Few people get invited to admissions interviews and those who get invited have a great chance of getting an acceptance. The interview is the last step of the admissions process and it is absolutely crucial that it goes smoothly. Here are some pro tips:
Tip #1: Be the best spy (legally) you can be. Find out what questions they'll ask.
If you had a big exam tomorrow, imagine how much better you would do if you already knew the exact questions that were on the test. Fortunately for you, schools usually repeat the same admissions questions year after year and you can figure out what those questions are if you’re willing to do some research. Consulting with current students as well as online forums would be a great starting point.
Tip #2: Don't be a robot. Be polished, not rehearsed.
Some people prepare for interviews by writing out and rehearsing detailed responses to each question. If you use this approach then you’re guaranteed to sound like a robot on interview day. Instead, you should write down only 3 key points for each question and fill in the rest as you speak. You’ll definitely want to get a lot of practice in order to seem polished, not rehearsed.
Tip #3: Interview them. Prepare questions, not just answers.
Towards the end of the interview, the tables will turn and the interviewee will be the one asking questions. Asking meaningful questions is a great way to convince the admissions officer that you have a genuine interest in attending their school. Ask questions about things that are important to you, but make sure the answers cannot be easily found online. There are two questions that we believe every candidate should ask:
1. What was it about my application that prompted you to call me in for an interview?
This forces the admissions officer to reconsider your application and articulate why you’re a good applicant. You need to make sure that they know why you’re a strong applicant before they deliberate on who gets in and who doesn’t.
2. Do you have any concerns about my candidacy that I can address now?
By asking this question, you’ll gain insight into what the admissions officer believes are the weaknesses of your application and you’ll have an opportunity to mitigate these weaknesses before an admissions decision is made.
Tip #4: Dress to impress. Look the part.
Ladies and gentlemen, make sure that your shoes are as polished as your preparation. Wear a well-fitting suit and be well-groomed.
Tip #5: Are you ready for the call? Don't procrastinate.
It is common for applicants to be called into interviews on short notice. It is important that you start preparing for the interview before you get the call because you simply won’t have much time to prepare after!