I’m part of a First To College mentoring program at my local high school. It’s been great to learn about the college application process from many different experts. I found Ken Sawada‘s presentation to be particularly helpful on How To Interview for College. He is the Associate Director of Admissions at Syracuse University.
Here is the presentation in full:
How To Interview For College
The first thing to understand is the range of ways to visit college. Since on-campus visits were limited during Covid times, colleges and universities offered more virtual options. On-campus visits are expected to return this summer so there are many ways to visit.
I would advise starting with a virtual visit. This is a time-efficient way to see if there is a fit. It’s a great way to start to choose colleges for in-person visits.
Once you have chosen and applied, you may be able to interview with colleges. Not all colleges and universities require or even offer an interview.
Some of the interviews are just for the benefit of the student to learn more about the college. The interviews can also be evaluative which means that it’s one factor in your college application.
Even if the interview is informational, you still want to make a good impression. The number one question is “what to wear.” Ken Sawada advises business casual.
Two pieces of advice: 1) Be on time and 2) Prepare questions to ask your interviewer.
Remember that you are interviewing the school as much as the interviewer may be evaluating you. Be sure to use the interview to gather the information you need to decide whether or not this school is a good fit. Also, do your homework on the school so that your questions are not facts that are easily found on the school’s website. This list can be helpful to prepare four or five questions to ask your interviewer.
The most successful interviews feel like conversations. Be yourself. Be prepared. And have fun!
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