Preparing for College Interviews: Tips for Making a Positive Impression

One of the most important parts of the process of college application in the USA and other parts of the world is the college interview. While other factors also determine whether you get admitted or not, college interviews allow candidates to showcase their strengths and share information that is not in their application documents. You cannot ignore the power that a first impression has. It’s the one thing that will differentiate you from other student applicants. Research studies have shown that it only takes seven seconds for someone to make a first impression on you. Within these first few seconds, you must use the tips that I am going to share with you in this article.

Who Conducts the Interview?

Most higher-learning institutions usually have their admissions staff who conduct these interviews. Others look for alumni volunteers in different geographic areas who assess several candidates. Others send their representatives to the different areas of recruitment. Since college interviews usually play an important role in your success as a candidate, you have to prepare yourself adequately. You can do this by knowing the common questions that an interviewer has. If you are having a hard time preparing for your interview, you can always get help from an expert online. When you join college, you’ll get to pay for essays, submit your essay on time and get good grades. These experts will be on your side till the day you graduate.

Common college interview questions

Here are some of the common interview questions that you’ll be asked by the admissions staff or alumni. Knowing how to answer these questions will help you stay calm throughout the session:

1.     Tell me about yourself

While this is not a question, it’s one of the most common things that you’ll be asked in any interview. Since it’s quite broad, you might have a hard time knowing where to start. An interviewer will ask you this question when they want to know you at a deeper level. Therefore, you should avoid answering this question generically. Find out what you love. And talk about it.

2.     What excites you about this institution?

This is one of the questions that rarely misses in a college interview. Since you want to join the college, there’s likely something about the institution that interests you. You can talk about the extracurricular activities that the school offers, its values, or your interest in an academic program. You have to be specific as you answer this question. You’ll need to research the college to cite specifics.

3.     What are your weaknesses? And how have you addressed them?

While every campus wants to admit achievers, they cannot ignore the fact that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. The interviewer wants to find out whether you have the persistence and energy to succeed despite the challenges that you face. Think of the weaknesses that you have academically. And the strategies that you’ve put in place to turn them into strengths. You should avoid saying that you don’t have any weaknesses. That is simply not true.

4.     What do you want to achieve in the next ten years?

No one has their entire future figured out. However, the interviewer asks this question to find out whether you have a sense of direction. Are you motivated to achieve your long-term goals? You should avoid answering this question generally. Discover a few specific activities that you’d love to do. And how you’ll impact the people around you. The picture that you paint should be unique to differentiate you from the crowd.

Making a good first impression

After knowing the common questions that college interviewers ask and preparing for them, it’s time to learn about making a good first impression. Here are a few tips for you:

1.     Arrive early

Arriving early at the recruitment center will not only show the interviewer that you are punctual but also start right with them. You’ll have ample time to relax and go through what you’ve prepared over the last few weeks. Knowing the time that your interview is scheduled to start will help you avoid the last-minute rush.

2.     Dress appropriately

Is there a code of dress that you have to adhere to? You should always go through the interview guidelines to avoid dressing inappropriately and losing marks. If there is no specific dress code, always go for business casual.

3.     Eliminate distractions

Some of the common interview distractions include a ringing or vibrating phone, sunglasses, gum-chewing, and flashy jewelry to name a few. All these distractions can lead to a loss of focus during the interview. Therefore, it’s best to get rid of them.

4.     Shake hands appropriately

One of the hardest things to master is a handshake. However, you can always work on improving it. Ensure that your hand is dry. While it’s common to feel nervous and have sweaty hands during the interview, your interviewer will appreciate it if you wipe your hands first before shaking hands. Apart from hand dryness, shake their hands firmly. However, don’t squeeze them too hard.

5.     Maintain eye contact

When interacting with the interviewer, you have to maintain eye contact. When shaking hands, do not look away as this might show that you are intimidated. When conversing with them, don’t let your eyes wander throughout the room. Maintaining eye contact will show that you are interested in what they are saying.

6.     Smile

During the interview, you might be feeling anxious. However, do your best to smile as this will exude compassion and confidence. You want to show the interviewer that you are excited to interact with them. Practice smiling in the mirror before the interview. To avoid tiring yourself, only smile when shaking hands.


These are the most important tips that you can use when preparing for college interviews and making a good first impression. If you don’t know where to start, you can always get help from your friends or experts online.