As a senior in high school, the journey of deciding what to study, what colleges to look into, scheduling campus tours and requesting an interview might seem almost impossible to handle. You might even think it’s more probable for you to collapse during this lengthy process than survive.
But speaking as a junior at Bentley University, I can tell you that you will survive!
I unfortunately didn’t get the chance to go through a college interview, but now that I’m an admission fellow at Bentley I can tell you one thing: if you have the chance to schedule an interview, DO IT.
As an interviewer, I get to meet so many incredible students from different walks of life and this is exactly what colleges are looking for.
If you’re preparing for a college interview, don’t let your anxiety take over. Here’s a guide to questions you might expect during interviews and how you can prepare for them.
Get more advice on How to Ace Your College Interview.
Buckle up and pay attention to the WARNINGS, as they will help make you a question-answering expert!
1) How Would You Describe Your Academic Performance?
First off, know that this is not a question intending to trap you in a corner! Answer honestly, as what the interviewer wants to learn is how you’ve seen yourself grow academically. You might have started off on a rough patch, as you were getting used to high school, but you’re now an honors and AP student. This improvement is what universities like Bentley want to know about.
WARNING: Don’t just use generic answers. Have a story ready for when you get this question. Telling the interviewer about how marketing taught you how to analyze ads or how computer programming taught you how to code a video game is the best way to let the interview know you’ve not only put effort into your classes, but also you’ve learned valuable skills in them.
2) Tell Me About a Weakness of Yours and How You’re Working to Improve on It?
No one is perfect and acknowledging your weaknesses is important. This question is common not only with college interviewers, but also recruiters and employers.
(Learn more about the job interviews and how to prepare for them.)
To get ready, grab a piece of paper and do a self-evaluation. Identify three things you struggle with. Maybe time management or being too much of a perfectionist. Use these to answer the question and explain what you’re doing to improve.
For example, in the case of struggling with time management, you might be working on it by having a schedule on your phone or notepad in order to structure your day.
See, answering this question is not difficult; it’s just a matter of preparing for it!
WARNING: Don’t panic if you get the question, have an answer ready to go beforehand, so you can give a straightforward response. The more sincere and genuine you can be, the better, as this will actually create a good impression during the interview.
3) What’s a Skill You’ve Developed During High School?
High school is a phase in life where everyone learns a thing or two, if not tons (AP and IB people, you know what I’m talking about). So don’t be afraid to say you’ve become a great leader or team player.
WARNING: Always have a story to back up your answer. It adds personality. If you feel you’ve become a great leader, share what led to this. Was it a group project that appeared to be difficult, but you took on the initiative and brought everyone in the team together?
4) How Does This School Compare to Other Universities You’re Looking into?
Colleges like to know that you’re taking their school seriously. Do a little bit of research on the university, go on a tour, etc. Write down a list of why you’re interested in the school and what sticks out. The more unique, the better.
WARNING: Don’t be tempted to answer the question with “I like that the school is small and the class size is also small.” This answer is bad. It’s just very common. Separate yourself from the other people being interviewed with an interesting observation.
5) If Your Friends Were Asked to Describe You in Three Words, What Would Those Words Be?
This is a popular question during the interview process, so be honest and let the interviewer know three of your best qualities. Maybe actually ask your friends this question, so you have some ideas.
WARNING: Use synonyms instead of common terms. You can go for studious, inquisitive or perspicacious (don’t be afraid of putting some of your SATs words into practice).