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We know many students who have freaked out over the college interview process, and we get it. Interviews are often nerve-wracking, whether it’s going out for a sports team, auditioning for a show, a standard job interview, or…the dreaded admissions interview.

Don’t sweat it though; here are a number of common college interview questions that will help train your mind and confidence for the big day.

Don’t forget to also check out our SAT prep and ACT prep courses, if you’re still looking for help there.

The College Interview Itself

Remember that a huge part of the college interview process is asking questions.

You should understand that this is a reciprocal relationship; not only will you be asked questions, but you should be prepared to ask some of your own too. The reason is that in this situation the ultimate goal is determining the fit between yourself and the school itself.

From the interviewer side, the admissions office wants to understand who you are and what you can bring to their incoming class. On your end, you should look to get as much hands-on info about campus life and particular information that isn’t found on the website.

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College Interview Questions To Study

Take time to think about the following questions well ahead of your interview.

  • What’s a challenge that you faced and eventually overcame?
  • Can you tell me about yourself?
  • Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
  • What will you contribute to our campus’ community?
  • Does your high school transcript reflect your effort and ability fairly?
  • Why are you interested in attending our college?
  • What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
  • What’s one thing you would have done differently in high school?
  • What are you interested in majoring in?
  • What would you like to know about our school?
  • What did you do over this past summer?
  • Who has influenced your life the most?
  • What is your hope after graduation?
  • Why do you want to attend college in the first place?
  • What is your personal definition of success?
  • Who do you personally admire the most?
  • What is your biggest personal weakness?
  • What do you believe makes you special?
  • What can our school offer you that others can’t?
  • Which adjectives describe you best?
  • What historical figure do you admire, if any?
  • What was the most important experience during your high school career?
  • Can you tell me about any community service work you’ve done?
  • What high school subject was the most challenging for you?

Think Through Your Answers

Treat this interview like taking the SAT or starting a game; there’s no room for winging it.

Consider these kinds of questions and think through your answers to them thoroughly. Use this as a period of reflection honestly. Think about what you’ve accomplished up to this point, what your goals are for college, and where you’re looking to go after graduation. One thing is for certain – a whole lot of ‘I don’t know’ isn’t going to help you.

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Answer Confidently

Be confident in your statements and how you present them.

Spending too much time thinking over a relatively simple question or looking away from the interviewer when answering won’t help. It will show you’re indecisive, and the rest of your statements might not be seen as trustworthy. Instead, be confident in what you say, and if you honestly don’t know, then acknowledge it. But then acknowledge any additional thoughts you may have on the matter, instead of using it as a catchall answer to avoid questions.

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Be Direct

Along with being confident, be direct in how you answer.

There’s no need to try to impress with overly sophisticated speech or tricks. Interviewers want to get a feel for who you actually are, not a role you can play. Furthermore, being direct forces you to consider the substance of your answers without having memorized and choreographed them beforehand. Plus, it’ll show the person you’re sitting across from that you are taking this process seriously.

How Prep Expert Can Help

Besides providing standardized test prep, we also offer comprehensive admissions consulting services.

We know that getting a great SAT or ACT score is a huge part of the battle, but it’s not the final victory blow. You also need to work on your application essay, itemize and prioritize your extracurriculars, and…work on your interview skills.

Thankfully, our Admissions Director is available to help both students and parents ace the process. For more information, take a moment to check out our Admissions Consulting page for services and updates.

For more information and tips, check out Prep Expert.

Clay Cooper

Clay is a double-perfect scorer - within one week, he earned a 1600 on an official SAT and at 36 on an official ACT! Clay has also achieved 99th percentile scores on the PSAT, ISEE, GMAT, GRE, and LSAT. He has taught and developed courses for high school, college, and graduate-level standardized tests extensively around the country, and specializes in the field. He has studied law at Georgetown University Law Center and worked in the legal field as well, for attorneys, judges, and the Tennessee Attorney General.

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