College Interviews: What to Say and What to Wear?!
Friday, February 8, 2013 • 5:40pm
College interviews are coming up soon for your senior. If they have made a successful application, chances are they have been invited to a local coffee shop to meet with an alumni representative. Perhaps, your college bound student has already elected to be interviewed on campus by an admissions counselor or student representative.
Not all colleges will interview their applicants. Large state schools or ones which field an enormous number of applications will not interview at all. Rather, they will rely on the application for all the information they need to make a decision. When making applications, it is wise to check interview requirements. If an interview is offered, it is advisable to take advantage of the opportunity. Interviews provide an admissions department with additional information about applicants and are another facet of the application.
If your student is scheduled for a college interview, they may be a bit nervous. I remember that my kids were concerned about their interview wardrobes. This is not at all surprising. Anyone who has gone on a job interview has the same consideration. My advice is to encourage your student to dress in comfortable clothing; they should feel relaxed when being interviewed.
The most important element of college admissions is a “good fit.” A student should present themselves as they are naturally. This will enable the interviewer to accurately evaluate the student as a potential candidate for their school. Encourage your senior to answer interview questions honestly and thoughtfully. Why create a persona that doesn’t exist? You want your teen to go to a school where they feel a part of the college or university environment.
I have heard from other parents that they have given their children “practice interviews.” While it may be a good idea to review some potential questions that could be a part of an interview, it is probably better if your student takes the interview without being too prepared. Teenagers have a charm all their own, and much their wonderful personality is expressed without being overly prepared or programmed to deliver an answer.
It is wise to have your teen get contact information from the interviewer. Often, the interviewer will say that they can call on them for additional questions. But, the most important thing is that your teen be prepared to write a thank you to the person they spoke with. A note or e-mail shows that your teen has good manners and appreciates the effort that the interviewer put forth.
One of my sons had a very brief college interview with an alumni representative at a local Starbucks. He was quite certain that it didn’t go very well. He said that the interviewer only asked him a few questions and then it was over. Yet, he got an acceptance from the school. When your student goes to an interview, make sure they have your confidence behind them. Let them know that you are proud of the way they present themselves. This will make the interview process much more pleasant.
Marina Kennedy is a reporter for The Alternative Press and teaches for Westfield Co-op and MORE of Westfield. She has two children presently attending college and two who have graduated from college and are in the workplace. She and her husband Chuck gained some practical knowledge after watching their four children apply to college. She will be sharing some tips in her column, "College Logic" to address some of the situations that face parents and their college bound teens. Her column will appear monthly in The Alternative Press.
The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TheAlternativePress.com or anyone who works for TheAlternativePress.com. TheAlternativePress.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.