Don’t #7: Try not to come off as bored during your college interview

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

bored hobo

This Don’t tip overlaps with the tips on not being rude or laconic. If you’re overly brief with your responses, the interviewer might misinterpret your reticence for boredom.

The overall impression you convey will also have a lot to do with your body language and the tone of your voice.

If you’re slouching, or have both arms and legs crossed, the interviewer will read into this body-language—or at least, pick up on it unconsciously—that you’d rather be somewhere else. Or that you’re not finding the conversation all that interesting.

To show that you’re interested, do the following:

  • Sit up.
  • Make frequent eye contact.
  • Lean in towards the interviewer (while respecting the interviewer’s personal space).
  • Try not to fidget.
  • Relax your shoulders.
  • Breath.
  • In general, keep your body facing the interviewer. It signals that you’re “open” to conversation.

As far as the tone of your voice goes: A monotone indicates boredom. Be calm and poised, but also feel free to express your emotions. Show interest by stressing key words. Use hand gestures for emphasis. Vary the pace and volume of your voice. All in all, be lively, but not manic.

For examples of how not to act, check out the Horror Stories, “The Lump” and “The Scoffer.” To do that, you’ll need to download the free app Foyl from the Apple App Store.

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