How Important Are College Interviews?

In short, college interviews can be a very important part of your admissions process. They are a way to bring your application to life for the school’s admissions officers. Interviews also offer you a valuable opportunity for the school representative to understand who you are as a person and why you want to go to that specific school.

Be Prepared for the Interview

You want to put your best foot forward for the interview. That means you need to prepare. By prepare we don’t mean to make yourself into somebody that you are not, but rather that you want to present yourself the best way you possibly can.

Be ready to tell the interviewer about yourself. In two to three minutes, you should give that person an overview of who you are. This doesn’t mean list all your accomplishments, but instead present a side to you that the interviewer wouldn’t have seen or known from looking at your application.

You should also be prepared to answer “Why do you want to attend this school?” If you have scheduled an interview, you should have already visited / toured the college (At least virtually if circumstances prevented you from visiting in person), as well as conducted your research about its academics, student life, campus, organizations and activities, etc. So make sure to draw from all this information you have gathered to express why you are so interested in attending this specific school.

Scheduling the Interview

Interviews are typically set up through the college’s website. Some schools, however, require the interview be scheduled by phone. Although many interviews are conducted in person, keep in mind that many interviews are now being done virtually.

Not All Colleges Offer Admissions Interviews

While you may want to schedule an interview, not all colleges offer interviews. So, you need to find out if the schools to which you are applying offer interviews. 70% to 80% of colleges do not interview. If the schools you are interested in offer an interview, take advantage of it. You should note that there are different types of interviews. There are interviews with admissions counselors – if you can get an interview with an admissions counselor, all the better as they are the ones who are going to be evaluating you. Often, however, the interviews are conducted by alumni who have volunteered their time to interview applicants.

Interview Takeaway

Interviews can be game-changers. If the schools to which you are applying offer an interview, take advantage of that opportunity. Remember, you always want to put your best foot forward, so make sure you are prepared. Do your homework and be ready to tell the interviewer about yourself and why you want to attend that specific college.

Looking for help with the college search and application process?

Looking for help with the college search and application process? We help students and families through the entire college planning journey – from search, applications and essays to interview prep, financial aid consultation and final school selection.

Contact us at or by phone, 845.551.6946. We work with students through Zoom, over the phone, and by email.