Advice For Your College Interview | Alyssa J Freitas: Advice For Your College Interview

March 11, 2015

Advice For Your College Interview

Oh, how I remember the days of college applications and interviews; along with the stress they bring! For some of the more competitive schools, an alumni interview is required. It can be quite daunting to sit down with a person who has achieved what you aspire to, and whose recommendation can have an impact on your chances of getting into the school of your dreams. Although it would be impossible to totally alleviate your fears, you can make sure to adequately prepare so you can present your best self!

Here are my top tips for rocking your college interview:

  • Do your research. This is a really sweeping recommendation. If you know who's interviewing you, be sure to do some background searching on him or her. Find out more about his or her industry, the activities he or she was involved in, and any other pertinent information. To avoid being creepy, don't delve too deep. Information that you could get from LinkedIn is fair game, but anything from the depths of Facebook is too far. Also, know your stuff about the school. Not only the academic offerings, but the traditions and culture of the place so that you can explain to the interviewer why you would be a great fit.
  • Dress to impress. Even if you're meeting in a coffee shop, it is essential to be professional. Absolutely no jeans or sneakers! A dress and blazer is the perfect way to go. 
  • Bring materials. Your resume and business card will set you apart from others and help the interviewer to remember you.
  • Ask for advice. Everyone generally likes to feel useful so allow your interviewer to feel that he is. Ask about his experience, any tips for moving forward in the application process, and what you can do to increase your chances of being accepted. 
  • Don't be afraid to brag. This is your time to prove that you would add value to his or her alma mater. With that being said, don't overstate your accomplishments. Be truthful and your awesomeness will surely be recognized. 
  • Follow up. I'm a fan of a handwritten note of thanks, but an email will also suffice. Thank the interviewer for seeing you, reference a memorable or useful part of the conversation, and reiterate your strong interest in the school. 
And there you have it! I am confident that you will do well. Remember to stay calm, speak clearly, and be genuine.

What advice do you have? Are any of you interviewing?

-AJF 

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