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Posts Tagged interview

SURVIVING YOUR COLLEGE INTERVIEW

lysa-85Let’s face it, the thought of sitting down and having a one-on-one conversation with an admissions officer or alumni of a college you have applied to can be very  intimidating, but it’s also one of your only chances to truly separate yourself from a whole pool of applicants applying to that very same school. An interview can often “make or break you” in the admissions process. AND YOU SHOULD NEVER REFUSE AN INTERVIEW IF ONE IS OFFERED TO YOU, BECAUSE IT CAN USUALLY MAKE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “ON THE FENCE”  OR “OVER IT” WHEN IT COMES TIME TO DECIDE YOUR ADMISSION STATUS! THEY WILL NOTE WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAD AN INTERVIEW ON YOUR APPLICATION!

Overall, you want to make sure that your interview goes smoothly. In order to make this happen, you must be prepared before the interview for both the expected and unexpected. And most importantly, BE NATURAL and BE YOURSELF. It is best to think of an interview as a conversation, because while you want to “sell” your best qualities to an admissions counselor, they want to “sell” you their school. Below, I have listed some of the most important things to consider before you go to an interview, with the help of : http://www.actingforbusiness.com/interview/JobInterviewtips/college/collegeinterviewtips.htm

1. Shake the interviewer’s hand and make sure to introduce yourself! A firm handshake often shows confidence.

 2. Keep up on current events.  The interviewer may ask you your opinion about a current event, so you want to be sure that you have read a recent newspaper, or at least are aware of what is currently going on in the world. Being unaware, is not a good quality, because it makes it seem as though you have no idea or don’t care to know what is going on around you. DON’T STRESS ABOUT THIS PART OF THE INTERVIEW, BUT BE PREPARED with at least one topic to discuss that interests you and relates to a current news event. For example, one relevant current topic might include Haiti Relief efforts.

3, DON’T EVER BRING A PARENT INTO THE INTERVIEW. REMEMBER YOU ARE THE PROSPECTIVE STUDENT NOT YOUR PARENT!

4. Do your research about the college. Not looking as if you are interested in the college is a huge mistake and if you haven’t done any research you will look disinterested. You will almost certainly be asked why you are interested in the college and what sparked your interest in it. Do not say anything negative about the college and don’t say anything cliche either. TRY AND BE HONEST, BUT SOUND INFORMED AS WELL. You may list your reasons for interest in the college as the programs it offers, its unique (educational or social) systems (depending on the school), or possibly its other characteristics that appeal to you. BUT, NEVER TELL A SCHOOL THAT IT IS YOUR “SAFETY SCHOOL.” IF ADMISSIONS KNOWS THAT THEIR SCHOOL IS ONE OF YOUR LAST CHOICES, THEN YOU MAY BE MOVED TO THE LOWER END OF THEIR LIST OF ACCEPTANCE, SINCE THEY NOW KNOW YOU’LL MOST LIKELY ENROLL SOMEWHERE ELSE ANYWAYS! Also, try and refrain from listing all other schools you’ve applied to unless they ask, because that also raises the question as to why you’ve applied to those other schools as well.

5. Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer. Ask questions that show your interest in the college. Have them prepared beforehand. Don’t ask questions that could easily be answered by looking at the college brochures, course catalogue or their website because that will make you look as if you have not done your homework.

6. Review your essay. You interviewer may be interested in your essay topic or wish to discuss it with you. BE PREPARED!

7 . DO NOT SHOW UP TO AN INTERVIEW IN JEANS, SHORT SHORTS/SKIRT,UNFITTING OR TIGHT CLOTHING, BAGGY CLOTHING, OR ANYTHING YOU WOULD WEAR OUT WITH FRIENDS. WEAR A NICE SUIT, DRESS, or DRESS PANTS AND COLLARED SHIRT. LOOK PROFESSIONAL; YOU WANT TO POSITIVELY RELFECT YOURSELF. AVOID PERFUME OR COLOGNE! That may seem like an odd request, but some people are allergic to perfume, and the last thing you want to do is cause your interviewer to break out in hives or completely be unable to speak with you due to the scent. MOST IMPORTANTLY, NEVER CHEW GUM OR CURSE DURING AN INTERVIEW! IT IS DISRESPECTFUL AND WILL BE NOTED BY THE INTERVIEWER!

8. CONSIDER PREPARING A RESUME REFLECTING YOUR GRADES, TEST SCORES, EXTRACURICULAR ACTIVITY INVOLVEMENT, SPORTS INVOLVEMENT, AWARDS/ ACCOMPLiSHMENTS, WORK EXPERIENCE, ETC. THIS WILL PROVIDE YOUR INTERVIEWER WITH A SUMMARIZED LOOK INTO YOUR BACKGROUND/ HIGH SCHOOL CAREER,AND INTERESTS.

9. Arrive on time! DO NOT BE LATE!

10. Make eye contact with the interviewer throughout the interview. BE CONFIDENT. THIS IS YOUR TIME TO PROVE YOURSELF, AND YOU’VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES! 

….AND DON’T FORGET TO ALWAYS THANK THE INTERVIEWER FOR THEIR TIME!

YOU CAN DO THIS! YOU ARE MORE THAN READY TO IMPRESS ANY COLLEGE ADMISSIONS OFFICER. YOU’VE ALREADY MADE IT SO FAR! BEST OF LUCK GUYS! IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS, POST THEM!

Ace Your Next Scholarship Interview!

lysa-85Hey seniors! I know it’s getting to be that time of year when all that is on your mind is how on earth you are going to afford to attend all of those great colleges you’ve been preparing applications for. Well, no need to worry anymore! The following  suggestions will help you to easily become a top candidate for any scholarship that requires an interview process. It is important to remember that an interview is useful in complimenting your actual application. It should be viewed as an opportunity to set you apart from all other applicants. That being said, make sure you have something unique to contribute to the conversation and to share about yourself!

Always Remember:

  1. Make sure you have a general idea of what you would like to accomplish while in college, and into your future. Some frequently asked questions in interviews include: What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What do you plan on doing with your education, and how you plan to contribute to society? What you’ve learned from a specific mistake or difficult experience. And most importantly, consider why you think you would be an excellent recipient for the scholarship you are applying for.
  2. Next, think specifically about the scholarship award that you are seeking. Be sure you are very well informed about the organization. Ask questions if there is anything you would like more clarification about.
  3. Look your best for an interview! When preparing your outfit, consider the formality of the interview, and don’t under dress or overdo your outfit by any means.
  4. What if you can’t think of a good answer to a question that’s been posed? Or, you can’t even think of a bad answer because your mind has gone blank? Again, keeping your composure under pressure is the key. You could suggest that it’s a really interesting question that has prompted a lot of different ideas for you and you’d like to take a moment to organize your thoughts. In situations such as this one, it may be best to take a little pressure off by giving yourself a moment to collect your thoughts. You may even ask them to repeat the question to give yourself more time to reflect on what is being asked. They are not going to think less of you for being human-like and taking a breath/pause before answering a question!
  5. The key is to remain confident and don’t let a problem shake your sense of yourself. The judges recognize the pressure you are under and, as in life, you are often judged not by the reality that problems occur, but by the style with which you manage those problems. Approach the interview with a sense of confidence, some humility and enough good humor to get you past any awkward moments.
  6. JUST REMEMBER YOU MADE IT TO THE INTERVIEW IN THE FIRST PLACE BECAUSE SOMEONE SAW GREAT POTENTIAL IN YOU! THIS IS YOUR TIME TO SHINE!

-Lysa Vola