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Our best college admissions interview advice

Posted By Eric Guzman | September 8, 2015

It's about that time when college interviews are starting to roll in and admissions counselors are getting ready to put faces and personalities to the names on their applications. Getting nervous? Don't be! 

Admissions_Advice

Last year, we shared with you a tip from a Jeremy Gregg, three-time TEDx speaker. He said: "One very important realization is this: everyone wants you to succeed.
 No one wants a presenter to fail. No one wants an interviewee to be a dud. Don't fear the person who is interviewing you.”

Because we wholeheartedly agree, our admissions team rarely even refers to them as "interviews." We prefer "campus visits" or "one-on-one chats." If you think of it that way, and if you consider our top five tips below, you'll be just fine. (And by the way, did you know you can actually schedule one with Siena?) Take a look:

1. Prepare questions. Want to really convey your sincere interest in the school? You probably have some questions, big or small, to make sure it's the right fit for you. Ask away! If you're nervous you'll forget a couple, it's absolutely fine to jot your questions down on paper and bring them with you. (You'll never find an admissions counselor who doesn't love talking about their college, we can promise you that!)

2. Gush about your favorite things. Do you love the school's time-honored campus traditions? Love the fact that so-and-so teaches there? Love that intramurals are just as popular as the D1 teams? Say so! Admissions counselors want to see what you love about their school, and how excited you get talking about it.

3. Leave your phone alone. A lot of people don't believe us when we say we've been in interviews where the student casually snuck an iPhone check mid-conversation. It's true! And it's a big pet peeve. If you're expecting an urgent call, let your interviewer know beforehand. Otherwise, keep it on silent and tucked away.

4. Be nice to everyone. If you're at the admissions office, that means the receptionist, other students, the staff walking in and out. If you're at a restaurant, that means the server, the hostess, everyone you come across. You never know who will be asked to vouch for your interview etiquette, or which interactions your interviewer will happen to see. Kindness always goes a long way! (And so does a good handshake.)

5. Follow up. You'll hear this a lot when you start the job search in a few years: a thank you card never goes out of style. Send a handwritten note of appreciation to your interviewer, referencing something you chatted about. Then sit back, and know you did the best you could do.

Ready to schedule your chat with us?

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TOPICS: Admissions Info & Advice

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