College interviews, while less important in admissions than grades and extracurriculars, can offer applicants an opportunity to add color to who they are off paper.
Padya Paramita, of InGenius Prep, recently discussed how applicants can put their best foot forward in college interviews and leave a positive impression.
WHAT TO WEAR
First thing’s first, you’ll want to dress appropriately for your interview. Paramita says dressing for the occasion can leave a positive first impression.
“While you don’t necessarily have to put on a suit and tie, it’s important that you look somewhat professional, wearing a nice sweater, button-down shirt, or blouse on top (admissions officers will only be able to see your top half through the screen!),” Paramita writes. “Do not wear overly casual clothes such as band T-shirts or pajamas.”
GET YOUR TECH READY
Most colleges will likely host their interviews virtually this year. Which means you’ll need to account for a variety of scenarios where your technology could fail you.
“Check your internet connectivity, and confirm your camera and microphone are working,” Lauren Landry, associate director of marketing and communications for Harvard Business School Online, writes. “If the picture is grainy or you’re experiencing an echo, you might need to buy a mini webcam with a built-in microphone—which is hard to do five minutes before the interview, so don’t procrastinate.”
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Conducting your school research prior to the interview is critical. Paramita says an interview is an opportunity to dig deeper into your “why school” essay.
“Make sure you have an idea of what you would like to major in, and more specifically, a few professors or classes you would be interested in working with or taking,” Paramita writes. “Specifics are key here. For example, don’t say you want to major in business if you’re interviewing at Stanford—this school (as well as many other top colleges) doesn’t actually have a business major.”
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