What to expect at an interview?

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: March 2003 Archive: What to expect at an interview?
By Growlpuppy (Growlpuppy) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 06:08 pm: Edit

Hi...The subject pretty much says it all. Over spring break, I'm going to visit some colleges that require interviews, and I have NO IDEA what is going to happen. I'm nervous too, since I'm kind of shy...advice?

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 06:10 pm: Edit

Good topic. I'm interested in this, too.

By Pisces (Pisces) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 06:13 pm: Edit

Make sure you have questions about the college. They usually say that this is your chance to pick their brains about the school as well. In reality, this is probably a trick question- "are you really interested in this school?" They'll ask you why you're going to apply here, what you like to do. I only had one school ask me what my test scores were. dress nice- look like you care. And practice a firm handshake and making eye contact.

By Growlpuppy (Growlpuppy) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 02:42 pm: Edit

How long are they? Who gives them?

By Frank (Frank) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 03:24 pm: Edit

The colleges say that they are generally around 45 minutes, but you really connect with the interviewer it can go on for much much longer. My MIT interview was 2.5 hours long, Harvard interview 2 hours long, Penn interview 2 hours long, Cornell interview 90 minutes, Columbia interview 35 minutes :) (bleh screw him, my interviewer reallllly didn't care and seemed to be busy thinking about other stuff).
All were alums.

Good handshake.
Walk in having somewhat prepared answers to commonly asked questions like "what about MIT interests you the most?" "Tell me about your activities." Don't memorize a speech though.
Research the school! it looks bad when you're clueless, looks good when you know a lot about the school
Prepare your own compelling questions in advance
Don't be nervous and stutter! looks bad! Figure out some way to be confident and colloquial.
Resist the urge to swear or cuss!
Dress casual-- khaki's and stuff. you walk in wearing a tux and you look like a fool
Don't suck up! Unless you are good at doing it in a not-so-obvious manner

Remember, it all comes down to what the interviewer ends up writing about you on the interview form. Obviously you want them to put down that you're a well-rounded candidate, but I think most importantly, you want them to tell the admissions office that you are deeply interested in the college. You have to appear very enthusiastic in showing your desire to attend that college to the interviewer.

Don't worry about it to much. At least for me, the interview started and 2 hours passed before I knew it.

By Pisces (Pisces) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 03:33 pm: Edit

I agree with Frank on most of what he said (obviously, since he repeated much of what i said earlier). However, I would definitely NOT dress casual. I think it looks disrespectful. With my interview, especially, the alumni wore ties. Unless, of course, they specifically say, dont dress up, dress casual, which some of them do tell you. I wore dressy black slacks, a dressy top, jewelry, nice shoes, did my hair... and i was definitely not overdressed. Obviously, of course dont dress for a black tie affair, it's not your prom, but no one is going to lower their opinion of you because you dress up or wear a tie. They might, however, think you are blowing them off or are lazy if you show up wearing the Abercrombie t shirt you wore to school that day.

By Frank (Frank) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 03:48 pm: Edit

Well obviously not like an A&F shirt and ripped jeans.
By "casual" I meant like a sweater and khakis and dress shoes ...something that doesn't look disrespectful that you might wear to school anyways.
I think a tie is pushing it though.
I think it makes it look like you're trying too hard to make an impression, though that's just my 2 cents.

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