The college admissions interview is a critical part of the college application process. The interview gives colleges a chance to get to know you as a person, and it allows you to show them who you are beyond your grades and test scores.
If you're planning on applying to college, then you need to start preparing for your admissions interviews now.
And the best way to do that is by practicing solo.
In this article, we'll give you some tips on how to train for your college admissions interview alone. We'll also provide some resources that will help you prepare for the big day.
Memorise your script before you even think of rehearsing
If you're looking to ace your college admissions interview, one of the best things you can do is memorize your script.
That way, when the time comes to rehearse, you'll already have all the key points down and won't have to worry about forgetting anything important.
You'll be able to focus on delivering a great performance during the actual interview.
Plus, having a solid script will help you stay calm and collected during the actual interview - which is crucial for making a good impression on admissions officers.
Read through the entire script several times.
The more familiar you are with the material, the easier it will be to memorize.
Break the script down into smaller sections and focus on memorizing one section at a time.
Write out key points or cue cards for each section to help jog your memory during the actual interview.
Repeat each section aloud several times until you have it completely memorized.
Look at yourself in a mirror or on video to review your own performance
Once you've know the entire script by heart and have 100% familiarity, practice delivery by reading it aloud in front of a mirror.
Another option is to go record yourself so that you can playback. During the rewind, hear any errors or areas that need improvement.
Use active visualisation to imagine a fierce panel of interview judges who will rebut your every statement
When it comes to college admissions interviews, preparation is key.
And while you may not be able to have a practice run with an actual panel of interviewers, you can use active visualisation to get yourself ready for the big day.
Steps to perform a practice run for an interview on your own
- Start by finding a quiet place where you won't be interrupted.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax your body and clear your mind.
- Then, begin to imagine yourself in the interview setting.
- See yourself sitting across from a table of judges who are eager to grill you on everything from your academic record to your extracurricular activities.
Listen as they fire off questions at you, and do your best to answer them confidently and concisely.
Pay attention to how you're feeling during the exercise - are you:
This will help give you an idea of what emotions might come up on interview day so that you can be prepared for them.
Prepare scripted responses: Anticipate for all sorts of interview questions the admission committee can throw at you
First, write out a list of potential questions you think you will hear during the admissions interview.
Brainstorm lots and lots of questions you think admissions will ask. These are usually your typical questions like:
- Self introduction; on what is your personal motto, motivation and brand.
- Why join this school
- How are you better than your friends who applied, strengths and weaknesses
- In what ways can you contribute to the diversity of the college
- Leadership in your submitted essay, in school context and in extra-curricular activities and environments
Then for each question, draft an outline answer in bullet form.
Jot down the key things you will want to talk about. This gives you a general framework and guideline. Pen down notes in bullet form. You can memorise this later to take it with you during your interview.
This will help you organize your thoughts and stay on track during the actual interview.
Next, practice answering these questions out loud.
Either in front of a mirror or with a friend or family member acting as the interviewer, voice out your answer. Don't be afraid and whisper the answers to yourself.
- Show strength! Communicate power!
- Don't be timid or afraid in sharing things that you think may harm you (like your weaknesses)
Have no fear.
You need to see how you react (best option) or get someone to give you feedback on how you did.
This will help you get comfortable with speaking extemporaneously about yourself and increase your confidence going into the real thing.
Find other lone wolfs by reaching out to friends of friends and schoolmates instead of classmates
If you're looking to train for college admissions interviews alone, there are a few things you can do to find other lone wolfs.
First, try reaching out to friends of friends and schoolmates instead of classmates.
This way, you'll be able to connect with people who share your same goals and interests.
Additionally, consider joining an online community or forum dedicated to college admissions training.
Here, you'll be able to interact with others who are also preparing for their interviews and get advice and tips from more experienced members.
Finally, don't forget to utilize your other resources
There are plenty of books, articles, and websites out there that can provide valuable information on how best to prepare for your interview.
Reach out to school alumni or other students who have recently been through the same interview. Their experience, feedback and tips can help you do better in your own interview.
By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to acing your college admissions interview in no time!