It’s Time for the Interview
By Annika Pearson, Co-Editor in Chief
Seniors spend countless hours filling out the Common App, writing personal essays, and visiting their counselors during the grueling college application season. Sometimes, however, a student’s personality can’t truly be articulated through test scores and a 250 word essay. For some, seniors schedule interviews in order to present a more well-rounded image of themselves. Be sure to consider these few things before you go in order to make the best impression.
- Look Presentable: Your outfit should be modest, professional, and clean. Unfortunately, joggers and vans just won’t cut it this time. Make sure to be well rested and avoid the “I just rolled out of bed look”, especially if your interview is early in the morning. Remember that though this not the most important part, your appearance is the interviewer’s first impression of you, in addition to being on time.
- Do Your Research: Go beyond simply googling the college. Look into the school’s departments, potential majors, and activities. Knowing specific details that applies to what you’re interested in not only shows your interest in the school, but also that you are truly considering what you could bring it. Sometimes interviewers request a copy of your transcript and test scores, so remember to come prepared!
- Note from Counselor: Mrs. Greenwald, one of three college counselors at Notre Dame says, “Students don’t have to bring anything but good manners…Prior to showing up for an interview, the student needs to ascertain if the interviewer is alumni or someone from the admission office…Questions do not have to be overly researched but being prepared to ask three questions shows some foresight and respect for the interviewer’s time and effort.”
Today’s the Day
- Basic Manners: When you arrive, introduce yourself with a handshake, your name, and school. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer and try to avoid fidgeting or any other nervous habits.
- Engaging with the Listener: The interviewer is looking for a confident students that truly feel they have something to offer to a school. Without sounding braggadocious, discuss your strengths and how it’s helped shape you. When asked questions, it is important to answer them clearly and as thoroughly as possible; “yes” and “no” say nothing about you.
- Note from Counselor: According to Mrs. Greenwald, possible questions to ask could include: “What are some of the school traditions?”, “Is it more or less difficult to gain admission now?”, “How many out of state students live on campus?”, “Can I graduate in three years?”, “How many students participate in the Greek system?
So Now What?
- Always thank the interviewer at the end for taking their time to sit down with you. Hopefully by now you feel not only that you have a good grasp of the school, but that they have a good grasp of you as a person rather than an application. Mrs. Greenwald suggests students write the interviewer a letter of thanks, especially if they end up getting accepted to the school.
With that, we wish all the seniors good luck as the early college deadlines start to wrap up and wish them peace of mind as decision begin to roll around.