Westchester, NY – 914.747.1760 | Manhattan, NY – 212.671.1972 | mgse@emersonec.com

College Interview Tips– Don’t Sweat It!

picture10Does the thought of having a college admissions interview make your heartbeat speed up? It shouldn’t!

They just want meet you

The college admissions interview is an opportunity for a school representative to get to know you.

Many interviews are informational and conversational. You tell the interviewer a bit about yourself and he or she will tell you a bit about the school. For the most part, representatives are nice people and they don’t ask trick questions.

It isn’t a test

The college admissions interview isn’t a test of academic knowledge. Rather, it is a way to help the college see that you are more than a number. They want to see who you are beyond your GPA, test scores and transcripts.

In fact, think of it as an opportunity

Interviews add a face and a personality to your application. They give you a chance to talk about your good qualities that are not reflected in your application.

Interviews also provide you with an opportunity to explain any special circumstances that may have affected your grades.

Marilyn’s College Admissions Interview Tips:

Before the interview…

  • Do your homework. Be prepared to tell the interviewer why you’re interested in their school.
  • Prepare at least 4-5 questions about the college.
  • Practice! Rehearse a mock interview with a parent or a college counselor.

If possible, try to go on a tour of the college before the interview. This will help you think of things you like about the school as well as potential questions.

When you meet your interviewer…

  • Shake hands firmly while maintaining eye contact.picture11
  • Introduce your parent(s) and anyone else who came with you.
  • Go into the interview room alone.

You might need to explain to your parents ahead of time they must stay in the waiting room. It’s important that you show a mature relationship with your parents. 

Don’t have a family discussion in the presence of the interviewer. Don’t roll your eyes at something your parent says, even if you think it’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard.

During the interview…

  • Eye contact and a smile are important.
  • Always be yourself.
  • When in doubt, be honest.
  • If you’re feeling really nervous, it’s OK to say so.

It’s more important to come across as an honest, hardworking individual than a “perfect student.” After all, nobody is perfect. You have a lot to offer just the way you are, so don’t try to act like somebody you’re not.

After the interview…

  • Ask the interviewer for a business card.
  • Send a thank you note.

The interviewer’s business card can help you to spell the person’s name correctly when sending your thank you note.


Still feeling nervous about the interview? Schedule a mini-consult with us to discuss your situation.


We work with students worldwide

Office addresses:
Manhattan: 60 East 49th Street
Scarsdale: 2 Overhill Road

Mailing address:
860 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017