13 Great Questions to Ask a College Interviewer
Many colleges make potential students meet with an alum or a member of the staff before they decide whether or not to let them into their program. Even though the interviewer will ask most of the questions, you should be ready to ask a few of your own. Asking questions shows the interviewer that you want to talk to them and are interested in the program. Questions to Ask a College Interviewer
In this article, we talk about the best questions to ask a college interviewer and the questions you shouldn’t ask.
Getting ready for an interview for college
During a college interview, the school can learn more about you and your interests, as well as how you might be able to help the school if you are accepted. But a college interview is also a chance for the school to tell you more about itself and answer any questions you might have about the school or the application process.
Most colleges don’t require interviews unless they are very selective, small, or private. Most public universities don’t do interviews because there are too many people who want to go there. There are two kinds of interviews for college:
Evaluative interviews: A college interviewer can tell you what they think about your personality, strengths, weaknesses, and goals during an evaluation. You can use this to get into college. A lot of Ivy League schools use evaluation interviews, and they are often required or strongly suggested.
Most college interviews are used to judge you, but many schools also use interviews to find out more about you than what you wrote on your application. A college can find out what you’re interested in and passionate about through an informational interview. You can also find out more about the college by asking someone who works there questions. Most colleges that offer informative interviews let you choose whether or not to go to them.
The best questions to ask in a college interview
When preparing for college interviews, keep in mind that the questions you ask can be just as impressive as the answers you give. You should write down questions that are different for each interview. If you ask specific questions, your interviewer will know that you are serious about getting into college. Before your interview, here are some questions and possible answers to think about:
1. What would you tell every student about this school, and why?
This shows that you care about what they think and want to know what they think is important. They might talk about how important a program is, like a career development program, and tell you to use it while you’re in school.
2.What made you pick this school?
Most college interviewers are former students, so they can tell you what it was like to be there. You should listen to find out if you both like the same things. They might say that they wanted to make new friends through the school’s study groups and social events, or that being a part of a certain group helped their career. You’ll also find out what kinds of people go to the school from their answer.
About the “X” program, what do you know?
Before your college interview, look into the programs you’re interested in so you can ask the interviewer about them. Before you asked this question, you must have done a lot of research on the school. Listen to what they say about the program to make sure it’s what you want.
4. What does a normal night or weekend look like on campus?
This question can help you figure out if your college experience will be what you want it to be. Some people work best in a busy, social setting, while others need to be alone and in a quiet place to study. You can use the answer to figure out if the university is a good fit for you and how you learn.
5. What is a common problem that students have, and how do they solve it?
When you ask this question, you show the interviewer that you know college will be hard, but that you are already getting ready for it. They might be able to help students with common problems. The person doing the interview can also tell you useful things about how these students got through hard times.
6. What’s one thing you’d change about the college?
If you ask yourself this question, you might find out what worries you have. They might talk about small things that have nothing to do with you or your program. You can think about what they say if they say something that might affect you when choosing a college.
7. What advice would you give to a first-year student who is just getting started?
The first year of college is full of new experiences and changes, so asking how you can best prepare for it shows that you are serious about getting in. They might tell you about common problems they’ve seen first-year students have so you can be ready to deal with them. Alumni might also be able to give you a different perspective on their time at the college, like what they wish they had done differently.
8. What is the difference between programs “X” and “Y”?
Asking the interviewer to compare two shows shows that you did some research on the shows you like. You can use their answer to help you choose between the two programs. Ask them to compare the two and tell you what’s good and bad about each one. They might tell you things that the general public doesn’t know.
9. I read in the school newspaper that students are worried about “X” issue. Please tell me more about this.
If you ask about something you read in the school newspaper, it shows that you want to be a part of the school community. This also shows that you care about student issues and want to be a part of campus life.
10. What makes you proud to be a part of this college?
Whether they went to the school or work there, the person doing a college interview is probably proud of it. You can find out if these values match what you want to get out of college by asking the person you’re interviewing about their experiences or specific things the school has done that make them proud.
11. How does [a social issue that’s important to you] get handled at this school?
If there’s a cause you’re really interested in, like making the staff or student body more diverse or finding ways for the college to reduce its carbon footprint, ask your interviewer to explain what the college is doing right now for that cause. If you care about a cause, you should only ask this question, because you should only want to show what causes you really care about.
12.I want to know more about “X.” Is there any new research going on in the “X” department right now?
This question reminds them of what you are interested in and how you want your college experience to lead to new ideas in the field you want to work in. Your interviewer might not be able to answer this question if they didn’t graduate recently or don’t know what a certain department is researching right now. But if they can’t answer, that won’t stop them from recommending you.
13. I’ve heard of [a well-known or traditional college event]. What’s it like?
Campus culture is a big part of college, even though you shouldn’t ask too many questions about it outside of class. Your interviewee’s answer will tell you how certain school traditions or events affected their own college life.
In a college interview, don’t ask:
At your college interview, you should be ready to ask a few questions, but it can be just as important to know what you shouldn’t say. Here are some things you shouldn’t talk about at a college interview:
- Overly basic questions: Asking simple questions about the college shows that you haven’t taken the time to learn simple things about it. A college interviewer will expect you to know (or know where to find) information about the school that is easy to find on its website.
- Asking your interviewer personal questions that have nothing to do with the college can be rude and unprofessional. If your interviewer is a current student or alum, you can ask about their experience at the school and why they chose that particular college, but don’t go too deep. Your questions should be about things you could talk to a professor or boss about.
- How likely it is that you will get in: Asking how likely you are to get in can be seen as rude, demanding, or even thoughtless. Your interviewer might not even be able to tell you the truth because they haven’t seen your application or other important information that is used to decide who gets in.