College Interviews: Make a Lasting Impression

Heather Gupton
Heather Gupton

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College interviews can be an intimidating task, but they are also a really great opportunity to show off your personality. Whether you’re doing an on-campus interview, or an interview with an alumnus near your hometown, here are some tips for making sure you’re ready to knock it out of the park. Being prepared means you can make a lasting impression, and that is what your interviews will leave behind.


Dress to impress

Whether it’s for college, an internship, or a full-time job, you always want to present yourself in a professional manner. You probably don’t need a full suit and tie, but you should be dressed like you’re going to a nice dinner with your parents. Making a lasting impression at college interviews means looking the part.

Remember that your interviewer is a person too

It’s nerve-wracking going into an interview, but remember that the person asking the questions is only trying to get to know you more. Focus on being yourself, and making the interview conversational.

Don’t focus on the time, focus on the conversation

Most college interviews run from 30-60 minutes; a lot of students think that the longer the interview is, the better. But that’s not always true! A lot of interviewers have busy schedules so focus on the quality of your words, not the length of your conversation. Being prompt and timely in your college interviews also helps that lasting impression.

Do your homework

Do your homework applies to the school you’re interviewing for, and to yourself. Be prepared to explain why you want to go there and to elaborate on your interests, personality, and qualities as a student.

Ask thoughtful, interesting questions

Your interview will almost always end with being asked if you have any questions and your answer should always be yes! This shows them that you’re thoughtful and inquisitive, and gives you the opportunity to think of creative questions.

 Example Questions

Interviews are all about questions, so lastly, here are some to expect and some guidelines of how to answer.

Why do you want to attend my university?

Answer this question honestly, and with excitement. Look into clubs or classes they have that interest you, and mention specifically how you want to be a part of their community.

What are you interested in studying?

Everyone always asks this question to prospective colleges students, and if you know, that’s great! But if you don’t, don’t worry. Simply talk about the subjects you’re interested in exploring and your plan to discover your passion.

Tell me about yourself.

This question is so broad it often leaves students unsure of what to say. Talk about your favorite classes and extracurriculars but also, don’t be afraid to mention your favorite band, favorite food, or favorite spot to go and relax. They want to get to know you!

What’s your favorite book?

This is a very common one that often catches students off guard. Your answer will be more unique if you mention a book you read out of school, but the important part of this question is why is it your favorite book.

Do you have any questions?

Again, your answer should always be yes! Try to ask unique questions, other than what was your favorite class or why did you choose this school. Ask questions like: how has the university grown in the past 10 years, or what current social issue feels most relevant for this student body?

For more tips and practice, work with Empowerly! We can help you ace that interview and beat the nerves.

Questions? Let us know!