Home > School and Learning > By Grade > College > Preparing for College > Preparing for a College Interview

Preparing for a College Interview

Some colleges, especially the larger universities, no longer require an interview as part of the application process. If your child chooses to interview, and if the school allows it as an option, make sure he prepares. It is his opportunity to become known on an individual level, and the impression he makes could be the deciding factor in competitive admissions.


Call or check the college viewbook to find the school's policy on interviews. If the college is some distance from your home, be sure that your child calls early to schedule the interview so you can get an appointment at a convenient time. Advise your teen to practice for the interview. Do you have friends whose children are in college now? Perhaps they would be willing to do a mock interview with your child.

Some typical questions asked by admissions officers include the following:

  • What are your favorite subjects, and why?
  • What are your plans for the future?
  • Why do you want to attend this college?
  • What extracurricular activities do you enjoy?
  • Who do you admire the most, and why?
  • What are your strongest points?
  • What would you like to change about yourself?

Your teen should be prepared with answers that show why she is a good candidate for the incoming class. Reading the school's viewbook and any other information about the school will help her tailor her responses to that school. It's also a great idea to prepare a mini-resume of accomplishments, hobbies, and skills to give the interviewer.

Additionally, your child will look more prepared if she has specific questions to ask the admissions officer. Here are some possibilities:

  • How many students will be in the freshman class this year?
  • What activities are available for freshmen to meet other students?
  • How hard is it to get time on the college's computers?
  • What kind of orientation program does the college offer?
  • How can I find out about part-time job opportunities or internships on campus?
  • Is there anything else I can tell you about myself to help you make a fair and informed decision about my application?

The day arrives

Be sure your child is dressed neatly, as for a job interview (no jeans!) Have him arrive approximately 10 minutes early. Assure your child that it's all right to be nervous. If he has prepared, then confidence is likely to shine through the apprehensions.


st. patrick’s day

Celebrate the
luck of the Irish
with recipes
and activities.



10 Best Creative Apps for Kids
Looking for apps that foster creativity? Check out these top-rated art and music apps for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

A New Intergalactic Reading Adventure!
Get your reluctant reader hooked on an irresistible new story, Galactic Hot Dogs! Join the Book 1 reading marathon, and get behind-the-scenes tidbits on the official Galactic Hot Dogs blog. Also, print this cool Galactic Hot Dogs reading log to keep your bookworm excited about reading!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks