How to Nail Your College Interview

Say It Right

All right, so you know what to say—now it’s time to figure out how to say it. Here’s a quick list of pointers to whip you into shape:

  • Maintain eye contact
  • Smile
  • Sit up straight—no slouching and elbows off the table like your parents always told you!
  • Look interested in what the interviewer is saying—nod, but not so much that you’re doing it every five seconds
  • Avoid the “um”s and “like”s
  • Speak slowly, clearly, and loudly enough to be understood
  • Sound like you mean what you’re saying (don’t make it seem like you are reciting a pre-written speech)
  • Don’t be afraid to pause before answering so that you can gather your thoughts and form a more coherent response
  • Use inflection (if you’re monotone like me, you may unintentionally come off as being bored)
  • Be yourself!

Follow Up

So you’ve nailed the interview, but you’re not done yet: put the cherry on top and ensure that your good impression lasts in the interviewer’s mind by following up with a thank-you note.

“I always hand write a ‘Thank you’ card one or two days after the interview,” Joanna says. “It's personal since you take the time to write it out, but you don't want it to be too long. A simple, 'Thank you for your time in our interview the other day. I am excited for the possibility of becoming a student at ______ . I look forward to hearing from you. Best, ____.’” Check out this Her Campus article on sending the perfect thank you note! If you don’t have the interviewers address, a thank you email will absolutely suffice.

If you can think of something especially memorable or interesting that you learned during the interview, definitely add that in, too, to trigger the interviewer’s memory and indicate that you were invested in the conversation.

Ready for one last piece of advice? Here it is: don’t stress. Even if your interview does not go as well as you would’ve hoped, it really isn’t a deal-breaker for your admission decision. Just think of the interview as one more opportunity to show the admissions staff how amazing you are!