Archive for July, 2011

Do Admissions Interviews Matter?

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

One of the most common questions from students is “How important is an admissions interview?”  The common response for this and many other questions is, “It depends”.

That is, which colleges on your list recommend or require interviews. If so, are they informational (most say they are) or evaluative? What time of year of year are they offered?

All those questions can be quickly answered when the student does his due diligence at each college web site using the AAA method. That issue I addressed in detail in the past as well here.

For budgetary reasons, many of the more competitive colleges offer alumni interviews after an application has been submitted and the prospect appears promising. As to the influence of the alumni on the final decision, that also depends. I once had clients who were alumni interviewers for their alma maters, Dartmouth and Cornell.  The Dartmouth graduate once interviewed a prospective student; he disliked his attitude and fit so much he gave Dartmouth a two thumbs down (four if he had four), but he was accepted anyway! Here is an eye-opening article to help prepare for an alumni interview at the more competitive colleges. Plus, here are some important points and VERY helpful tips to prepare for an interview by a seasoned college interviewer. In short, do your AAA due diligence ahead of time.

The interview can be before the application deadline or after. If it is required, the interview is obviously an important part of your application. If you are a client of ours with interviews in the future, be sure to contact us. We can do some practice together.

Some colleges require that you request an interview. By the way, if you are not yet a senior, most colleges will not be interviewing you unless you have traveled from a great distance to visit the college. Check with your regional admissions counselor for each college. Most of the elite colleges may simply contact you after your applications is submitted. These are generally conducted by local alumni of that college and are limited. Sometimes, depending on where you live, there may not be an opportunity for an alumni interview. In such instances, the schools may strive to offer you a telephone interview. If that’s not possible, then you will not be penalized for not having an interview. It is the effort you put forth that counts, so don’t worry.