Written by Sanskriti Bimal Thursday, 06 February 2014 00:00
College interviews are not a required part of the university admissions process, but an opportunity, for one will allow you to use it as a tipping criteria for admission. Landing an interview can bring a student not only joy and relief, but in some cases fear and concern.
Before the interview, you have to prepare, and, during the interview, you have to perform.
Mineola High School senior Liana Roveda was perplexed as she rummaged through her clothes trying to pick out something to wear to her college interview.
“I was freaking out,” says Roveda. “I wasn’t even sure what I should be specifically looking for and I didn’t know who to ask for help.”
A good interview can lead you right into your first fall as a freshman at the college of your choice but must first properly prepare, according to Felice Kobrick, educational consultant and owner of Kobrick College Consulting LLC of Roslyn. An interviewer most likely has scheduled a multitude of interviews in a day. You need to make an impression, she says.
“Dress to impress. Be well groomed and think “business casual,” says Kobrick. “Jeans are fine if they are neat looking, not ripped or dirty. Boys might want to wear a collared shirt or a button down shirt. Shorts are fine if they are neat and clean but think of golf shorts, not gym shorts. Girls can also wear jeans or a skirt, perhaps with a sweater or cardigan. Nothing too short or too revealing.”
Mineola sophomore Maria Cerqueira has never sat for an interview in her life and the sheer anticipation of one in the near future is enough to give her cold feet.
“I hate not knowing what to expect,” explains Cerqueira. “I’m can’t even fathom the types of questions they could ask me. Will they ask me about my interests? Goals? Hobbies? I have no clue how I’m supposed to prepare for this.”
Kobrick recommends that students practice their interviewing skills through mock interviews and ask a parent or friend to play the part of the admissions representative.
“Role-play potential answers you might give to questions,” she said. “Be clear, brief and thoughtful in your answers. Most of all, be relaxed and be yourself. Questions can range from asking about your academic history, to your interest in activities, to what you know about the college to which you are applying.”
College interviews can be conducted by admissions officers, college students, and or alumni. Some are in person on campus, some are in person in your city, some are over the telephone and some are now on Skype or other virtual methods.
Marissa Karasz, another sophomore, was concerned about format. “I’m not too sure what’s the format of the interviews .Will they ask all the questions,or can I ask too?”
Interviews are either evaluative, meaning the interviewer is evaluating you, or informative, meaning you ask the questions of the interviewer, according to Kobrick.
“Because of the huge number of applications received by colleges, many schools no longer interview applicants,” she said. “Therefore, if an interview is offered, accept it. It gives the interviewer a chance to put a face to your application.”