You've got the email setting a date and time for an interview with the admissions team at the college or university you applied at.
Well, preparation is key. Prepare well and get yourself a good interview to boost your chances of getting into that school. Fail to prepare and you'll harm your chances.
Question #1: Tell me about yourself
This seems easy until you really think about it. The difficulty lies in how general it is, so you may not know how to begin. While the schools do want to know about you, this isn't where you spill out your life story (there may not be enough time either - most interviews last around 30 minutes).
Suggestions: Brag about yourself humbly and succinctly. It may sound like an oxymoron, but with the right choice of words, you can paint a portrait of yourself as unique and separate from the other candidates. Throw in a little about your academic achievements as well as what you like to do in your free time.
Raissa Kanku, a sophomore at Ohio Wesleyan University said she sought input from others when preparing to answer this question. She asked friends, teachers and a coach for feedback about what they viewed as her best qualities.
Question #2: Why are you interested in this college/major?
Admission officers ask this question to see two things: 1) whether you're really interested in the major/school; and 2) whether you take your college application process seriously.
Suggestions: There's no easy way around this. Extensive research will be necessary. Don't just talk about the school's rankings, prestige or location, according to Prep Scholar. That just shows a superficial level understanding.
Instead, dig deep. Find out about the specifics about the school's extracurricular activities, cultural values of the school, etc. If there's a particular internship programme the school has, and that relates to the major you are applying for, talk about it.
Talking about how a major will bring you lots of money or job security is a big no-no. Instead, talk about why the subject inspires you - admission officers want to see genuine interest. If there was a light bulb moment that made you decide to major in biology when you were just a six-year-old, talk about it.
Question #3: Can you explain the grading system at your high school?
This one's for the international applicants. Grading systems vary greatly from one district to another within your own country, what more those from another country's.
Question #4: What are your academic strengths and weaknesses, and how have you addressed them?
Colleges want to know how you perceive your achievements as well as how well you overcome obstacles.
Suggestions: When talking about strengths, be specific. And explain how these strengths helped you throughout high school and how you plan to use it in future. For example, "Writing is my biggest strength. I capitalised on this to get an internship programme at a local publishing house, as well as winning an essay competition. I hope to do the same in college".
When it comes to weaknesses, admit them readily, so long as you can show that you have made efforts to overcome them. Don't say you have no weaknesses - no one's going to buy that and you'll only paint yourself as arrogant.
Instead, talk about strategies you've used to overcome procrastination, or a specific story about how you got that C grade to a B in calculus.