paint the full picture.”

This politician’s answer will be good enough for your interview and make you sound confident and well-prepared.

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