Nail the College Interview

Don’t expect that people have time to drop everything to finish your letter today. If possible, allow at least a few weeks for people to write a quality letter.

ProTip:  Treat every interaction like a formal interview.

College interviews can be both formal and informal.  Regardless of the level of formality, you need to be prepared!

Both formal and informal college interviews are great ways to market yourself to a prospective college, university, or specific program. Some interviews are formal, for instance a sit-down meeting with an admissions officer during a school visit. Others can be completely informal, such as meeting over lunch or coffee with a recent grad or regional school representative. The admissions process is all about marketing yourself to prospective schools, so if you are offered the opportunity to participate in an interview, DO IT!

TIP ONE: Practice, Practice, Practice!

Regardless of the level of formality, you need to be prepared. This means that prospective students should be ready to chat about themselves, their academic and personal goals, and why they are interested in the school or program in question. What is the best way to prepare? Practice, of course! In addition, show the interviewer you’ve done your own homework by preparing a list of questions about the school to ask them ahead of time.

TIP TWO: Dress the part

Dress to impress. Don’t show up to the interview looking like you just came from the beach, the club, or from rugby practice. Show the admissions rep that you are put-together and focused on your meeting. Make sure that the way that you dress should represents you positively, and leaves no question that you are a good candidate for the school or program you are interviewing for!

TIP THREE: Be honest. Be yourself.

Even though you may mean well, there is nothing harder than digging yourself out of a “harmless” white lie. Be proud of who you are, what you have accomplished, and most of all: what you have in store for yourself in the future! To do this you should first write out the answers to prospective interview questions. Second, you should refer to tip one, and practice, practice, practice! The more you have rehearsed your answers, the more you will come off as genuine and interested in talking to the interviewer.

TIP FOUR: Write a handwritten thank you letter

Nothing is more genuine than a handwritten letter of thanks. It may seem old school, but your words will have a long-lasting effect (in your favor!) on the interviewer. Make sure that you get that letter in the mail soon, or better yet, write the thank you and drop it in a mailbox before heading home from the interview. You never know- the person you just met just may be the person that evaluates your application and/or reads your essays. If you want them to remember you, which you do, this is a great way to do it!


Karl Lenss is the managing director of Academic Angle. He can be reached at

Want to make your application the best it can be? We can help! the Academic Angle team has years of knowledge and experience that will help to make sure that you are making the best impression possible. Take a giant step closer to realizing your college admission dreams by contacting us today!