Interviewers are looking for well-rounded and right fit candidates, who showcase more than just academic excellence. They’re looking to establish whether you’re committed to, and prepared for your goals. Here are 10 Do’s to help you make the most of your interview:
1) Do your research. Do your homework. You will be asked questions on your background, both educational and personal. Be well versed with your application, resume, essay(s) and/or SOP. Be ready to discuss your major choice, your hobbies, your goals. You should be able to answer the questions without thinking twice. Corroborate your answers with examples as not only will this help you articulate your point better but will also reflect on your skills and experience.
2) Rehearse! Practice makes you perfect. Practice your answers in front of a mirror or ask your family members to help you with this. Write down all the possible questions you can think of along with their answers, and rehearse multiple times. By practicing in front of a mirror, parents, or friends, you get to know what makes you look vulnerable so you can work on your weak areas.
3) Be on time. Your interviewer will be judging your time management skills so ensure you’re punctual.
4) Dress well. Admission interviews are typically formal, so opt for formal attire unless you are instructed for a specific dress code. Dress to impress the committee member(s). Read the instructions carefully as far as the dress code is concerned.
5) Exercise proper etiquette. Greet the interviewer at the start and thank them before exiting. Ensure you’re in a quiet space without interruptions, and turn off all noise-making tech. Even open windows can create distracting noise. Test sound and lighting beforehand.
6) Strike the appropriate tone. Think positive and be positive. During the interview, hold a mature, friendly, engaged and positive tone with the interviewer. Do not give any negative comments and answers. It is okay to take a minute and answer the question correctly rather than make a quick negative reply. Show your enthusiasm about the program and the college through perceptive and sincere answers that best showcase your experiences and personality.
7) Be yourself. Be the best version of you. Share your real experience and stories which have had positive influences on your life. Create a list of such experiences prior to the meeting so that you can use them effectively during the interview. Do not cook up stories as interviewers are an experienced lot and can sense even the slightest hint of phoniness.
8) Pay attention to your body language. Your body communicates more than what you speak. Do not contradict yourself. It is critical how you present yourself. Your responses should be complemented by the way you communicate through your body. Sit upright so you project that you’re interested and attentive. Leaning or sitting leisurely should strictly be avoided. Do not make a lot of hand movements. Always wear a smile. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer to show confidence and build trust. All this will convey that you are interested in the conversation and are passionate about the program and college.
9) Have questions for the interviewer. Most interviewers give you a chance to ask any question you have in mind. Although this is optional, you can make a great impression by asking a well-thought question. This way the committee feels that you have researched about the program and college and are seriously passionate about both.
10) Do send your thank-you message! This basic courtesy is important to build a rapport with the interviewers. Your formal-thank you message should reach the interviewers within 24 hours. If applicable, you should write a separate thank-you note to each of the interviewers and mention the pertinent components of your conversation. Ensure you echo sincere appreciation and reiterate your passion and commitment for the program and school.
The most important ‘Do’ however is to believe in yourself and know that you can make it happen. Good luck!
If you’re looking for help with college selection, statement of purpose ideation and editing, resume editing or acing interviews, drop us a message!