How to Prepare for College Interviews

David Cantu

David Cantu

Best College Aid Founder and Instructor

What is a College Interview for?

These interviews are used to help college admissions staff get to know you beyond the written and standardized test’s components of your application. 


In most cases, the interviewer uses these interviews to get information from you and reports back to the school with his or her opinion on whether you’d be a good fit for the college.

A positive interviewer’s report will help improve your odds of admissions.

Two Types of College Interviews: (EVALUATIVE & INFORMATIONAL)

First, let’s talk about evaluative interviews.

Most interviews are evaluative, which means that the interviewer will want to learn more about your ambitions and help you determine if you can achieve those ambitions at that respective college.

Evaluative interviews will have an impact on your admission decision.

For a list of 30 Evaluative Questions, you may encounter in a college interview make sure you check out the document in the next segment. 

The second type of college interview is an informational interview.

This type of interview is offered by institutions to help YOU learn more about the university.

These interviews are usually conducted by an alumnus from the college or university.

Informational interviews are intended to help you get all the answers you need regarding the school.

As opposed to evaluative interviews, these interviewers will not issue a report to any admissions committee. Remember, the purpose of these interviews is to teach you about the school.

How to Prepare for College Interviews

We recommend you prepare for both of these interviews as these can not only help you improve your odds of acceptance, but also teach you more about the college. 

There are four strategies we recommend:

Number 1, be ready to ask questions about the school.

Number 2, if possible, research the person who is going to interview you–a good trick here is to go on LinkedIn or Google to get some information from your interviewer.

Doing this will help you know who you will be speaking with, show the interviewer you have done your homework, and bring some interesting talking points to the table.

Number 3, keep an eye on the different interview deadlines and research the interview policies of the college(s) you’ve applied to.

Number 4, make sure you study the 30 Evaluative Questions we provide in the next segment.

How do College Interviews Work?

Some interviews can be over the phone or via webcam; however, some schools will offer in-person interviews if the interviewer lives close to you.

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The most selective schools will typically want you to REQUEST AN INTERVIEW a couple of weeks BEFORE your application deadline. 

Like I said, research the interview policies of the college(s) you’ve applied to and keep track of the interview deadlines.

Remember, this deadline will typically be different from the college application deadline.

After you’ve made your request, the college will usually pair you up with a local alum via email.

Here, you will set up a time and place that works best for both of you.

Alumni Interview Best College AId


Evaluative interviews can also be informational.

Do not be afraid of asking questions about the college to your interviewer.

Completing a college interview can help maximize your odds admissions. 



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