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Should I take an optional interview?
Students often ask me about optional interview. I say: nothing is optional! If it is offered, take advantage.
THE INTERVIEW IS AN OPPORTUNITY. SEIZE IT!
In fact, it is a two-way opportunity. It is a chance for you to learn more about the college from a real live person who either works for the college admissions office or is a loyal graduate. (That’s right: many interviewers, particularly regional interviewers, are alumni.)
Remember, everyone wants to be loved or at least liked. By taking advantage of this opportunity you are demonstrating your interest in the college loudly and clearly. If you can reach the campus within three or four hours, you should hop on a train or bus or borrow the family car. NOT visiting the college makes you seem indifferent or just plain lazy!
If the school is far from home, admissions officers understand that cost and time can prevent you from accepting an interview offer. However, you should inquire about a regional interview.
Should you prepare? Of course!
Be ready to speak about interests, passions, and goals
Ask specific questions that show you’ve done your homework about the school
Ask honest questions that will help you decide if the college really is a good fit for you
Ask follow-up questions that require more than a yes or no answer
Take the time to think about your answers; don’t offer one or two word responses
It is ok to ask about the school’s culture and social life – but balance those question out with twice as many about the academics
Be on time
Look the interviewer in the eye
Turn your cell phone off (that is o-f-f… not v-i-b-r-a-t-e)
Candace Plotsker-Herman is a college admissions consultant based in Long Island, NY. She and her associates provide interview coaching in person, on Long Island, NY and New York, N. They also teach interview tips by phone, Skype, Face time, and email.