Don’t #5: During your college interview, don’t be laconic

This article is part of a series, 10 Tips for Acing Your College Interviews.

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Laconic is a fancy word meaning “of few words.”

(Hey, you’re getting a bonus SAT vocabulary lesson, whether you asked for it or not.)

If you’re shy by nature, you’re inclination may be to say less rather than more. Or your reluctance to speak may have to do with not being completely sold on the whole college interview thing.

But as I’ve said—perhaps, ad nauseam—the most successful interviews are those that feel like chats.

Chats don’t happen if one of the participants doesn’t meet the other one at least halfway.

Laconic may work well if you’re a cowboy or palace guard or cave-dwelling ascetic. But you, the college-bound prodigy, need to try to hit the conversational sweet spot by being lively and talkative.

And I suppose I should add that not being laconic doesn’t mean the opposite extreme, namely, being a motor-mouth. Rambling on. Or interrupting the other speaker when you can’t stand for one more moment not hearing the sweet melody of your own angelic voice. These behaviors won’t go over well with your partner in the proverbial dance.

Still, it’s better to err on the side of being talkative rather than laconic.

Dr. Sean

Dr. Sean

Co-Founder at Readerly
Dr. Sean has over a decade of teaching experience at universities in the US and Asia. He earned a BA with honors from Columbia University and a PhD from the University of London. You can read more about his teaching and research here.
Dr. Sean