Tip 9: Do show genuine interest in the college

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

Treasury press conference. This photograph, the first of its kind, shows Secretary Henry Morgenthau meeting the press. The correspondents, all members of Treasury Correspondents Ass'n., maintain a close contact with the head of the Treasury department. 1/17/35

You need to show a genuine interest in the college to which you’re applying.

Arguably, this is the most important Do tip of all. From an admission officer’s point of view, it’s not enough for you to want to go there because it has a prestigious brand name or a top-ranked men’s basketball team or a business major.

Thousands of schools have business majors. They want to see that you’ve studied the college website and have a reasonably formed opinion about the college’s unique features.

When it comes time toward the end of the interview for you to ask questions, ask questions that show you’re familiar with the basic facts of the college and are looking for more in-depth insights—that websites can’t give you.

(And, by the way, you can always ask these types of questions before being formally invited to do so at the end of the interview. Just incorporate them into the flow of the conversation.)

Here are a few examples:

Why do you think so many of your graduates go on to do graduate school?

What do the faculty do to engage students in the big lecture courses?

I noticed that many of the courses listed in the catalog say, “Instructor to be determined.” What does that mean? (Don’t expect a cogent response for this one.)

As an alum, what would say was the one most memorable experience you had in a course you took?

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

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