Common College Admissions Interview Questions and How to Answer ThemApril 25, 2022
If you’re preparing to apply for college, it’s important to consider how you’d like to approach college interviews. From researching potential college interview questions to practicing your responses with friends or family members, a little preparation goes a long way when you’re interviewing for your dream school.
Here are a few tips about how to answer interview questions for college, so you can put your best foot forward.
What questions do they ask in college interviews?
If you’re thinking about how to answer interview questions for college, researching common questions is a great place to start. Practicing your answers ahead of time can also help you respond more confidently and naturally. Here are a few common college interview questions, plus tips to help you choose the best answers.
Can you tell me about yourself?
This general question is likely to come up at the beginning of the interview. Colleges want to know about your unique insights and experiences that set you apart from other students.
Be careful to stay away from overly general descriptions when answering this question. Almost anyone can say they work hard. The interviewer wants to know why you’re inspired to work so hard. Think about your hobbies, extracurricular activities, and passions. Use examples from those experiences to illustrate the traits that make you an ideal candidate.
Don’t be afraid to share unique interests. Academic examples are a great place to start, but also be sure to share the things that make you unique. Are you the anchor for your swim team relay? Did you sew your own prom dress? These fun, interesting examples can be outstanding ways to exhibit your dedication and work ethic.
What do you want to study?
This common college interview question may take many forms. For example, “What do you plan to major in?” Your interviewer might also ask you why you want to study or major in a particular subject.
As you prepare your best answer to this college interview question, consider why you’re hoping to go into a certain field of study. Even if you’re undeclared, be prepared to explain the subjects that may interest you.
Consider experiences like summer internships, jobs, or volunteer opportunities that have shaped your interests. Illustrating what inspires you and why can show admissions officers that you’re invested in your education.
Why did you choose this school?
Explaining why you’re interested in a certain school can be one of the most challenging questions as you figure out how to answer interview questions for college. You can use similar answers for questions related to your personal goals and aspirations. However, this question requires you to show that you’ve researched the school.
Related questions might include “What do you know about this school?” and “Why do you think our school has the program you’re looking for?”
Before the interview, read up on the school and the specific major or program you’re interested in. That way, you have some information you can use to explain why the school is a good fit for your interests, passions, and long-term educational goals. Talk about specific professors or lines of research, or cite activities and alumni that support your interest in the school.
What are your academic strengths and weaknesses?
The strengths vs. weaknesses issue can feel like a stumbling block when tackling college interview questions.
Describe your strengths in terms of using them to become a better student and excel in different areas. It’s not enough to say that you’re good at math. Instead, you need to talk about how being good at math has helped you better understand concepts in other subjects, like science, and how developing your math skills has led you to choose a major. You could also explain how your academic skills influence your interests, for example, if you tutor other students during the summer.
Similarly, when addressing your weaknesses, you need to be honest and talk about how you study harder to do well in subjects that aren’t your strengths. Focus on how you use your weaknesses as learning experiences and that you can overcome challenges. This can help the interviewer recognize your persistence.
Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
Depending on the interviewer, you might be asked to talk about your hopes for your career path or life path. While nothing is certain, and you don’t need to have a perfect roadmap for your life, it’s a good idea to jot down a few ideas.
Think about some specific goals, such as having a job in your field of study and working toward buying a house. You can also talk about how you want to use your education to do meaningful work in your community or raise a family. The idea is to show the interviewer that you have thought about the future and you have a plan to achieve your goals.
What is your favorite _________?
You might be asked about some of your favorite items. Depending on the situation, it might be your favorite:
- Person you admire
Think about some of your favorite things and why you like them. When you talk about your favorites, you should be able to identify specific traits. Talk about why a plot in your favorite book inspires you. Express how you want to emulate someone you admire and how you plan to follow their example.
What was a time that you had to overcome an obstacle?
Interviewers want to know that you can handle adversity and won’t give up when things become difficult. Think about when you had to face an obstacle and found a way to come out on top. Describe the obstacle and the lessons you learned as you moved forward.
Even if you haven’t experienced a huge obstacle, consider using the example of a challenge or a tough decision you’ve faced. You can explain your process of tackling the difficulty and show that you’re prepared to make the most of any circumstance.
Bottom line: how to answer interview questions for college
When it comes to acing common college interview questions, the key is to practice talking about what you’ve learned and the ways you plan to apply your knowledge to your future endeavors. Think about different experiences that can be used to illustrate your ability to manage the school workload and your commitment to contributing to the college community.