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How college applicants can prepare for an alumni interview

Updated: Mar 1

Preparing for a college admission alumni interview is an important step in showcasing yourself to the admissions committee. Many colleges offer this as an optional step, and will usually notify you after you have submitted your application. This is an important reason why you should diligently track communication from colleges you have applied to in your email and individual college application portals. Here are some tips to prepare for a college admission alumni interview:

Research the College:

  • Continue to keep up with news about the college and make sure you fully understand their core values, programs you are interested in pursuing and why, and any recent achievements.

  • Familiarize yourself with the specific department or major you are interested in.

Know Your Application:

  • Review your application materials, including your essays, resume, and any other submitted documents.

  • Be prepared to discuss your extracurricular activities, achievements, and goals.

Practice Common Interview Questions:

  • Anticipate and practice responses to common interview questions, such as:

    • Tell the interviewer about yourself (briefly about your family, core or personal family values, how you spend your free time, extracurricular activities, school, hobbies, any fun facts about yourself etc.)

    • Why you want to attend that college, your strengths and weaknesses, and your future goals.

    • What challenges you may have encountered in high school and how you overcame them.

    • What are favorite/least favorite subjects and why?

    • Discuss your most impactful extracurricular activity

    • What book(s) have your recently read outside of class?

    • How have you spent your summers/most recent summer.

Highlight Your Achievements:

  • Be ready to discuss your academic achievements, leadership roles, and any unique experiences that set you apart.

Show Enthusiasm when responding to your motivation to applying:

  • Express genuine enthusiasm for the college and articulate why it's a good fit for you.

  • Mention specific aspects of the college that appeal to you, such as programs, professors, or campus culture.

Ask Questions:

  • Prepare thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer about the college, campus life, or any specific programs, e.g. what their experiences were at the college, what they liked most or what was the highlight of their experience, what type of student would be a good fit for the college, in their opinion

  • This demonstrates your genuine interest in the institution.

Dress Appropriately (in-person or online)

  • Dress in a way that reflects respect for the interview process.

  • Choose attire that is neat, clean, and appropriate an interview even if the interview is on Zoom or Skype

  • If the interview is on Zoom or Skype, you MUST have your camera on, so make sure your lighting, background and internet connection are all very strong!

Practice Good Body Language:

  • Maintain eye contact, sit up straight, and offer a firm handshake (if applicable).

  • Practice good non-verbal communication to convey confidence and professionalism. This means look at the interview directly and not into the distance or looking elsewhere, especially if the interview is conducted on-line.

Reflect on Personal Experiences:

  • Be ready to discuss challenges you've faced and how you've overcome them.

  • Reflect on your personal growth and development during high school.

Be Authentic:

  • Be yourself during the interview. Authenticity is key to making a memorable impression.

  • Don't be afraid to share your genuine passion and personality.

Remember, the alumni interview is an opportunity for the college to learn more about you beyond your application. Approach it with confidence, enthusiasm, and a genuine desire to contribute to the college community.

If you need additional help practicing or preparing for your interview, feel free to select a time below for a one-on-one consultation:

  • Existing students can book here

  • New students can book here

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