The college interview is yet another layer of anxiety that you have to get past. Along with the admission exam (if there is any, it depends on the university in question), the college interview gives the institution another chance to examine you and see whether or not you meet their standards.
But you might have the (fair) question: why do I have to go through an interview as well? Aren’t the exams enough? Well, sure, you are right in theory, but think about it this way: in life, you will have to do a lot of things that you will not enjoy doing. You will be going through tens, if not hundreds, of interviews and examinations, so put the college interview in the category of stuff that will prepare you for the real life, where everybody will constantly be assessing, testing and analyzing you.
Going back to the present date, here are a few of the most common college interview questions and how to prepare for them.
Question 1: Tell me a few things about yourself
This is not actually a question; it’s rather something you might be asked to do during an interview. It is so frustratingly general that you might not know how to give a straight answer.
They will ask you this question because they genuinely want to know more about you as a person: your passions, your interests and how you can contribute to their institution.
Try to give them a straight answer; if they ask you what music you like, tell them what genres you enjoy. Try to separate yourself from the other applicants and avoid giving clichéd answers. Do not say that you are hard working, dedicated, because these are stock answers that everybody will give not to make a bad first impression. Also, be extremely precise and vivid with your answers, because this is how they will remember you.
Question 2: Why are you interested in this particular college/school/institution?
This is the question that you should prepare for the most. You want to convince them that you are taking the application process seriously and you are really interested in their school and attending it.
Tell them why you like their institution, and you resonate with their cultural values. Again, it is very important to be specific, do not talk about rankings or prestige, because these are just things that anybody could find out by looking them up on the Internet or picking up the local newspaper. Do not tell them that you want to attend their college because it is close to home; that is a big no-no.
Question 3: What are your academic weaknesses/strengths?
It is in their best interest to admit the best of the best, but colleges, being run by actual people, are aware of the fact that every person comes with his/her own set of strengths and weaknesses.
When it comes to qualities, it is yet again recommended to be as accurate as possible. Tell them exactly where you excel in a particular subject. If you are good at literature, say what specific current you know the most about. Then, explain how you have used your academic strengths in a practical way. If you are a talented writer, make sure to mention if you have contributed to the school newspaper, or if you have a blog where you post frequently, and so on.
As for the weaknesses, they want to know what they are and how you overcame them. Mention strategies, approaches, any tactic that you utilize in order to improve your defects. Make sure to tell them a story, like, for example, that time when your math paper was due, and you spent sleepless nights to finish it on time and still got the best grade out of your peers. Remember, everybody likes a good underdog story.
In conclusion, while they might ask you many more questions, these are the most common. Use this small guide as a starting point and prepare yourself for any situation.