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What are the Best College Interview Tips?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2016
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There are many different college interview tips that someone interested in attending a college or university should be aware of before an interview. Not every college uses interviews when considering new students for admission, but those colleges that do will often use the process to discover candidates who will best match the school. The best college interview tips for an applicant are typically those that can help someone make a better impression on an interviewer and get the most from the interview experience.

Some fairly common but useful college interview tips include the fact that someone interviewing at a college should always answer questions truthfully. Answers can be slightly skewed to make the interviewee appear a bit more attractive to a college, but outright lies will usually be discovered and can lose opportunities for a person. The interviewee should also remember to remain calm and act fairly casual during an interview. This does not mean that a person should use slang or be too familiar during an interview, but the interviewee should appear comfortable and at ease rather than tense and nervous.

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Other important college interview tips are that an interviewee should be on time to the interview and should be polite to the interviewer and others he or she meets. A college interview, much like a job interview, is very much about making a strong first impression and this impression should be of a person who is friendly and worth knowing. Someone going on a college interview should also meet with the interviewer alone, without his or her parents, even if the interviewee’s parents come along to the college itself.

While also following other college interview tips, the interviewee should also try to use a college interview as an opportunity to explain anything unusual on a transcript or point out certain strengths he or she could bring to the college. If an interviewee received unusually low grades during one semester in high school due to an illness or parental divorce, the person might explain what happened. This allows the college to understand who the student is, beyond the narrow scope of grades and test scores.

One of the most commonly overlooked college interview tips is that an interviewee should ask questions of the interviewer as well. Most interviewers will ask the applicant if he or she has any questions at the end of the interview; asking questions demonstrates interest in the school. Even if an applicant already feels he or she knows all he or she needs to know, it is still a good idea for the applicant to come up with a few questions to ask at the end of the interview.

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