Looking Back on My College Interview
Instead of worrying about every possible situation that could go wrong, spend your time preparing your resume and brainstorming potential talking points.
February 23, 2016
“I would love to meet with you to discuss your application,” are words that strike fear into every high school senior’s heart.
Before applying to Brown University, I was not aware that some colleges required interviews to supplement the application.
Although it seemed intimidating at first, the interview process wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.
First, a graduate from the university contacted me to set up an appointment. She was extremely understanding of my busy schedule, and even suggested that we meet at a coffee shop near me even though she lived in another city. Her open-mindedness and desire to meet with me was encouraging to say the least.
On the day of the interview, I was experiencing the typical signs of nervousness. Clutching my resume with sweaty hands, I walked into the place where we were to meet, and my interviewer immediately waved me over to a seat.
She began the interview with the story of her own Brown University experience, and it helped me to gain an honest picture of what life at Brown is truly like.
Throughout the interview, I felt as if I were having a typical conversation with someone who shared many of my interests. The aspects of Brown University that my interviewer appreciated during her years at the school were the very same that drew me into the school in the first place.
As she asked me questions, she seemed genuinely interested in my answers, and encouraged me to talk about my passions and motivations.
As we said our goodbyes, I felt a sense of relief. Instead of feeling interrogated, I felt as if my interviewer was simply trying to get to know me and gain a better picture of who I was. I began to realize that being able to make an in-person impression is a unique opportunity that most colleges do not offer their applicants, and I felt grateful that Brown University wanted to get to know me better.
My advice to students who are preparing for interviews would be to stay relaxed. Instead of worrying about every possible situation that could go wrong, spend your time preparing your resume and brainstorming potential talking points.
By emphasizing what is important to you, you will be able to show the interviewer who you are and what matters most to you. Having a clear picture of why you see yourself at the school you’re being interviewed for, and a pretty good understanding of what makes the school unique will also be extremely helpful.
Although an interview is an important part of the admissions process, it isn’t the sole deciding factor of whether you will be admitted or not. Many different aspects of your application are weighed in to make the final decision, and odds are that the interview won’t make or break you.
Be yourself, and try not to become too stressed. Interviews are important and shouldn’t be taken lightly, but they certainly aren’t everything.
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