7 Tips to Nail Your College Interviews
posted by Kristina Ortiz, Dean of Admissions
Are your college applications rock-solid or lacking some oomph? Either way, you likely already know that interviews with admissions counselors are one of the best ways to make you shine just a little bit more. Whether you've already arranged a one-on-one or you’re about to ask for a meeting, here are seven tips to help you sail through and stand out. (BTW, at LIM, we let applicants request an interview. More on that later!)
1. Bring questions. The application process is a two-way street; not only is the admissions team deciding if you’re the right fit for them, you get to decide if their school is right for you. Come up with at least two or three questions that you’d really like the answers to. These can be geared toward a more specific program or something broader, like what you can expect from student life.
2. Dress to impress. Wear something you feel confident in that’s both professional and clean—avoiding anything too loud, noisy, or downright inappropriate that could distract your interviewer. Bonus tip: get it dry-cleaned ahead of time. (If you’re ready to interview at LIM, we’re hoping you know and love fashion as much as we do, so give us a taste of your style.)
3. Smile. Show that you want to be there! We understand this is a nerve-wracking experience, but interviewers will notice your nonverbal language, too. It’s okay to relax, but still sit up straight, be alert, try not to fidget, and convey that you're genuinely happy to have the opportunity to meet in person.
4. Tell us why you want to get in. Admissions counselors love to hear you’re excited about what their school has to offer. Did you attend Open House and fall in love with the location? Are you hoping to take courses with a few professors in particular? Did reading about the kinds of internships their students experience make you want in even more? Let your interviewer know why you know you'd be thrilled to get in.
5. Be ready to talk about yourself. At this point, your interviewer wants to know more than what your application says. This is your time to shine off of the paper. Review your accomplishments beforehand and be prepared to elaborate on them. Share your specific interests, your aspirations, what makes you unique—and how you can contribute to the school. At LIM, for example, we’d want to know why the business of fashion intrigues you and why you think we will help you land your dream career.
6. Don’t forget to breathe. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. Trust us; we know there’s a lot to get done during this time of year! At the end of the day, you’re only human—just like the admissions team you’ll be speaking with, as well as the other students they’re interviewing. If you’re nervous before your one-on-one, take a second to breathe and calm your heart rate.
7. Follow up. Sending a thank you note goes a long way. While it may seem old school, you can’t go wrong with a personalized, handwritten card referencing something you discussed and why the interview was helpful. (Just be sure to send it out right away.) Emails work, too, especially if you've already been emailing with the admissions counselor who interviewed you.
Ready to sit down and chat with us at LIM? Contact us for an admissions counseling session (interview) by email at [email protected] or call (800) 677-1323 ext. 289.