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How to prepare for college interviews?

000ike
Posts: 11,196
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10/10/2013 7:21:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I have one very soon, I'm pretty lost and the internet isn't helping.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,251
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10/10/2013 8:39:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I've never done one, but I imagine the best way to prepare would be simply to practice answering questions they are likely to ask, preferably with another person. You could probably find some recorded interviews on Youtube to answer along with. Also, I saw a Ted talk which suggested that you pose in a dominant position prior to doing things like interviews because it lowers stress levels.

Here's the link if you're interested: http://www.ted.com...
onlinestathamlee
Posts: 5
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10/11/2013 3:10:18 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Hey guys! just read this post and wanted to ask you questions related to online college interview, if someone had idea what type of questions come, then kindly help me out.
Regards,
Graham Bell,
http://www.westlanduniversity.com...
YYW
Posts: 36,342
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10/13/2013 10:59:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/10/2013 7:21:26 PM, 000ike wrote:
I have one very soon, I'm pretty lost and the internet isn't helping.

Do you want my advice?
Tsar of DDO
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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10/13/2013 11:07:14 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/13/2013 10:59:34 AM, YYW wrote:
At 10/10/2013 7:21:26 PM, 000ike wrote:
I have one very soon, I'm pretty lost and the internet isn't helping.

Do you want my advice?

fire away
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
YYW
Posts: 36,342
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10/13/2013 8:45:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/13/2013 11:07:14 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 10/13/2013 10:59:34 AM, YYW wrote:
At 10/10/2013 7:21:26 PM, 000ike wrote:
I have one very soon, I'm pretty lost and the internet isn't helping.

Do you want my advice?

fire away

Tomorrow. If I forget, remind me. It's a few paragraphs I don't want to type up tonight.
Tsar of DDO
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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10/13/2013 8:53:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/13/2013 8:45:55 PM, YYW wrote:
At 10/13/2013 11:07:14 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 10/13/2013 10:59:34 AM, YYW wrote:
At 10/10/2013 7:21:26 PM, 000ike wrote:
I have one very soon, I'm pretty lost and the internet isn't helping.

Do you want my advice?

fire away

Tomorrow. If I forget, remind me. It's a few paragraphs I don't want to type up tonight.

alright thanks, will do.

You have this pre-written somewhere or you're anticipating that it will be a few paragraphs?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
YYW
Posts: 36,342
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10/13/2013 8:56:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/13/2013 8:53:28 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 10/13/2013 8:45:55 PM, YYW wrote:
At 10/13/2013 11:07:14 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 10/13/2013 10:59:34 AM, YYW wrote:
At 10/10/2013 7:21:26 PM, 000ike wrote:
I have one very soon, I'm pretty lost and the internet isn't helping.

Do you want my advice?

fire away

Tomorrow. If I forget, remind me. It's a few paragraphs I don't want to type up tonight.

alright thanks, will do.

You have this pre-written somewhere or you're anticipating that it will be a few paragraphs?

I'm anticipating it will be about three or four, which could mean that it turns into six or more. Idk... It's a lengthy post, though. It may be stuff you've already heard, but it's the culmination of the stuff I was told that worked and that I wish I knew at the time.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
Posts: 36,342
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10/14/2013 3:24:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Ok, interviews.

This is what I know. It's not the final word on interviews for college, nor should it be treated as such.

If you've got the stats to get your foot in the door, then recognize that while the interviewer will probably try to get a feeling for your intellectual capacity, that is not the point of the interview. The point of the interview is to figure out what kind of a person you are, and how you would fit into the culture of the school. Are you the "right" kind of person for the school you're being interviewed by or not is the central purpose of the interview.

Things that matter are: your personality (you need to be likable), your moral integrity (not only whether or not you know the difference between right and wrong, but do you act on it), your work ethic (how committed you are to your own success), and your values (what do you stand for and what matters to you). Recognize that while schools are not interested in admitting only students of a certain kind, from a certain background, what schools are interested in is getting a group of students together who will offer something valuable to other students at that university.

The personality aspect is probably the most basic here. Being polite, respectful and confidant are important. Not that I think you are, but awkwardness in an interview is to be avoided. The interviewer will want to get a sense of how you interact with others, how easily you make friends, whether you are willing to embrace a diverse environment, how open you are to new experiences, etc. The moral integrity aspect is a less important thing, but they may ask you some hard questions about situations you've been in where you've had to make difficult choices, and that sort of thing. They may ask you to provide examples of when you were in a particularly complicated situation where you showed real character and leadership. They will want to know if you are the kind of person who takes responsibility for your actions, or whether you defer blame to other factors/people.

They're most likely going to tell you a bit about the school, and they'll ask many open ended questions. Most importantly, do not lie. I don't think you would, but as a general rule it is never a wise decision to overstate your personal importance in any given situation because not only will it be fairly obvious, but the fact that you did overstate your significance could very likely cost you a seat in the incoming freshman class. On the other side of that, don't understate your importance either. Above all, don't make self deprecating remarks or talk about instances where you cast yourself as a victim.

Presentation (how you sit, walk, talk, look and carry yourself) is very important. You need to be well dressed, but not overdressed. Look on the university's website for that sort of thing. I know I wore, when I was in the same situation, khakis, oxford shows and a navy blazer with a white shirt with no brands displayed. Hair should be maintained. Hygiene should be spectacular (that means shower the morning of, face shaven, etc.). Try to keep your face clear as best you can (there are ways of doing that, if you don't already know). Wear a light, conservative cologne or no fragrance at all. Do not bathe in axe, old spice or other "youthful" scents. If you wear a tie, it should be a conservative one. You want to dress conservatively, but you also want to be comfortable so make sure the clothes you wear fit properly. You should be able to have one finger's worth of room in the collar of your shirt (which should be a button up oxford, btw.). Button the top button. Tie the tie properly (four in a hand knot for a button down collar, half windsor otherwise).

Sit upright in chairs and maintain good posture at all times. Slouching at any time in the interview will indicate to the interviewer that you're bored and that you're not as interested in getting a seat as you should be. I know I'm being really detailed about dress, and the reason is because the interviewer will size you up from the minute you walk in their office. You don't have to go to Brooks Brothers, Gant or J. Press, but you need to have a good navy blue blazer or sport coat and khakis anyway. If your parents go with you, they should be properly dressed as well. Business casual will suffice.

Again, not that I'm implying you would, but don't brownnose the interviewer. He or she will have been doing this for a long time, and they will see through any flattery or anything of that sort. Genuine compliments about the campus or any classes you may have observed will be good, however. On the subject of the university, know why you want to go there. You should be very familiar with the university and have more of a reason than just where it ranks on U.S. News and World Report for why you want to go there. The interviewer is going to want to know what kind of degree you want to pursue, what you hope to take from your university experience, and how going to their university fits into your life goals. They don't want to be told where they stand in the rankings.

All in all, it's about making a good impression. I hope the above has been useful, and Ike, I hope you get into a good school. If you're going to an interview on the west coast, I'm not sure that the apparel advice I gave you would apply as much but if you're going to any east coast (and, to a considerable degree, upper tier midwestern) school just know that they have certain expectations for their candidates.

The final thought I have for you is this: know that if you're going in for an interview, that's a good sign. If you weren't a realistic candidate, you wouldn't have made it that far. So, there's also nothing to be nervous about either. To be at the interview stage is to indicate that your numbers, grades, scores, etc. are good enough. To get in, though, is about more than how clever you are. It's about who you are.
Tsar of DDO
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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10/14/2013 4:33:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/14/2013 3:24:05 PM, YYW wrote:
Ok, interviews.

This is what I know. It's not the final word on interviews for college, nor should it be treated as such.

If you've got the stats to get your foot in the door, then recognize that while the interviewer will probably try to get a feeling for your intellectual capacity, that is not the point of the interview. The point of the interview is to figure out what kind of a person you are, and how you would fit into the culture of the school. Are you the "right" kind of person for the school you're being interviewed by or not is the central purpose of the interview.

Things that matter are: your personality (you need to be likable), your moral integrity (not only whether or not you know the difference between right and wrong, but do you act on it), your work ethic (how committed you are to your own success), and your values (what do you stand for and what matters to you). Recognize that while schools are not interested in admitting only students of a certain kind, from a certain background, what schools are interested in is getting a group of students together who will offer something valuable to other students at that university.

The personality aspect is probably the most basic here. Being polite, respectful and confidant are important. Not that I think you are, but awkwardness in an interview is to be avoided. The interviewer will want to get a sense of how you interact with others, how easily you make friends, whether you are willing to embrace a diverse environment, how open you are to new experiences, etc. The moral integrity aspect is a less important thing, but they may ask you some hard questions about situations you've been in where you've had to make difficult choices, and that sort of thing. They may ask you to provide examples of when you were in a particularly complicated situation where you showed real character and leadership. They will want to know if you are the kind of person who takes responsibility for your actions, or whether you defer blame to other factors/people.

They're most likely going to tell you a bit about the school, and they'll ask many open ended questions. Most importantly, do not lie. I don't think you would, but as a general rule it is never a wise decision to overstate your personal importance in any given situation because not only will it be fairly obvious, but the fact that you did overstate your significance could very likely cost you a seat in the incoming freshman class. On the other side of that, don't understate your importance either. Above all, don't make self deprecating remarks or talk about instances where you cast yourself as a victim.

Presentation (how you sit, walk, talk, look and carry yourself) is very important. You need to be well dressed, but not overdressed. Look on the university's website for that sort of thing. I know I wore, when I was in the same situation, khakis, oxford shows and a navy blazer with a white shirt with no brands displayed. Hair should be maintained. Hygiene should be spectacular (that means shower the morning of, face shaven, etc.). Try to keep your face clear as best you can (there are ways of doing that, if you don't already know). Wear a light, conservative cologne or no fragrance at all. Do not bathe in axe, old spice or other "youthful" scents. If you wear a tie, it should be a conservative one. You want to dress conservatively, but you also want to be comfortable so make sure the clothes you wear fit properly. You should be able to have one finger's worth of room in the collar of your shirt (which should be a button up oxford, btw.). Button the top button. Tie the tie properly (four in a hand knot for a button down collar, half windsor otherwise).

Sit upright in chairs and maintain good posture at all times. Slouching at any time in the interview will indicate to the interviewer that you're bored and that you're not as interested in getting a seat as you should be. I know I'm being really detailed about dress, and the reason is because the interviewer will size you up from the minute you walk in their office. You don't have to go to Brooks Brothers, Gant or J. Press, but you need to have a good navy blue blazer or sport coat and khakis anyway. If your parents go with you, they should be properly dressed as well. Business casual will suffice.

Again, not that I'm implying you would, but don't brownnose the interviewer. He or she will have been doing this for a long time, and they will see through any flattery or anything of that sort. Genuine compliments about the campus or any classes you may have observed will be good, however. On the subject of the university, know why you want to go there. You should be very familiar with the university and have more of a reason than just where it ranks on U.S. News and World Report for why you want to go there. The interviewer is going to want to know what kind of degree you want to pursue, what you hope to take from your university experience, and how going to their university fits into your life goals. They don't want to be told where they stand in the rankings.

All in all, it's about making a good impression. I hope the above has been useful, and Ike, I hope you get into a good school. If you're going to an interview on the west coast, I'm not sure that the apparel advice I gave you would apply as much but if you're going to any east coast (and, to a considerable degree, upper tier midwestern) school just know that they have certain expectations for their candidates.

The final thought I have for you is this: know that if you're going in for an interview, that's a good sign. If you weren't a realistic candidate, you wouldn't have made it that far. So, there's also nothing to be nervous about either. To be at the interview stage is to indicate that your numbers, grades, scores, etc. are good enough. To get in, though, is about more than how clever you are. It's about who you are.

Thanks

Must I create a resume to hand in to my interviewer, and should I send a thank you letter afterward? I'm leaning toward doing neither, since the first sounds like too much work for something that was neither required nor suggested to me by the interviewer, and the latter seems excessive, since a simple "thank you" afterward would suffice.
Also, how long should I expect an interview to be?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
YYW
Posts: 36,342
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10/14/2013 4:38:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/14/2013 4:33:10 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 10/14/2013 3:24:05 PM, YYW wrote:
Ok, interviews.

This is what I know. It's not the final word on interviews for college, nor should it be treated as such.

If you've got the stats to get your foot in the door, then recognize that while the interviewer will probably try to get a feeling for your intellectual capacity, that is not the point of the interview. The point of the interview is to figure out what kind of a person you are, and how you would fit into the culture of the school. Are you the "right" kind of person for the school you're being interviewed by or not is the central purpose of the interview.

Things that matter are: your personality (you need to be likable), your moral integrity (not only whether or not you know the difference between right and wrong, but do you act on it), your work ethic (how committed you are to your own success), and your values (what do you stand for and what matters to you). Recognize that while schools are not interested in admitting only students of a certain kind, from a certain background, what schools are interested in is getting a group of students together who will offer something valuable to other students at that university.

The personality aspect is probably the most basic here. Being polite, respectful and confidant are important. Not that I think you are, but awkwardness in an interview is to be avoided. The interviewer will want to get a sense of how you interact with others, how easily you make friends, whether you are willing to embrace a diverse environment, how open you are to new experiences, etc. The moral integrity aspect is a less important thing, but they may ask you some hard questions about situations you've been in where you've had to make difficult choices, and that sort of thing. They may ask you to provide examples of when you were in a particularly complicated situation where you showed real character and leadership. They will want to know if you are the kind of person who takes responsibility for your actions, or whether you defer blame to other factors/people.

They're most likely going to tell you a bit about the school, and they'll ask many open ended questions. Most importantly, do not lie. I don't think you would, but as a general rule it is never a wise decision to overstate your personal importance in any given situation because not only will it be fairly obvious, but the fact that you did overstate your significance could very likely cost you a seat in the incoming freshman class. On the other side of that, don't understate your importance either. Above all, don't make self deprecating remarks or talk about instances where you cast yourself as a victim.

Presentation (how you sit, walk, talk, look and carry yourself) is very important. You need to be well dressed, but not overdressed. Look on the university's website for that sort of thing. I know I wore, when I was in the same situation, khakis, oxford shows and a navy blazer with a white shirt with no brands displayed. Hair should be maintained. Hygiene should be spectacular (that means shower the morning of, face shaven, etc.). Try to keep your face clear as best you can (there are ways of doing that, if you don't already know). Wear a light, conservative cologne or no fragrance at all. Do not bathe in axe, old spice or other "youthful" scents. If you wear a tie, it should be a conservative one. You want to dress conservatively, but you also want to be comfortable so make sure the clothes you wear fit properly. You should be able to have one finger's worth of room in the collar of your shirt (which should be a button up oxford, btw.). Button the top button. Tie the tie properly (four in a hand knot for a button down collar, half windsor otherwise).

Sit upright in chairs and maintain good posture at all times. Slouching at any time in the interview will indicate to the interviewer that you're bored and that you're not as interested in getting a seat as you should be. I know I'm being really detailed about dress, and the reason is because the interviewer will size you up from the minute you walk in their office. You don't have to go to Brooks Brothers, Gant or J. Press, but you need to have a good navy blue blazer or sport coat and khakis anyway. If your parents go with you, they should be properly dressed as well. Business casual will suffice.

Again, not that I'm implying you would, but don't brownnose the interviewer. He or she will have been doing this for a long time, and they will see through any flattery or anything of that sort. Genuine compliments about the campus or any classes you may have observed will be good, however. On the subject of the university, know why you want to go there. You should be very familiar with the university and have more of a reason than just where it ranks on U.S. News and World Report for why you want to go there. The interviewer is going to want to know what kind of degree you want to pursue, what you hope to take from your university experience, and how going to their university fits into your life goals. They don't want to be told where they stand in the rankings.

All in all, it's about making a good impression. I hope the above has been useful, and Ike, I hope you get into a good school. If you're going to an interview on the west coast, I'm not sure that the apparel advice I gave you would apply as much but if you're going to any east coast (and, to a considerable degree, upper tier midwestern) school just know that they have certain expectations for their candidates.

The final thought I have for you is this: know that if you're going in for an interview, that's a good sign. If you weren't a realistic candidate, you wouldn't have made it that far. So, there's also nothing to be nervous about either. To be at the interview stage is to indicate that your numbers, grades, scores, etc. are good enough. To get in, though, is about more than how clever you are. It's about who you are.

Thanks

You're welcome.

Must I create a resume to hand in to my interviewer, and should I send a thank you letter afterward?

Depends on the school. If they recommend it, do it. If not, then no worries.

I'm leaning toward doing neither, since the first sounds like too much work for something that was neither required nor suggested to me by the interviewer, and the latter seems excessive, since a simple "thank you" afterward would suffice.

I'm inclined to agree, unless you pulled strings to get the interview.

Also, how long should I expect an interview to be?

Depends on the interviewer, the school, and how well things are going. Could be as little as 15 minutes. Could take more than an hour. It just depends.
Tsar of DDO