CollegeAdvisor Masterclass: College Interviews
Former Admissions Officer Shannon Kennedy gives a masterclass on the college interview process and how to the best emulate your potential to interviewers.
2022-02-22 CollegeAdvisor Masterclass: College Interviews
[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor Masterclass: College Interviews. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with the presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q and A. On the sidebar, you can download our slides and you can start submitting questions in the Q and a tab. Now let’s meet our panel.
Hi everyone. My name is Shannon Kennedy. I am substituting for my colleague who was called to jury duty today. So if you were expecting to see Angela I’m stepping in to help her. Uh, she’s doing her civic duty, but I am also a former admissions officer, um, from Northwestern university. And I actually live in Evanston, Illinois now where Northwestern is located.
Um, so I’m happy to be here tonight to give you some insight into, um, the interview [00:01:00] process for college. So looking forward to telling you, uh, everything I know and leaving plenty of time for questions. Great. Well, thank you, Shannon. Um, I know that our participants are in really great hands. So to started off, we want to get a sense of what grade are you in.
So please begin to put your responses in now.
I’m looking forward to hearing more about college interviews. I have a few students that I work with within college advisor that I have been doing some interviews. So I know that you’re going to give our participants some really great tips around college interviews. Yep. Now’s the time for it. It is, it is.
Okay. So we have, the responses are coming in. So we have about 60% of our participants are in the 11th grade, followed by that we have about 25% or so that are in the 12th [00:02:00] grade, 12% in the 10th grade. And then we have a few ninth graders in others. Okay. So I’ll turn it back over to you, Shannon. Okay.
Awesome. So a lot 11th graders here getting a headstart on things, which is fantastic. All right. So let’s just start from the beginning and talk about college interviews. Um, these is almost all college interviews are happening online. Um, there used to be more in-person, but most of the time now you can expect a zoom interaction.
Usually with an alumni occasionally with an admissions officer. And, um, interviews really, um, vary in how much impact they have on the application process. So, uh, depending on the school that you’re interviewing for, you might want to put a little bit research, uh, research into it to try to. Stan kind of how much the process weighs in, but I would [00:03:00] say kind of on the whole, it’s usually more of a chance just to put a face, a personality with that application.
And also for the student to ask some questions, it’s usually. Uh, pivotal critical factor in the admissions decision, but it is just kind of like an extra opportunity to show your passion, your interest in that, um, institution. And, uh, I’ll tell also, just get some additional information for yourself. Make another connection with.
Um, every school does not require an interview. There are a handful out there that do try to interview all of their applicants. Um, but for the most part, it would just be way too much for institutions to interview every applicant. Um, so for the. Part it’s usually optional. Um, oftentimes, um, colleges aren’t able to actually provide enough interview slots for all the applicants that want to interview.[00:04:00]
Um, so, uh, usually. Uh, that’s another reason why it can’t be a real pivotal critical part of the decision making process, because it just wouldn’t be fair because everybody can’t necessarily have that opportunity to participate in an interview at most places. Um, so typically optional and not required besides a few places.
Um, usually students are paired with interviewers from their local area for the most part. Um, now of course, that most of these interviews are be being conducted remotely. It’s certainly more possible to be paired with interviewers in. Any location. Um, but usually in your local area, which helps, you know, with time zones and just familiarity with your high school, um, and background.
Um, so for the, for the most part, uh, usually, uh, regional admissions, [00:05:00] um, alumni groups, um, organized. Provide those interviewers from the local area to the students from the surrounding schools as well. So that’s kind of some of the biggest six, the lay of the land. And then we’ll dive a little bit deeper into some of these different topics.
So I’m, again, just kind of going a little bit more into how it can help your application. Um, again, that, that top, um, Thing that you’re doing by participating in the interview is really, you know, demonstrating that you’re willing to take the time to, um, go through that process to show that extra effort and, uh, hopefully to do a little bit of research into explain why you are passionate about that institution and a good fit for that institution.
So you want to be prepared to explain that. And, um, having the opportunity to just kind of, you [00:06:00] know, be in real life versus on paper or a screen, um, with words versus, you know, a picture of yourself, um, can really help to bring your application to life. Um, so hopefully you’ll be able to convey a little bit of your personality to that interviewer.
That there’ll be able to report back to the admissions officers. Who’d be reviewing your file. Um, you can also have maybe a little bit more time to explain any personal situations or things that may have impacted, you know, your performance over time. Um, and even explain in more detail, um, some of the activities that aren’t possible to really elaborate on fully in your.
Uh, admissions application. When you get, you know, small spaces, a certain number of characters to explain your activities, uh, you really, um, might feel a little confined by that. And this is going to be [00:07:00] your opportunity to really, again, demonstrate your passion for the things that you do and explain them in further detail so that that can be passed on to the admissions committee.
So admissions interviews can rarely hurt an application. Um, so like I said, because it can’t be provided to every, uh, student for the most part. Um, it usually can’t be held against you or really hurt you in any particular way. Um, again, it’s not, you know, that critical factor. Uh, just your opportunity to add a little extra to your application.
Um, so really can usually only, you know, have a downside if something goes really, really wrong. So, um, you know, if you just showed up like completely unprepared, like for example, forgetting, you know, the name of the college that you’re talking about, um, [00:08:00] cause you’re confused. With a variety of different interviews or just kind of, you know, uh, on your phone or something like that during the conversation and not being engaged in the discussion, um, or perhaps, you know, not, um, Getting, you know, just in a good location, you know, ready to talk.
Um, otherwise, you know, it’s really gonna probably be a positive experience and be, um, a little benefit to your application. So I bet nobody here would find themselves in that situation because you’re all thinking ahead and being prepared. Um, so there’s really nothing to fear. It’s. Really, um, should be an enjoyable experience and shouldn’t have any downside.
So I see Lonnie back. So we’re ready for another poll, right? Yes we are. [00:09:00] So, you know, as we get ready to dive more into college interviews, we want to get a sense of, have you ever done an interview? So please let us know. Yes or no. I love Shannon. I love your framing just around, like, thinking about going into the interviews is like trying not to stress out as much about it.
There’s nothing to be fearful about, although it’s easier said than done at times. So I know you’re going to give some. Great continuous great tips for our participants. Is there have a good number of 11th grade students? Like you said, they’re already getting an early start. Yeah. I’m interested to see how many people have done an interview, because I think for a lot of people, this will be one of their first experiences, which is why it could be nerve wracking for sure.
Definitely shouldn’t be afraid. Absolutely. So speaking of, um, how many have done an interview? So we have about 62% of our participants have not done an interview followed by that [00:10:00] 40, 38% have done an interview before. Okay. Very interesting.
Alright. So let’s talk about some basic advice. Um, again, you know, we’re talking, we were talking just about things that could go wrong. So, um, to, uh, just kind of start off on the right foot. You want to present yourself professionally. Um, you want to think again about your background, what you’re wearing, if you’re in a.
The space, if your technology is ready, just to kind of make sure that anything that could possibly go wrong, um, that you have thought about, um, taking care of all those little details and kind of put yourself in the best position to be successful. So you want to think about, you know, being professional, um, and prepared, uh, just with all your technology and your location.
Um, and I [00:11:00] guess it would be kind of rare these days to be in person. Um, but if in person, you know, you want to show up early, um, you know, make sure you’re really clear on where you’re going, where you’re meeting. Um, think about what you are. Order if you’re at a coffee shop, which is where a lot of these interviews do happen, you don’t want to order something like messy and hard to control.
Um, and a great tip, um, that has been shared with me is, you know, rather than being on your phone, when the person, um, shows up, be great to be reading a book or a newspaper or something, just to kind of set that tone from the beginning, um, that you are. Professional and kind of an interesting person to talk to.
Um, that could be a great, just kind of starter to the conversation too. If you’re reading the paper or one of your favorite book. Um, again, you do want to be respectful, [00:12:00] um, and, uh, be respectful of the time. Be thankful, um, for do the interview or for taking their time, um, to conduct this interview for you.
Most of the time, the alumni who conduct these interviews are just volunteers who care and want to help out their institution and are very, you know, enthusiastic. Um, Alums. So, you know, just being thankful and genuine and respectful, uh, to them, uh, with their time, um, is really important. Um, doing research before the interview is definitely, um, advisable.
Uh, you certainly want to, um, know about the institution, uh, about why you want to attend the institution, which we’ll talk more about in a minute, but, um, also, um, Think about what you don’t know and what questions you could ask, uh, the interviewer. Um, you may [00:13:00] also find out a little bit about the interviewer in advance.
Um, these days, pretty typical to Google the person, right. Or to look at their LinkedIn, to know a little bit about them. And I don’t think anybody would be surprised to know that you had just at least, you know, looked in, um, to what their profession is. Just to find out a little bit about them. But of course you don’t want to be creepy or weird about knowing too much information about your interview.
It’s totally okay. You know, to look at their LinkedIn, to understand a little bit about what, um, career they’re in. So then maybe you would have some questions about that as well, especially if it is in some alignment with what your interests. Um, you do want to think of, um, good questions, not just questions that you could, uh, find online, um, by Googling the answer, but questions that might be personal, um, to that, uh, interviewer’s experience [00:14:00] at the institution, you know, what did they take away from it?
What are their experiences as an alum? Um, What were their favorite classes, things that are, um, not things that you could find by looking at the college’s website. So do you think, uh, think about questions and make sure you’re prepared for that. Um, making eye contact, uh, can be difficult certainly, um, on, uh, Zoom or video call.
Um, so think about kind of how you’re placing things on the screen so that you’re looking towards the camera, um, more than off the camera, which is also a challenge when you’re in a webinar too. So, um, definitely, you know, think about how you can look more towards the camera. Um, if that’s the case or, um, when you’re in person, perhaps it’s a little bit easier to make icon.
Um, just to remember that, um, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a, uh, a [00:15:00] hard line interview where the person is just asking you question after question. Um, you can also ask questions throughout and make it more of a conversation. And a lot of times, um, That’s what interviewers expect. Um, they want to get to know you and it’s a little bit more casual.
Um, so you don’t have to think of it so much as like a job interview where you’re going to be fired question after question after question, which is kind of be prepared to make it a little bit more of a conversation and ask, uh, you know, follow up questions or questions throughout, um, to the interviewer.
Um, and hopefully that will help everyone be more relaxed during the conversation is.
Um, got some tips for topics to avoid. Um, so definitely don’t want to get into, you know, school drama. Um, we’re, you know, Love life [00:16:00] type things, you know, situations with friends, you know, again, thinking about things that are private, that you wouldn’t really share out. Um, you don’t want to be dishing all kinds of gossip during the interview.
Um, typically I’m staying away from political conversation. Um, you know, not knowing what anybody, his political views are going into the interviewer into the interview. Um, you may want to just kind of play it safe there and, um, not get into any territory that could be a little bit dicey. So, um, typically good idea to kind of take a, uh, more moderate or, um, careful approach, um, when you’re going into political topics.
Um, you really just want to be yourself. Um, and, uh, there’s kind of this balance of, um, being, you know, confident and [00:17:00] presenting your strengths and, uh, not being kind of like overconfident or saying things just that you think that they want to hear. Um, so, um, sometimes students may be, feel like they should rehearse or kind of have a script or, or things planned.
Um, it’s definitely okay. To practice a little bit, to say some things out loud. I definitely, um, usually advise my students to do that, especially for. Um, questions that we would expect, but you also don’t want to sound too rehearsed or over, over eager, um, or memorized. So it’s kind of that balance between, between being ready and confident versus being kind of like over, over, um, aggressive or, um, rehearsed.
So, uh, let’s talk about some of those common questions that you could kind of prepare [00:18:00] for practice out loud, again, not memorize, but just kind of say some words so that they come out of your mouth a little bit easier when you run into them in the real interview. Um, so. Often the interview will start with something as simple as, you know, tell me about yourself.
Um, so, uh, you want to have, um, some ideas of what you want to say. They’re obviously kind of like, you know, just the basics where you go to school, what you’re interested in studying. Some things that maybe you do outside of school. Um, just a few minutes worth of an introduction to you. Um, wouldn’t expect this to go on for much longer than that.
The basics, um, that you would want to tell, um, the big ones. That will probably come up and that you really do want to do the research and be prepared for is why you’re interested in the particular college. Um, so you definitely want to have a good detailed answer for [00:19:00] that question. That’s certainly going to come up in conversation.
Um, what are your future goals? Um, pretty likely to come up as well. Um, This one is sometimes hard for students who are still kind of deciding what they’re interested in, um, or, you know, maybe considering multiple majors. Um, it’s totally okay to be undecided. And to say that, um, you don’t have to have specific goals in mind.
But, uh, if you don’t, then maybe you want to think more about that one and kind of what you will be prepared with, what you will say. Um, when you get that question, um, hopefully there will be instant lighthearted questions, just like, what do you do for fun? What do you do outside of the class? Um, and hopefully you’ll have, uh, some good answers for that.
Um, referred some, um, questions like, uh, [00:20:00] You know, what are you reading right now? Um, even some weird ones come up from time to time. Like, what if you were an animal? What animal would you be? Uh, those are a little bit more uncommon. So sometimes there are just some fun ones in there too. Um, and then, uh, you can always expect the interview.
Interviewer to ask you if you have questions. Um, so you do want to make sure that you’re prepared, um, for, um, asking some questions. As I mentioned before, about their personal experience, uh, at the institution, um, maybe advice that they would have for you, et cetera. Um, and have a good list of questions so that even if you’ve kind of talked about a lot of things, Throughout that, um, you have something left to ask at the end.
Because, uh, you don’t want to say no to this, that you have no [00:21:00] questions you want to, you know, um, I think zoo, you know, enthusiasm and interest, and really, um, ask a question there at the end. So make sure you have something, um, that’s kind of general enough that it couldn’t possibly be fully answered throughout the whole conversation.
Okay. So I went through that pretty quickly. Um, let’s see it, there were questions and then I’m sure I could have some other tips, uh, that I have in mind as well, but maybe they’ll come up during the question. Yes. Yes. So thank you, Shannon. We will go ahead. Like you said, and move into our live Q and a what’s going to happen is I’m going to read through the questions that you all have submitted in the Q and a tab.
I’ll post them in the public chat so that everyone can see them, read them out loud. And then Shannon will answer them as a heads up. If your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions. [00:22:00] Just double-check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not the webinar landing page.
Okay. So we have a couple of questions actually, while you were presenting. So first question is, um, in your opinion, um, for this, for this participant, I didn’t request any interviews, but some of the colleges I applied to set up interviews with me via email. Um, does that mean they’re interested in. Hmm, that’s a good question.
I’m so hard to tell right off the bat. Um, some colleges do interview all of their students. Um, so you can’t read too much into it. Um, And, um, like I said, at a lot of places it’s optional and they can’t give an interviewer interview to everyone. Um, so it’s not usually, you know, a main deciding factor in [00:23:00] the process.
Um, so I would say usually you can’t, um, read too much into it or you shouldn’t presume anything based on being offered an interview. Okay. Um, next question is, is dressing professionally important and if so, what should a person wear? That’s a really hard kind of hard question. Um, I don’t think anyone is expecting you to show up, um, in a suit and tie, um, or you know, a jacket or anything.
Um, and, uh, Uh, when everyone is kind of, you know, working from home for the most part these days, I think, uh, This is also, you know, evolving in today’s society. What is business professional? What is business casual, um, business zoom tires. So, um, it’s kind of difficult and [00:24:00] evolving, uh, to answer, but I, I think in general, you know, That kind of business casual, um, is the way to go.
We’re not expecting, you know, full on business suit and tie type, uh, level of attire, um, but better, you know, probably better than a t-shirt or what you would wear to school on an everyday basis. Is something a little bit elevated from your typical casual classroom?
Um, and next question is, do you have any specific tips for scholarship interviews with a panel of interviewers? Yeah, scholarship interviews, um, are often for, um, you know, like honors programs again, you know, maybe that have additional, um, opportunities attached to them, um, at the college. Um, again, like doing your [00:25:00] research.
Knowing, you know, what that opportunity is all about and what it entails, uh, being prepared, I think is the most important thing. Um, a lot of times those scholarships kind of in the questions that they ask you in the application, you know, hint at what is important to them in terms of maybe leadership or service, or kind of like, what is the thing that they’re looking for?
So kind of cluing in to, you know, You’ve been asked so far what you know about the scholarship, um, and expecting questions around kind of what ever their mission, um, or scholarship program is, is kind of all about. So I would kind of look for those clues in the application process that you’ve gone through so far.
Great. Um, other question is, um, How do you find out if, where do you, how do you know if a university or college is [00:26:00] offering the interviews, like work? Where should a student go? Yeah. So you probably just want to start with Google, right? Whatever university interview and see, start looking to see what you can find.
Um, Sometimes, you know, it’s very clear on the website. Sometimes it’s very buried. Sometimes there’ll be emailing you, you know, encouraging you to do it. Other times you kind of have to look, um, look out for that opportunity. Um, a lot of. Selective colleges. Uh, you’ll be invited after you have completed your application.
Um, but there are some colleges where you can interview even like over the summer or early fall if you’re visiting campus. Um, so when you’re signing up for the campus visit, maybe you could actually sign up for an interview at that time as well. Um, so you kind of should, uh, you know, once you get your list pretty final, maybe.
That Googling of the [00:27:00] college name and interview to see what you can find out about interviews at that particular institution. And, and start probably if you have a spreadsheet, you know, lists of your colleges, a column for interviews, whether they’re offered what you have to do, um, to take part in that, um, and start digging into that info.
Great. Uh, I have a, we got a few questions still about attire and what to wear. Um, so a couple of little questions is, you know, what do you wear to a virtual interview? But then another participant asked specifically, like, do I wear a student’s high? Am I casual? What are, what’s your opinion? Yeah, this is always a hard question to answer even when I was working in colleges and, um, Trying to explain to soon employees what to wear.
Like it’s hard to, um, be [00:28:00] super specific and definitive with attire and describing, you know, what clothes should look like. Um, so, you know, for guys, sometimes I feel like it’s a little bit more straightforward and easy to say, like a shirt with a collar is probably, you know, a better, but, um, for. Anybody, you know, again, I just think probably like a little bit better than what you typically wear to school.
Um, you know, you don’t want to look rumpled or just shoveled or, you know, dirty. You want to look clean and presentable. Um, That’s the best way, I guess. I don’t know if you have any other suggestions, Lonnie. I, it’s hard to put that one into definitive. Yeah. Yeah. I think, I think you answered it pretty well.
Um, I know. Participant asks, like, do I wear a suit and tie? I wanted to see [00:29:00] what your opinion was on that response. Yeah. I hear some, I see some people saying like, yeah, you could stand out by wearing a suit and tie. I mean, yeah, certainly you, you could go all the way there, if you want to. I don’t think it would hurt you in any way and maybe it would stand out a little bit.
Um, but I don’t think that you can, um, you know, be required or expected that might be challenging for them. Well to get a well-fitting suit and tie. Absolutely. I agree with you. I agree. Um, what are some other ways I can connect to college represented re representatives and gain recognition. If I am not able to integrate.
Yeah. Um, you can definitely, you know, email your admissions officer and say, um, that you, uh, attempted to schedule an interview or you, you know, got on the list, but you weren’t able to do so. And, um, kind [00:30:00] of. Uh, the few lines about things that you wanted to share or interesting things that have happened since your application was submitted.
Um, so I think it’s totally fair to reach out to your admissions officer and, um, not complain, you know, that you didn’t get an interview, but just to say, you know, you had hoped to, and you’re sorry, you didn’t get to share these, you know, new things that happened and just wanted to pass them on. So I would totally.
Email your admissions officer to give a little bit more info since he didn’t get the chance to do it in person. Okay. This is a great question. Um, there’s many great questions, but I like this one. What if I get nervous at an interview and blank out and forget what to say? What should I do? Okay. So, um, if it’s a zoom interview, uh, right now, [00:31:00] uh, you’re in a lucky situation, again, if you’re prepared, you can even have post-it notes on the sides of your screen with a couple of phrases, you know, things to remind you of stories that you hope to share, um, kind of your agenda.
Little tidbits up there to remind you along the way and your maybe your list of questions. And then it doesn’t look like you’re looking down at notes, but you’ve got notes kind of up there to refer to. So, um, that is, uh, one of the benefits of the online interviews, um, in person, you know, I think. Yeah, anytime I attend an interview, I always have a notebook, um, with me with my list of questions and always my resume or, um, some information.
So if you have a resume. Um, bringing that with you in person, I think is a great idea, or just even having it, you know, with you, if you’re [00:32:00] going to be online, um, to think about some of the things that you’ve accomplished, that you want to share about. Um, it’s totally okay to, you know, glance down at that, um, to kind of reset yourself something that you can share.
Yeah. That’s those are really, really great tips. Um, I think the key in it is, is preparation. So like Shannon, like you said, you can have a notebook. I think it’s also okay to, to let the interviewer know. Um, can you give me a moment? I need to kind of regather myself. Like they know that you’re probably nervous, so it’s okay to be kind of honest with them and, and ask, can you have a second to gather yourself and pause before you answer the question?
So you can think about. You know what to say? Yeah. Okay. Next question. Uh, is it appropriate to ask questions about scholarships slash financial aid during [00:33:00] the interview? Um, usually that’s probably not something that the interviewer is going to have information about. Um, especially if they’re an alum, um, they probably will not be able to advise you on scholarship opportunities or, um, discuss, you know, in any detail your financial aid, um, application or situation.
So. Um, I would say probably not with an alum. Um, if it’s an admissions officer that you’re interviewing with, um, they may have a little bit more information on how you could be considered for additional scholarships or, um, engage with the financial aid process. So, um, I think that that would be fine to discuss with an admissions officer, but I don’t think an alum will be able to go very far into those topics.
Do you have any tips for group interviews? [00:34:00] Yeah. Group interviews, um, are, uh, often more, you know, nerve wracking, challenging, and then, um, one-to-one interviews. Um, And I think, uh, we used to do group interviews, um, for tour guides. Um, and one of my biggest pet peeves in a group interview, uh, when I’m on the interviewer side is when, um, the person answers and, uh, they haven’t.
Like acknowledged or it’s, it’s clear that they weren’t listening at all to the person who just spoke. So, um, it’s, it’s kind of like a test for like how you’re going to be in the classroom, like how you’re going to engage in, build on, you know, comments that other people have made and kind of interact in a conversation with your peers.
Um, [00:35:00] so I think it’s really important to also be really keyed into listening, which is really hard. When you’re feeling, you know, like you’re there to talk and you’re thinking also about what you want to say. So it’s hard to juggle that. Um, so again, this would be a time where it’s okay to write, take notes probably while that’s going on.
Um, so that you can remember a, what the person said and what you want to say and be responsive to the other folks who are there. I think you also want to, you know, speak fairly early kind of like, you know, maybe, you know, you don’t feel like being the first person out of the gate or maybe it will be kind of more facilitated where they’ll call you in a certain order or something like that.
But, um, I do think you want to, you know, The earlier and memorable in the conversation. So, um, it may be a little bit out of your [00:36:00] comfort zone to be a little bit more aggressive or vocal than you usually are, but to, um, take the opportunities to speak and not kind of sit back and wait too long before kind of everything that you wanted to say has already been said.
So. Those I’m sure those are definitely nerve-wracking. Um, but again, being prepared, um, can certainly set you up to be a successful. Okay. Regarding to the fact that schools can’t provide flats to everyone. What’s the factors it’s determined by our, is it first come first serve. So, so in most cases it is first come first serve.
Um, so it’s another. Reason that you need to be really, you know, on top of your emails or your portals or whatever way that the college is communicating with you. Um, because, um, it may be somewhat, you know, by geography, you know, what’s [00:37:00] available in this area or that area, but within that area, it’s probably first come first serve.
Um, so you do want to make sure that as soon as you get that invitation, that your. Responding, figuring out a kind of how to set, set, set that up or replying back to that alum, if they, um, email you directly, whatever it is you want to just be on top of it, checking your messages and making sure that you’re ready to reply to those.
If the college interviews ask for experience such as job, our intern, how to respond to them, if you don’t have the expanse. Yeah. Um, I would say that that’s, um, certainly not our requirements most of the time, or maybe not something that, um, is typically always asked or even expected. Uh, these days fewer and fewer [00:38:00] students have, um, Direct to the job experience.
Um, so, you know, I don’t think you would be unusual, um, or, you know, Disregarded because you don’t have that experience. Um, I think it’s totally okay. You could speak about, you know, like what you, what internships you want to have when you get to college. What you’re, you know, thinking about for your career goals, what experiences you’re looking for and how you are excited.
Is that the college maybe offers this or that, you know, internship opportunity or program that you’ll be able to take advantage of. Um, so I think you could kind of turn it towards being excited for the opportunities that the college will offer you because you haven’t had that chance yet.
Okay. Any recommendations on doing mock interviews at home to prepare. Yeah, [00:39:00] I definitely think mock interview views are, um, a good idea. Um, so, um, again, if you Google X university and interview questions, you’ll probably turn up some results. Um, I know we probably have some. Blogs about interviews as well, with example questions.
Um, so you can certainly find lots of potential questions out there besides just the basic ones, um, that we covered today. And, um, like I said, certainly practicing out loud, um, helps you to, uh, flow better in the actual interview. Um, when you’ve, you know, kind of had some of these phrases come out of your mouth.
So. Again, not over practicing memorizing, but just kind of practicing, telling smokers stories, thinking about, you know, what points are important that you want to cover? Um, not being over prepared, but just kind of feeling confident. [00:40:00] Great. Okay. We’re going to take a short pause from our live Q and a. So I can share with you all a little bit more about college advisors.
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So with that, we’re going to go back to our live Q and a few more minutes left. Uh, so next question, let’s see,
I asked this is a little kind of pivoting a little bit from the college interviews, but that’s on it. So what kind of extracurricular activities are most schools looking for? Yeah. Um, so there’s not one right answer. Most of the questions about college admissions don’t have one right answer. They’re all kind of complicated answers.
Um, there’s no one specific thing that you need to have, but really colleges are looking for the fact that you’ve had something. I’ve been interested in and maybe taking it up to a really high level [00:42:00] or really taken a leadership role in it. Um, so, uh, I was reading something today, um, that resonated, which was, you know, colleges, aren’t looking for a.
Class of well-rounded students, they’re looking for a well-rounded class of students. Um, so it doesn’t mean, you know, that everybody has to be this same and have, you know, a sport, a service, um, an art, you know, and all of those things. But that just, that you’ve had. One or two of those things that you’ve been really passionate about and really kind of taken on a level of accomplishment or achievement.
And, um, so you just need to, you know, do you do the things that you care about and do them to your highest capability and that’s your answer? Are there any big differences between academic and athletic interviews? [00:43:00] Oh, interesting. Um, I don’t know that I’ve been involved or had students involved in athletic interviews.
Um, but I’m sure that coaches do, you know, wants to speak with students, um, and know more about their character and their work ethic. Um, in that athletic process, I’m not as familiar with athletic interviews. Um, Um,
In general interviews, you know, they could be academic, but also, you know, focused on extracurricular activities as well, and kind of go down all of those different topics. Um, so I, I would assume that the athletic interviews will be more specifically focused on what kind of a teammate you are and how you’re gonna contribute in.
The sport [00:44:00] versus kind of, um, all of, all of the different aspects that may come into a general interview. Okay. Um, next question is pretty detailed. Um, how should you act during an interview casual and laid back such as you’re having a good time, but it’s tentative or stern, informal, but also. Yeah. So again, that, I don’t think there’s a right answer here.
I do think you have to kind of reflect back what the interviewer is giving you, right? You want to, um, if they are, you know, pretty tight and stern, I think then you want to be more formal in your responses. If they’re a little bit more casual, you want to kind of, um, Meet that level somewhat. Um, so, um, I think this is where, you know, your interpersonal skills come in.
[00:45:00] Um, and you want to kind of read that a little bit, um, and be kind of in line with what the interviewer is presenting to you. And you can have a wide range of experiences and interviewers. You might have, you know, a younger alum who you really identify with, and it’s a more casual conversation. You might have an older, more, you know, like seasoned professional, who, um, does perhaps a lot of interviewing, um, in a professional, um, sense.
And so it was maybe more. Formal in the process. Um, so I think you can kind of come in, you know, expecting it could go any direction and kind of read from what the interviewer is presenting to you. Okay. If you have an in-person interview, Is [00:46:00] this still okay. Or have things changed because of COVID about shaking the interviewer’s hand at the beginning and the end of the interview.
Yeah. I feel like this answer could change on a daily basis or based on where you live and what kind of the restrictions or norms are in your area. So I think, uh, these days it’s absolutely, um, expected, you know, to ask, um, or to, you know, say like, oh, is it okay to shake your hand? Or, um, I’m not going to shake hands and, you know, as, as I’m sure, you know, if you’re not comfortable with that, it’s okay to say you’re not going to shake hands.
I think these days, everybody is used to. Respecting each other’s comfort level with touching and personal space. So, um, I think you should ask or be comfortable saying, um, that you are not going to shake hands and said, you know, [00:47:00] elbow bump or whatever, um, you may want to offer. Um, it’s awkward, um, right now with that.
So, um, I think you should, you know, feel comfortable, um, Expressing, you know, whatever your comfort level is, was shaking hands or not. And asking what theirs is. Okay. So this question I’m asked, how do I get recognized if I’m a freshman in high school? So maybe like how to stand out as a freshman or how to prepare so early in high school.
Yeah. Okay. So going a little off the interview topic, um, if you are a freshman in high school, um, I think you want to just focus most on getting off on a good academic start in thinking about your long-term academic trajectory. Um, you know, if you’re an [00:48:00] engineering hopeful student, are you gonna be. So one of the highest levels of math and physics, you know, that your school offers.
So thinking about kind of that course planning and setting that up for success over the four years is really important to think about as a ninth grade student. Um, and the fact that that GPA is cumulative, uh, what you do in ninth grade does matter and does kind of lay that foundation, uh, for the rest of the year.
Um, so more than anything, staying on your academic game and that transition to high school can be tough. It can be a new academic environment. Um, so just, you know, seeking out help where you need it. Um, getting off to a really good start. That’s where your main focus should be. Maybe trying out a couple of different activities, clubs.
Things to do, um, outside of class and, and [00:49:00] finding, you know, those things that, um, resonate with you so that you can start to build on them over the years. So it’s an opportunity to really lay that academic foundation and to try, um, experiment with some things outside of class. What is a good general question for an interview or.
Um, and this is specifically for a large scholarship at a school of their choice. What’s a good question to ask. Okay. Um, generally, um, you, regardless of a scholarship, um, I would usually ask, you know, kind of, what are some of their favorite traditions from that school? Um, how has the alumni network, um, serve them after graduation?
Um, is a good one. Um, What advice do they have for [00:50:00] you as you potentially attend that college? Um, is a good one. Um, I don’t know if I would have any more, um, specific ones for a scholarship. I guess it depends on if. Like a faculty member or an alum or an admissions person. It might, it’s more likely, I think, to be, um, a faculty or a staff member.
Um, if it’s a scholarship program. Um, so. What would be a good question? Um, maybe again, if it’s, you know, an academic scholarship about the research opportunities, the internship opportunities, um, I often advise students, you know, when you get to the end and you think about all those stories that you wanted to tell, if you haven’t told all of your stories, can you turn one of your stories into a question?
Um, [00:51:00] Maybe really wanted to talk about your achievements in debate, but that kind of never came up in the questions. So maybe you would say like, oh, over the years I’ve been really involved in debate. I’ve made it to this, in that tournament. Something that I want to continue, or I want to continue, you know, enhancing my public speaking skills.
What opportunities do you think there would be? Um, for me to do that in this program. Um, so that’s, uh, often in some advice that I give, like thinking, have you told all your stories and if not, how can you kind of turn your stories into questions?
Okay. Um, what’s the main goal to achieve when you’re doing an interview with a professor?
Um, with the professor, um, hopefully you would know, kind of in advance who [00:52:00] that professor is and be able to do a little bit of research into what their areas of specialty are. Maybe, perhaps reading some of their papers or research that they’ve published or presented or talks, or sometimes you can even find recordings of classes or things that they’ve done.
Um, so I would want to be, you know, really versed in. What their ideas are, what their specialties are and have some really, you know, specific questions for them in their content area to really impress them with kind of how you’ve prepared and how you’re ready to kind of like engage in what they care about.
Um, So I think in that, you know, preparation would be huge, definitely plan on investing some time into reading and researching and understanding, um, as much as you can, what their content area is. [00:53:00] Okay. Uh, last question. Um, it’s kind of more just around like admissions and applying to colleges. Um, how early is too early to apply for colleges.
Okay. Well, the applications mostly go live over the summer before your senior year. Um, so by, you know, August you can begin applying and certainly there are some people who hit submit on the first day, the application opens up. So that’s, that’s entirely possible to kind of be prepared in advance and, and know what the questions are going to be and, um, be ready for submission.
Um, some university is, um, offer rolling admission where as soon as you complete the application, you can be admitted. Uh, so I’ve seen some students definitely, you know, having. [00:54:00] Um, several admissions early in September and kind of being done cause they knew they wanted to attend one of those places. Uh, but for most students it will be applying throughout the fall with a lot of those applications due in November and then maybe a second wave, um, due by January.
And then there are a few even later deadlines out there. Um, There are a handful of October deadlines here and there. So mostly it’s going to be, you know, mid-October through January, um, when you’ll be applying. And then when do the interviews typically happen for colleges? Yeah. So, um, most colleges do offer the interview after you apply.
Um, so for early decision, that’s going to be, you know, November, maybe early December, um, for regular decision, that’s going to be. [00:55:00] January February, um, for the most part. Um, but like I said, there are some colleges out there that maybe have an interview that’s possible to do just when you’re visiting before you apply, um, or some other options that are available over summer or an early fall.
Um, so you just have to kind of keep your eyes open for those opportunities. If you’re visiting campus or attending, um, sessions. Or even meeting admissions officers in your area or at your school, um, there may be other opportunities that come, uh, outside of the timeline that you’re expecting.
Okay. Well, thank you, Shannon for sharing all. Wealth of knowledge about college interviews and thank you to our participants for joining us this evening. That is the end of the webinar. We had a really great [00:56:00] time telling you about college interviews. Here is our, the rest of the. February series. So we have a couple of more webinars that we will be offering this month and we have a really great list of webinars that are coming in March.
So just a reminder to check out our website at app.collegeadvisor.com with that. Everyone. Thank you again. And thank you, Shannon. Have a great night. Yeah. Thanks for that. Oh, great questions. Thanks Lonnie.