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How to Prepare

Nearly every interview guide will tell you to:

  • Choose modest, undistracting clothes that resemble 'business casual'.
  • Be early, so that you're relaxed when the interview starts.
  • Be yourself. It's much easier.

But there's more to being prepared. You should also:

1. When you have an appointment arranged, particularly if an alumnus/a is interviewing you in your hometown, be sure to write down the location of your meeting and his/her name and telephone number, in case of an emergency.

2. Offer to send your resume ahead. You and your interviewer will be more engaged if you both have an outline of what to talk about.

3. Outline your answers to the most likely questions ahead of time. Don't memorize a script; just be ready with the facts at hand.

4. Think out your questions ahead of time; it's your chance to find out about the college as well as their chance to find out about you. 

5. Get some exercise before the interview. You'll fidget less, seem less nervous and more composed. One actor's trick is to stretch your calves and quads before something like an interview. A more relaxed stride makes people look more "grounded".

6. Bring a bottle of water. If you're ever stuck on how to answer a question, take a drink. It will minimize any awkward pause. And you might get thirsty.

7. Know your test scores and GPA! Don't try to hide information like low scores or grades if you are asked. Explain any discrepancies.

8. BRING A RESUME. It will lead the interviewer and allow the interviewer to focus on you and not on organizing his/her notes.

9. Talk in the future tense. There will be lots of qualified candidates with folders like yours. Give a vivid picture of what you will contribute to class discussions, campus life and the community at that college.

10. If your parents drive you or come with you, they should be in another room. YOU are the only person who could attend that college

11. You may be nervous. It's OK to say so. Gesture or emphasize your remarks as you would in a classroom; avoid flamboyant mannerisms or squirming in your chair. Try to maintain good eye contact, shake hands firmly (those older alumnae/alumni know that, traditionally, a younger person extends his/her hand to an older one first) and stay relaxed.

Interview preparation can be key.

BRING A RESUME. It will lead the interview and allow the interviewer to focus on you rather than organizing his/her notes.


You may be nervous. It's OK to say so.

Admissions & alumni interviews

Follow Up

Send a thank you note to the interviewer. It is good manners; and it's an opportunity to underline any points you made in the interview.

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