Be Prepared For These College Interview Questions (And 5 Other Tips to Note)

Like the admissions essay, the interview is a chance for the college to find out more about you than just your stats. They’re looking for a holistic overview of who you are: aka your passions, personality, and poise. The questions the alumni interviewers ask is completely up to them, but below is a good framework to keep in mind based on my research with alumni interviewers.

I recommend coming up with a few quick bullet point ideas for each one so you don’t get caught off guard on the spot. Your answers don’t have to be perfect - they just want to get a sense of what excites you.

Also remember that this is your chance to interview them about the next four years of your life. Where you go to college is a major decision, so don’t forget to ask them questions about their college experience too.

And whatever you do, do not bring your parent with you! That is a major red flag - your answers have to feel authentic and this application process is just one step towards your independence. Having a parent with you signals that you are not ready to branch out on your own. 

Keep in mind that the alumni interviewers should not ask you about your grades or test scores, and should also not research anything about you on social media.

Finally, remember that the interviewers are not on the admissions team and are alumni who are volunteering their time. Be gracious with them and remember that they can’t tell you your chances of getting in, so don’t bother asking.

Without further ado, here are the questions you are most likely to be asked on your college interview.

What is your favorite book you read for school?

What is your favorite subject and/or teacher? 

What are your interests besides your schoolwork?

What kinds of book do you read outside of school?

To which of your non-academic activities are you most committed? How has this affected your academic coursework?

What do you have in common with your closest friends? How do you differ from them?

How important is diversity in the type of educational environment you seek?

What is appealing to you about this school in particular?

What specific book, article or journal have you read in the last year that had a significant impact on your thinking or perspective?