Plan For College

Thursday, November 17, 2011

College Interviews: 10 Most Common Questions

college interviews
There isn't a common thought on college interviews during the admissions process. Whereas some colleges and universities make it a mandatory part of the application process, others makes it optional or don't offer an interview at all. On top of that, students could be interviewed by a current college student, a college admissions officer, or an alum.

Basically speaking, college interviews can be quite the moving target, but there are some typical questions that you'll most likely face. Remember that these interviews are a good way for you to find out more about the college and the college to find out more about you. It's not a test - more of a conversation.

1) Tell me about yourself - obviously a statement, but you'll have to provide a response to this tough one by summarizing your life into a few sentences. Your answer should be conversational but also try to offer one thing that makes you unique from all of the other applicants. This could be a hobby, accomplishment, goal, or anything else that sets you apart.

2) Who in your life has influenced you? This can be a tough one to figure out if you're put on the spot. Think about it before the interview but make sure you don't have a planned answer. This should be a thought-provoking exchange, not just a question and answer session.

3) What do you do in your free time? This college interview question is a big one for you and the interviewer. It gives you an opportunity to set yourself apart from the other applicants by talking about your hobbies and what makes you who you are. Really, this question is what the interview is all about.

4) What do you see yourself doing in 10 years? Don't try to act like you have life figured out at age 17 or 19 and planned perfectly for years. However, do make sure to show that you have aspirations and that you think ahead.

5) What are you most proud of? Again, this question is a good opportunity to show who you are beyond your resume, application, and test scores. This could be totally unrelated to school. Just note - colleges want to see why you could bring more value to their community than another applicant.

6) What are your strengths/weaknesses? You've probably been asked this in some form before and you might know how hard it can be to answer. One tip - do not try to turn your biggest weakness into a back-door strength. That'll come off as phony.

7) If you could change one thing from high school, what would it be? Your answer should show some turning (or learning) point for you. Demonstrate how you can reflect and adapt based on the decisions you made when you were younger.

7) What interests you in our school? Obviously if you've applied, you are interested. Show that you've done your research and try to avoid saying things about wanting to get a good job or degree. Try to focus on how you see your 4 years there, rather than the years after college.

8) What questions can I answer for you about our college? Have a list of questions ready and don't wait for this question to ask what you want. This should be a conversation and asking questions shows interest and gives you insight into the college that you can't find on the website or a college tour.

9) What will you bring to our school that another applicant couldn't? Picture yourself in the college community. What can you offer to the culture? Think about community service, clubs, athletics, and other similar topics when answering this college interview question.


  1. umm...that's 9 questions -- not 10!

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