Online College Interviews
CollegeAdvisor.com (formerly Bullseye Admissions) presents its webinar on Online College Interviews in a 60-minute webinar and Q&A with a Bullseye advisor. Our presenter will share their interview tips for both in-person and online interviews. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!
2020-11-19 Online College Interviews
[00:00:00] Hello everyone. Welcome to the Bullseye admissions webinar on Online College Interviews. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q&A on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q&A tab.
Do you want to follow along? And you can start submitting questions in the Q and a tab as well. So to kick it off, I’ll give you a little introduction for myself. My name is Kaitlin. I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2018 with an economics BA and an English minor at Cal. I did a plethora of things including where I probably spent most of my time outside of the classroom, being the president of the undergraduate communications club where not only did I do a lot of interviews [00:01:00] myself.
But I also interviewed everyone in coming into our club as well. And then just for some additional background knowledge I’ve done a lot of interviews in my own life in job applications. And also when I was a college advisor before Bullseye, my, I had the great job of interviewing all of our students.
We were working with in mock interviews and also interviewing all of the advisors that were coming into the company. So hopefully this will be helpful for you today. And I also wanted to mention that Hannah here is here for some technical support, feel free to private message her. If you have any issues, she, 100% can help you with anything you need.
You can also ping me, but she is really our tech guru on this call. And really quickly to start off. I would love to start with appall a poll just to see where everyone is. And to see if you scheduled any online interviews already. So I’m starting the [00:02:00] poll hopefully will pop up on your screen soon.
Please feel free to click, and I will start giving you some updates as people come in. So it looks like most of you who are on here have an upcoming college interview, you’re in the right place. A few of you have already had them. So you know what, we can always learn from what we’ve already done. And then some of you would really like to, or, may have just sent in your applications and we can just get you prepared for when those interviews come your way.
So yeah, it seems like now that everyone’s in the majority would like to, but haven’t yet. Okay. So that is great. Thank you all for that. So we are going to just quickly move through everything. First. I wanted to start with interview tips. I know that there are do’s and don’ts everywhere on websites and.
Out there that you can find for yourself. The number one is really be [00:03:00] yourself. That’s really important. I know we can sometimes feel like we need to be super impressive or have these very eloquent and put together answers. And while you do want to, have a good conversation and make sure that you’re getting your points across being yourself and sharing who you are and what’s important to you and what you really enjoy doing.
The interviewer wants to get out of it. Schools, especially schools who have interviews really want to see who you are, and also be able to figure out how you’re going to show up on their campus. And the best way to do that is through conversation. My second big tip is to do your school research.
Yes, this is an interview for you. But you also have the chance to interview this interviewee who maybe is an alum or works in the admissions office. So you get to interview the school a little bit as well. And do you want to show you want to come up with information research to really show that you are interested in this school that, certain programs, professors that you would like to take classes with what their dorms are called on campus or where the best place to get a [00:04:00] cup of coffee is.
And we will go through that a little bit more in some of the top interview questions we’ll hit later in this webinar, but again just a reminder, this also has an exclamation point to really do your research. So the third one is the tip that I give to a lot of my students. It’s also something that I try to take into account when I go into an interview myself.
So I like to come up with five characteristics. This is something I have all the students I work with do before we even start on their applications. But a really quick overview is to think of five things, five characteristics, five personality traits that really embody you, that if someone was meeting you for the first time, really wanted to get to know you and knew these five things about you.
They’d have a pretty good idea of who you are. And also how you’re going to show up as a friend or, as a student. A colleague as a coworker. So write down your five characteristics and throughout your interview, try to work them into questions. So an example of this is [00:05:00] leadership skills.
That’s one of the top ask questions. It’s one of the top supplemental essays. We all have ways that we lead. So thinking of the way in which you’re a leader and embedding those characteristics, those anecdotes that you’ve come up with that really showcase your leadership skills. So you’re ready and prepared to share that with the interviewer, when it comes time for your.
So our fourth big interview tip is to really treat it like a conversation. Again, I know it can feel very nerve wracking. It’s especially weird when you’re now over zoom or it’s an internet version of an interview. So you don’t have that face to face contact. It’s a little bit harder to read those usual signs that you would read if you were sitting across from someone at a coffee shop or in an office, but really treat it like a conversation.
Listen, intently, not along to their questions. Add, follow up questions for the interviewer. And really just say exactly what’s on your mind. You don’t need to have anything memorized while you [00:06:00] should work on and go through all of these top college interview questions. You don’t need to have these really perfectly succinct elevator pitch answers.
You want it to feel natural and really allow the person interviewing you to get to know. The fifth tip is to practice practice. So that goes along with what I was just saying. Again, you don’t want it to be an elevator pitch, but you do want to have an idea of what you’re going to say. So you’re not fumbling along or losing your train of thought a bunch.
You want to make sure that you have some semblance of what you’re going to say, especially to the most asked interview questions so that nothing really throws you off. You have something in the back of your mind that you can bring up, even if it’s just to say out loud while you’re thinking of the rest of your day.
And then the last one is that politeness really is key. Be as polite as you can. I’m sure everyone on here is already. This is just a reminder, I think what I’ve seen as someone who has a ton of video calls everyday for work, [00:07:00] sometimes when we’re on these video calls all the time, or it doesn’t feel like it’s necessarily as real of a scenario, because you’re doing this over a video call that making sure that you still keep those general pleasantries like, oh, hi it’s so nice to meet you.
I’m making sure to say thank you at the end. All of those things, making sure that you show up on time is also really important. Maybe get there a little bit early, even though you don’t have to go to a physical place and it is online. We still want to make sure it feels as real and in-person as possible.
And if you have any questions on any of these, again, feel free to send a message in the public chat or send a message to Hannah. And we can answer any of those at the Q and a at the end. So now that we’ve gone over the basics, we’re going to go through the 10 interview questions, most asked interview questions and how to answer them.
We also have a blog post up that I wrote, I think over the summer or maybe in the [00:08:00] spring. So we can make sure that you get a copy of that as well. But I think it’ll be really helpful to go through these top questions and really start getting you thinking about what you’re going to answer to them when you’re asked them on your own interview.
So the first one is, tell me about yourself. Hands down the most asked question in college interviews, job interviews, any type of interview that you are a part of, usually they ask you to tell me about yourself and it can feel intimidating. How much do you add in, how do you sum yourself up in a few sentences?
So this is one of the questions that I think helps the most to practice because you can really figure out a few different things that you are going to string together in two to four sentences that really succinctly sums up who you are. So one of the first things that I really think is a great way to start describing yourself is coming up with a name.
Something that you feel sums you [00:09:00] up, whether it’s that you’re a sister or a son or you’re a leader, you’re a student, you’re an athlete. You’re an artist. You’re an activist. What is one noun that you would use to describe yourself? If you really can’t think of anything, that’s totally fine. My kind of go-to is a rising senior.
So then we would go once you’ve chosen your noun, go into the characteristics you would use to describe yourself. This is a great place to go back to those five characteristics we talked about in the beginning, those five character traits that you feel, someone needs to know about you to understand your personality and who you are.
So now we’ve have some characteristics we’re going to add on to this now. And so maybe that’s a rising senior. Who’s very passionate or it’s a student leader who is empathetic or No, a sister or a daughter or a son who is a really great listener. And now we have some semblance and we can see who you are.
And in a few sentences, this interviewer is [00:10:00] really going to get a view into your personality and yourself. So once we have this now and figured out, we have a few characteristics we’re going to throw in there. Think about the passions, hobbies, interests, any background information. That you think someone else would have to know to understand your ambitions, where you’re going in life, your favorite things to do what you do on the weekend.
So if you are an athlete, this is a great place to talk about your sport. If you really love community service, I would add that in here if student government is something that you’re passionate about, and you’re also talking about being a student leader, I’m a very empathetic listener. And then talking about being part of ASB or whatever the student government is at your school.
Those make a lot of sense. So really start thinking through it would, after this webinar, we will share the slides. You can also you’ve downloaded them. Hopefully at this point, I would definitely go through and look at these bullet points and just start brainstorming ideas. It can be really hard to think of [00:11:00] the perfect two to four sentences or the perfect, now, and or characteristics to describe of yourself right off the bat.
So just start writing down some different ideas you have. And I would also say asking your closest friends your parents, or any guardians at home, maybe your siblings to say like how they would describe you. That’s always been really helpful for me. Sometimes it’s easier for someone who spends a lot of time to describe you than it is for you to come up with a summation of your.
And then the last is really figuring out what makes you unique. You want to try to be memorable in this interview while still saying, staying in a very genuine, conversational tone. But you do want to showcase your abilities, your talents, what makes you stand out? So thinking of one or two things that you think really makes you unique or would be memorable is also great to add in here.
So some quick examples would be if you’ve won any major contests, if you have any type of artistic [00:12:00] ability, that’s very different. Maybe you do a certain type of photography or you take part in a sport that is a little bit, non-traditional like you’re a really great surfer. Any of those things would be great.
Or if you have a job that you know, other students in high school might not have that make you stand out, I would add that in as well. So to quickly go over this. Tell me about yourself. And we really could do an entire webinar just on this question. So if you have any questions or follow-up thoughts, we’d love to hear them send them over in the chat is to come up with two to four sentences, not written out word for word, just a few bullet points that succinctly sums up who you are by choosing some sort of down to describe yourself, adding in two to three characteristics throughout any passions, hobbies, jobs, interests, dreams that make you stand out, or that are really important to you.
And then adding in one thing that makes you unique, that the person who is interviewing you will really remember. I remember, and [00:13:00] this is not something I would necessarily say in an interview, but a silly thing I wrote into a few of my college supplemental essays was that I really don’t like eating the ends off of grapes.
I have no idea why it gets too close to the stem. That’s something that later I actually had missions officer say, I read so many essays, but I can not forget that you don’t eat the ends off of grapes. That is a completely obscure, crazy thing to put in there. But anything you can say to make yourself memorable maybe a little bit more related to the hobbies or the characteristics you’re sharing really help you stand out in that interviewer’s mind.
So the second question also very popular is why do you want to go to our school? There are other variations and versions of this interview question. One of the ones that I was asking in the interview was what kind of school would you like to go to? So that’s their way of saying, okay, you’re what is your dream school?
And then they’ll go back and see if it matches with what their school is about. And then what are you looking for in a [00:14:00] college? Why are you a good fit for a university? So all of these questions are basically getting down to the same thing they want to see. Not only why are you interested in the school, but also why you’re a good fit.
This is where your research comes in. Remember, do your research figure out professors and clubs and communities programs, classes, any type of activities that are on campus that you’re interested in, that you can name drop, but really show that you’ve done your research. You are interested in going to this school.
One of the things that interviews really try to do is gauge who you are first and foremost, but also see that you’re really interested in the school because anyone can Google, top 10 universities for this major. And if that’s why you’re applying to that school. Great. But they really want people who are going there and who are really passionate.
And so that’s what they try to figure out in these interviews. They want to see your whole self, and then also see that you really liked them. So along with bringing up all of these things that you’ve researched, that you’re [00:15:00] interested in. Another really great thing to say is looking at the dining hall or if there is a an area on campus that a lot of students hang out.
So for example, at UC Berkeley Sproul Plaza, where all of the clubs set up tables and flyer, it was something that was talked about a lot in our club interviews. Cause it’s very specific to that school. See if there are any specific areas where people hang out or where really cool things happen at the school you’re interviewing for bring that up, bring it up by name and then also bring up any characteristics of the school’s learning environment that you really like.
So this is a way to show again, your research and then also show that it’s a good fit for you and not a good fit for you as just a good fit for you as a person, but also for your learning style, because ultimately you are going to college to learn and to get a great education. So they really want to make sure that it’s a great.
This can be, mentor or tutoring programs. It can be any campus resources, it can be class sizes. It can be, if [00:16:00] you’re choosing a private school over a public school, or if you are choosing, large lecture halls over very small classes if there’s a specific program at the school that is very catered to what you want to do later in life, that’s also a great thing to bring up here.
And then just my last kind of comment on this. Why do you want to go to our school question really? Think about why you want to go to this school. Think it through, think of the first things that come to mind. It can be that your parents went there. It can be that a close family friend went there, or it can be that it was in a movie, whatever immediately you think of.
Start with that. It can be funny. It doesn’t have to be but really figure out why you want to go to this school and then apply that to the research that you’re doing.
So our kind of follow up question to that. It’s usually after I’d, after you’ve already answered why you want to go to this school, then they now want to know, okay, you want to go [00:17:00] to this school? What do you want to major in? Why do you want to major in this? What programs are you interested in? These are things that you may have touched on briefly in the, why do you want to go to our school?
But now is the time to really show up. Your skills and all of the classes that you’ve taken in high school, all the clubs that you’ve done, maybe you’ve done research programs or worked for companies that do something in this major. So really talking through and giving yourself a little bit of credit.
So you want to talk about your academic strengths and how they relate to these majors, any outside of school or inside of school work that you’ve done. And also again, bringing up some of the classes and programs and research opportunities, maybe a favorite professor you think you’ll have that really shows that not only do you want to go to this school, but this major is the major for you at this time.
Now that all being said and I felt this way myself. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to major in. I had a feeling I was going to do econ or business, [00:18:00] which is what I ended up doing. But I had so many friends who either came into college undecided or most students switched their majors up to three times during university.
So it’s okay to not know exactly what you want to major in and what you want to do for the rest of your life right now. So if you are looking at this question and thinking, oh my goodness, I have no idea what I want to make. That’s okay. If you’re undecided, it should not count against you. I would double-check that, that school actually has an undecided program.
If you’re going to say that you’re undecided but really speak honestly about why you’re not sure yet and share departments or subjects that you do want to explore while you’re on campus. So this shows that you’re really interested that you have academic subjects that you’re doing well in, and you would like to continue to explore them.
You don’t have to have a specific program in mind. But it’s great to share that you have done some research in programs and in fields that you would like to do some work in, you would like to figure out if that’s a place.[00:19:00]
So the fourth question and is all about being on campus. As you’ll see through a lot of these, they’re a little different than our supplemental essay questions we usually go through because it’s just for one specific school you’re talking face to face and they really want to get a sense of if it’s a fit.
And if you if you like the school, really, so how will you make a different on campus is another very popular question. Other ways that they say this might be like, what will you pursue on campus? What will you contribute to our community? Is there anything you’re currently doing in your community that you’d like to continue doing on our campus, different versions, but what they really want to see is outside of the classroom, what are you going to do on campus?
And so this can be really anything you can figure out what’s most important to you, but really think through how you’re planning on showing up. If you are an athlete, if you’re continuing to play sports, if you do arts and you would like to join the art [00:20:00] program, if you’re a student leader or you’re really into community service, helping your community, how are you going to continue to do that throughout college?
I would look at all of the things you’re doing right now and maybe just check or circle the ones that you would like to continue doing. And then again, look up, do your research, figure out what clubs, organizations, or societies are similar to what you’re doing right now. So you can name drop a little bit again.
Yes. You still want to be genuine, but you also want to show that you’re interested. And I know I’m going to repeat that probably four or five more times, so I apologize. I really want to make sure that we have this understanding and we’re not afraid to show our research while also being true to who we are and making sure that it doesn’t sound like you’re reading off of, admissions panel.
So another way to look at this question, and I think something that’s really important to bring up, even if you’ve already talked through the different organizations you want to join is to think about how you’re planning on making an impact. [00:21:00] So if you are someone who is a big activist and you’re planning on continuing to do that, or get people registered to vote while you’re on campus.
Talk about that. Talk about the causes you care deeply about, talk about what makes you and then figure out what kind of student you are. That is another thing that you can add in here. So not only all of these things that you’re doing outside of the classroom but you can mention that, on campus, maybe your biggest skill is that you always do the reading early, and you’re a great contributor in class, or you’re not afraid to talk and speak up and ask questions and really large lecture halls, because you’ve already had experience doing that in high school, or maybe some college courses you took over the summer.
So figuring out how you’re going to show up on this campus and what makes you special, what will you add once you’re there? And that can feel like a very scary question to ask yourself. So again, go through all of the things you’re doing right now in high school, and that’s a great starting place and [00:22:00] see what will correlate or what you can continue to do on campus.
So the fifth one is. Along the same vein. This is a question that is asked a lot because they want to once your critical thinking skills and how you perceive the world around you. But also it gives you an opportunity to talk about maybe things that gave you a great educational opportunity during high school or things that were a barrier.
So the questions that’s usually asked, and there are many versions of this is what is one thing you would change about your current community or your high school, or what is one thing that makes it great. Oftentimes they will ask them together. So I would have an idea for both. One of the biggest things I do want to say, especially if you’re talking about something you would change is this is not a time to rag on your high school, a rag on your community.
You don’t want it to be overly negative. You really want it to be. Along the lines of, yes, this is critical thinking. Yes. I think [00:23:00] this needs to be fixed, but also sharing solutions. So if you say, for example, in my community, not a lot of people go to college or it’s very hard to get to college there and a lot of resources.
And that’s one thing that you would change, make it more about how you would change that or like how you have overcome that yourself. So this is a great place to, to show what’s important to you and how you would make your community a better. It’s also a really great place to show what will continue to be important in your community at college.
So if there is something that is very important to you in high school or that you would change or that you love, how will that look on your college’s campus? Is this something that your community isn’t doing and neither is your college? How will you change it there? So think through how this will correlate to the school that you’re doing the interview for that’s really important.
They may ask follow-up questions. If you say, I don’t think that there’s enough diversity and inclusion at my high school. And then [00:24:00] the person comes back and says maybe we’re working on that in the college. Would you have us go about that? Have some sort of response on that it’s prepared.
It doesn’t have to be, a 10 step plan, but some idea of how you would change this problem six. And this is one of the. I would say most varied questions. It ends up boiling down to basically who is your role model? Or, other ways that you could say is who do you most admire?
If we had a speaker on campus, who would you invite? You could have dinner with someone who would it be? Anyone who watched gossip girl knows that this question is asked. So along those lines really think about who you look up to and why this person does not have to be a famous person. It also does not have to be someone that no one knows.
But make sure that if you’re choosing someone that’s very often picked like Oprah Winfrey or president Obama, that you have very personal reasons of why this person is your role model. And it’s [00:25:00] not just something that anyone else could have said, or that it’s easily Googleable. So really relate this person to you.
And also think about who do you want to be when you grow up? Why is this person someone that you would aspire to be like, And again, just to reiterate if the interviewer does not know this person, that’s okay. You can give a little bit of background information. It’s great to be a little bit different.
It also, can be your dad or your mom or your grandma, or a mentor that you had a boss that you had just making sure that you have reasons and examples for why you admire them is really helpful. Certain anecdotes one that I most recently read was someone, one of the students I work with talked about Trevor Noah, who obviously is very well known, but really related his background story to her background story.
They both immigrated to the U S around the same time. So that connection makes it a very strong case for why this person is your role model. Versus he [00:26:00] has a really funny TV show. So just keep those things in mind. So number seven is what is your favorite book? They also might just ask, what have you read recently?
Do you have a favorite author? Is there something that you’ve read that’s changed the way that you think. So this is another one of those questions where it does not have to be the most eloquent or intelligent answer. You don’t have to try to overly impress the person interviewing you. They really want to understand what you like reading so they can understand, what your interests are.
And it gives you a little bit of an insight into who you are. So think of some examples, if something doesn’t immediately come to mind, think of your a book that you’ve read multiple times, think of maybe the first book that ever made you really like reading or a book that you read, and immediately you thought differently about something, or maybe question your own beliefs.
Another way to go about this, if you’re like. Yeah, none of those are really doing it for me. I don’t really love reading. That’s a response. I tend to get a [00:27:00] lot when working on this as a supplemental essay, you can also think about a book that someone read to you or gave you. That’s very important to you.
So if your grandma read you a certain story, every single night, when you were younger and you still know it by heart, That is a great answer for what is your favorite book? It doesn’t have to be, I absolutely love the Odyssey and I’ve read it backwards and forwards 20 times. It does not have to be something that you’ve read in school.
That being said it also, if you don’t do a lot of reading outside of school, choose one of your favorite books that you read in class, and then you can talk to the interviewer about why this was a book that you liked in class, how it made you think of the world differently. What types of discussions came up in your classroom?
What other people thought that you either disagreed with or agreed. All of those things are important to add in. And again, just on that same vein, if there’s anything that, you just found enjoyable that you read that was more enjoyable than the rest of your English books that also works.
It doesn’t have to [00:28:00] be something that was life changing. It just has to be something that you’ve enjoyed and be able to talk about this book with the person a little bit more. I will also say disclaimer because I have in a prep interview realized that the person didn’t actually read the book, make sure that you have read the book that you choose.
I know this goes without saying, but especially if the interviewer has read it, you want to make sure to be able to carry on a conversation about it. Along with book reading, other question that wants to really see who you are outside of the classroom and figure out what you like to do, who you are when you’re not written out on a transcript or in an application what’s missing, what can they figure out about who you are and how you’ll show up on campus that isn’t just written in your application.
So think through things that you like to do in your free time, whether it’s for fun, if it’s hobbies that you like to do. Again, this does not have to be this incredible list of very like highly rated awards or [00:29:00] internships that you’ve done. It doesn’t have to be that you teach yourself to code, or you are learning five different languages in your free time while all of those are very impressive.
And if you are doing those things, feel free to share that is great to add and to beef up your resume and your application a little bit. But really what they want to figure out. Who you are when you’re not at school. So answer these, honestly, if you absolutely love watching a certain television show or you really like to go fishing on the weekends, you spend a lot of your time helping out at home with younger siblings, or maybe you have a job that didn’t show up on your application.
These are all really important things to add. And they give you a little bit of like additional I guess like additional details where they can really figure out who you are when it’s not just, Hey, these are my transcripts, these are my test scores. And these are the things that I do that are impressive.
So think about the ways that you spend your evenings in your week.[00:30:00]
Our next question again, huge supplemental essay question as well. So hopefully all of you have worked on this idea a little bit is just give me an example of a time you showed leadership skills. So how some sort of anecdote ready to go in the back of your mind share the story succinctly. You don’t need to get bogged down by all of the details you do just need to really share how you handled it and why focus on what you did and the impact of what you did and the specific acts that you took to be a leader versus.
Giving all of this background information. So what was your thought process? What was the outcome? And then also talking about anything you may have learned from the experience. And again, this is something that I think we stress a lot in the supplemental essays, but your example about being a leader does not have to be a specific position you held, it can be anything from a role that you help out with at home.
It can be being, an [00:31:00] unofficial leader on a sports team. Maybe you were the grief lead in the project and you had to delegate all of the work. So really think through a time where you felt like you led in, you were really proud of your ability to. So our last top question that we are going to go through is can you share a time that you have overcome an obstacle and how you overcame it?
So this is another one it’s asked a lot. It’s also oftentimes the supplemental essay topic have an idea beforehand and similar to the leadership idea or the leadership topic question where you will of course share some background information, but focus on your leadership skills. When you’re talking about an obstacle you really want to focus on yes, the impact, how this affected you, especially if it was a big obstacle and you getting to college, but really talk about how you’ve overcome it or working to overcome it and what you’ve learned.
If there’s anything you’ve learned that you can now apply to future obstacle, That’s even [00:32:00] better. And then really highlighting those important personal qualities and skills that you can showcase and overcoming this obstacle, maybe you were very mature, maybe you persevered and you were very determined.
You did not give up. Maybe the showed you in an immense amount of strength for yourself. Maybe you got really great at time management. And then just a quick note, if you are comfortable sharing some personal information this might be a great place to talk about. Anything that you really think has impacted you in going to college.
So for example, if you fell ill and miss school, if a family member felt ill if your parents got divorced, if someone in your family passed away or moved away, you can briefly touch on it here. I wouldn’t get too bogged down. Again, focusing on the, how you’ve overcome it, but this is a great place to know.
So a bonus question. This is very important. Sometimes when you’re doing alumni interviews, you do get their LinkedIn and you can look them up. But overall, [00:33:00] Usually they ask, do you have any questions for me? And the number one kind of Cardinal rule when it comes to interviews is always have a question for the interviewer.
It’s really important. You can even, because it’s over zoom, right? Some out if you’re not sure if you’re going to remember them but talk about, ask them what they love about the school or if they have a really great piece of advice for incoming students. And just another reminder that yes, you are being interviewed, but this is also a great way to interview the school a little bit as well.
If there’s a certain program you’re interested in, you can ask them about some specifics or if you’re not sure about the quarter system versus the semester system, ask them how they liked, whichever one is at the school. Make sure you have, I would say at least three questions. This is also a great way.
If it seems like you’ve run through all of the questions they’ve asked you really quickly, you can keep the conversation going and make yourself increasingly member.
This is just another note, similar to that politeness note that I’ve mentioned in the [00:34:00] very beginning, I think it’s really important to say thank you. So before you end the call, thank them for a wonderful conversation, maybe mentioned something, they said thank you. I’m definitely going to check out that coffee shop or I’m definitely gonna look up that professor you mentioned.
So it also shows that you were listening to what they were saying and thank them for their time. It’s also great. If you have their email address to send a followup, thank you. Email. If that’s something that’s allowed, I know that for some alumni interviews, they say yep, you’re going to show up to the interview, but that’s the end of the contact.
You can also send an email or a physical, thank you note to the admissions office. It doesn’t hurt to, be a little bit extra polite and say, thank you for their time. So now we are ended that is the end of the presentation part of the webinar. I hope you found that information helpful.
And just set another reminder that you can download the sides in the handouts tab or from the link in the public chat. We’re going to now [00:35:00] move on to the live Q and a. So the way that it will work is I will read through the questions you’ve submitted either in the Q and a tab or before this webinar, and I’ll piece them into the public chat so you can all see and then I’ll read them out loud before giving you an answer as a very quick heads up.
If your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions for whatever reason, double check that you did join the webinar through the custom link in your email. This should have gone to the student’s email, not from the webinar landing page, and if for whatever reason, you’re still having some issues. You can always message me separately or message Hannah, and we’ll make sure that your questions get answered.
So let’s move on. To a first question. Okay, so I’m looking up some of these questions. Let’s see which one should we do first? Okay, so I will post it in the Q and a or in the public chat for all of you. Okay, wonderful. What’s the [00:36:00] best way to practice for online interviews? Are there any major differences from in-person interviews?
So that’s another great question. I think you’re here. That’s a great start. Go through all of these practice questions. And I would say first practice with yourself, jot down some ideas, do your research on the school, figure out your five characteristics. And then it’s really great to practice in the mirror.
I think even better than that is to practice with someone else. So if you already have a bulls-eye adviser, this is a great use of their time. I’ve done a ton of prep interviews with, by kids. Really just booking time either with a bulls-eye advisor or with, a family friend someone at school, a teacher, and have them do a legitimate interview with you to practice so that you can get used to the way that you’re going to answer these questions.
So for example, I just had a prep interview with someone and we spent 30 minutes just going through those 10 questions. And we pretended like it was [00:37:00] real. We introduced ourselves, like we had never met before. That’s the best way to do it, or practice in a mirror and make sure you’re not like throwing your arms up in the air, which is especially weird on zoom.
Make sure that you are keeping a good posture. You’re making eye contact with the camera. These are all things that you can do on your own. And then I would say major differences from in-person interviews are really that you don’t get that same con connectivity that you would in person. That being said, being able to see someone’s face and their facial reactions is great.
I would also say sometimes things get a little bit delayed when we’re over video. So just making sure that you’re not talking over the other person, maybe wait a little bit longer than you normally would. I’m not talking like 30 seconds a minute but wait a little extra time after saying something to see if they’re going to respond.
Okay, wonderful. Let’s go to the next one. Okay, great. So I’m going to [00:38:00] answer this question, posting it in there. How do you highlight it, your treatments in the conversation without sounding like you’re bragging too much? I think that’s a great question. That’s also pretty common when we’re working on our application as a whole, how do you share how amazing you are, why you’re a great fit for this school without sounding like you’re completely full of yourself.
So for a lot of these questions, they usually are asking you pretty point blank. Either about your major, where you can talk about any extracurricular activities you’ve done towards that major or any, really College AP honors classes you’ve taken towards that major. You can work it in that way.
I would always say lead from a place of yes, I have done this thing, but it doesn’t make me better than everyone else. So an example of the way that you can highlight an award that you’ve gotten would be to say something along the lines of yes. Let’s say you’re really good at learning languages.
I’m very interested in languages. I was able to travel to make it [00:39:00] Aqua and work with a community there. In addition to that what really made me proud of myself was the fact that I started from freshman year, not really taking any language classes and by senior year I got the language award for my class.
So really having some sense of like I, where you started from you can also. Just weave them in. I don’t think that you need to have any sort of bragging. You can just list them. So if they say like, why are you a great fit for this thing? And you’ve done a lot of great things and you have a lot of achievements there.
You can say I’m really interested in this. That’s another great way to start any conversation or any answer when you’re talking about something that you’ve achieved, talk about why you’re interested in it, why this thing means a lot to you, how you’ve helped people or how you’ve worked to be better at this skill at this class, at this job yourself, and then talk about the achievements.
So I wouldn’t say if someone asked you in a, why is this club interesting to you? And it’s a [00:40:00] community service club and you’ve won all of these Rotaract and interact awards. Maybe the president Obama service award, I wouldn’t say oh I’ve won this word, this award start.
I’m very interested in this subject because of this, or I felt like I really made an impact and my impact was highlighted by these awards that I achieved and then list them. I hope that answered your question. If you have a followup question, feel free to copy it in that Q and a could we got what questions are typically asked?
So I will just make sure that we mark that as answered. Those are the top questions you can always find more. I would also recommend if it’s a certain school, Google, which questions the school usually asks and sometimes they even put them on the web. Okay. So another question that just popped up is this person just had an interview and forgot to mention specific things about their intended [00:41:00] major.
How bad is that? It’s okay. This interview is not the end all be all of your application. It’s just a great part of it. A lot of schools don’t even have interviews, so if you perform really well, that’s great. If you had a few mix ups, it’s okay. It’s really not the end of the world. They want to get to know you.
I think that’s another important thing is that you may have forgotten to mention, specifics about your major, or you may have forgotten to mention, two awards that you got that you felt were right. That’s okay. The most important thing is that they get to know you, you have a pretty nice conversation and they can then go back to anyone who’s on the admissions team and say yeah, I could picture this person at our school.
I could have a decent conversation with them. I think they’d be a great student in class. Adding all of these additional qualifications, whether it’s, things that you’ve done for your major or clubs that you’ve been in, awards organizations, that’s all great. But the really most important part is that you have a genuine conversation and this person feels friendly and comfortable [00:42:00] enough to chat with you and can see you as a student at their school.
Okay. So let me just double check. Next question.
Okay. So I think this goes along. What we were just chatting about a bit. Is it an informal conversation or a very formal, straightforward conversation? It shouldn’t be informal. I wouldn’t use a lot of slang or say things on so do you know what I mean? But it’s also not like a very straightforward ask this question respond.
There’s no conversation in between all that being said, take that advice with a grain of salt, because we don’t know who’s going to be on the other side of this interview. So it really is up to them, but usually they really want to have a genuine conversation. So [00:43:00] while it might not be completely informal and they do want to get to know you and they don’t necessarily want you to just lead off your record.
So really quickly, because we are part way through the Q and a as a quick break. I’ll let you all have some time to sentence, more questions. I want to let you know what you can do after this webinar. If you want to get help on your college apps for me or any of our other amazing full-time advisors, bulls-eye has two advising plans, the starter plan, and we just put this right here.
We have the starter plan in the scholar plan. They’re both monthly subscriptions where you get matched with an advisor of your choice and you get one or two hours of one-on-one advising every year. As advisors, we will work with you on your college essays, choosing your schools, your interviews, of course, and more, really anything that you need help with.
We can help you. I’m sending everyone at this panel, a link to get started. So this should [00:44:00] pop up. You can click this, get started link. It will take you right to the website. Super easy, even if you’re like, I’m not really sure. Might as well click on it. Have it open for after the webinar is done.
So this offer links, it links right to the page. You can sign up, even if you’re just think you might be interested. Our students at Bullseye have had a ton of success working with an advisor this past admission season. We’ve had Bullseye clients get into all of the IVs and every top 25 school in the country.
And while that is really important, I think one of the most important things to me is that our clients rate us at 9.8 out of 10. That’s really because advisors put in a ton of care into working with you. One-on-one through every step of the application process and everything that you need help on.
If you want to discuss one-on-one with me you can definitely sign up for that as well. This is a really great chance to work with us.
I’ll give you all a second or [00:45:00] two. Okay. Wonderful. So let’s continue our Q and a which I want them to look for. Next question. Okay. So the next question I saw pop up and please keep sending them in. I would love to answer them. Is, are they prepared to deal with the language barrier? So this is something that I do not personally have a lot of experience with.
I haven’t gone into an interview yet where there was a language barrier, I would say, reach out to the admissions office and see if something, if this is something that they are set up to help out with a lot of times, admissions offices really want to have the best experience for you and have you have the great experience with the school.
So that’s where I would start reach out. I would say also don’t overthink this again. It really is meant to be a [00:46:00] conversation, even if there is a language barrier, but you’re, nice to chat with and you’re sharing some great anecdotes, really allowing the interview to get to know you. Then that shouldn’t be a part.
Okay let me.
Okay, another question. I think we’ve answered some of these, but I will copy and paste it into our chat again.
So these college interviews, what are these interviews? What do you talk about when are they and how do you prepare for them? Lots of great questions. These interviews are for colleges. Usually private colleges do these versus public colleges, but really depends on the school. Some schools like all of the UCS don’t do any interviews for admissions.
These interviews are sometimes sign up if you would like to. And oftentimes they are the school reach out to you. If we would like to [00:47:00] have an interview with you. So I’d say whatever email address you put on your application, you’re coming up your UCF, all the rest of the applications, make sure to check it and see if they’ve reached out to schedule an interview.
What do you talk about? Think we’ve covered that all the questions. It would just say again, be yourself, really share who you are that doesn’t show up on your application. That’s why they have these. When are they some have already started and some will not be until January or February. Again, it depends on the school.
Certain schools will say, Hey, over these two months, if you would like to do an interview, you can sign up some, have to make sure that they have alumni available which is especially hard right now, given that we’re in a pandemic and they can’t be done in person. So it really depends on the school.
Almost every single school will have information on their website. So if you’re not sure type in the school and do they have interviews and usually something will pop up. If you haven’t noticed yet, Google is definitely our friend, [00:48:00] especially when it comes to learning about these schools and prepping for your interviews.
And then how do you prepare for them? Go through these questions, practice in a mirror, work on your answers. Have someone do a prep interview, a mock interview with you work with your bulls-eye advisor. Those are all really great. Okay. So another great question. Just kidding in is whether or not the college offers you an interview reflect your chances of admission.
So there are a lot of different thoughts around this, out there. Sometimes colleges give interviews to the people that they really want. Sometimes colleges give interviews to people who they’re on the fence about I would not say I would not worry if you don’t get chosen for an interview, sometimes it’s based on locale.
So for some schools, Harvard, for example, they do alumni interviews and it is all based on if they have [00:49:00] an alum near you, who’s willing to do it. Yeah. That’s it has nothing to do with your application. It has nothing to do with how great of a student you are. So I would not worry too much if you do, or do not get an interview for a certain college.
If it, if they do ask you to come to an interview, I always say I would take the opportunity, show some more interests. If you have the option to sign up for an interview, I always recommend it. If you think it will help your application, but if the school doesn’t reach out to offer you one and you know that they have interviews available, don’t sweat it.
Okay. Next question.
If it is up to the student to sign up for an interview, should they schedule one before or after sending in an application? This is really dependent on the school. It usually, you’re not able to sign up for an interview until you’ve already sent in your application. If a school says, Hey, sign up for [00:50:00] interview, starting in September, the application isn’t due until December, then I would say you’re afraid to sign up for an interview beforehand.
I would just make sure that you are definitely applying to that school just so you don’t waste the interviewer’s time. Okay. So let’s see. What else we have over here is a, something along the same lines. How do I request an online interview? It really depends on the school, look up and see if the school is still doing interviews.
I know that some schools that didn’t do them in the past now can do them virtually other schools where they invited students on campus are no longer doing them. Check in with the school, checking online. You can always call the admissions office and they will be able to point you in the right direction as well.
And let you know if you’re able to request an online interview for that school. Okay. So what made chest [00:51:00] see if there are any other questions here that we haven’t gone over?
Okay. This is another great one. Will they have access to the submitted application? Should we expect questions related to things on the application I submitted? So again, alumni interviews versus an actual admissions counselor interview are a little bit different. I would say general rule of thumb.
Treat this, like you’re meeting them for the first time. They may have some idea of who you are. They may ask you like, Hey, why do you want to do this major? Or what was your interest in this program? But really act like this is your first time meeting them. And you want to introduce yourself. If you go in thinking, oh, they’ve already read my entire application.
They know everything about me. There are certain things that you may leave out that are really important to who you are. So we just want to make sure that you’re talking about and sharing everything that would give this other [00:52:00] person a glimpse into who you are just as if you were meeting anyone new for the first time.
You may have seen them on social media before, but you really know them. So this is really a great way to get to know this person. Let them get to know you in a very holistic way, even if they have read your entire application, it’s very different than talking to someone in person. And we want to emphasize things that are also not found in the application, like your favorite books, what you like to do in your free time.
Why you like to do the certain clubs you want to do what you’re planning on doing on campus, all of those things. They probably won’t know, even if they’ve gone through your app. Okay. See if there may be one or two more questions that have come through another, what types of questions can I expect? So again, go through these okay. This one just came [00:53:00] in, so do’s, and don’ts went through this in the beginning, but just for a quick overview, especially to show the differences between an in-person interview and an online interview do be early.
Get onto zoom on time or whatever you’re using WebEx. I would also say make sure because this is online, things can always get weird, make sure that you have already tried to either log into the meeting or have downloaded whatever app or online web video service you’re using, make sure that it’s already loaded onto your computer.
So it isn’t five minutes before your interview and you have to download the entire zoom or, big maker, big marker application. Make sure that you’re. Again, be polite. Be yourself, have done your research already practice in the mirror, practice with someone else. Make sure that, what you’re going to say to these questions so that you aren’t as nervous once you’re on the call, I would [00:54:00] also say have some water next to you.
In case you get thirsty, it’s okay. If you want to have some notes, if you’re worried, you’re going to get anxious. However, and I’ll just give you an example. If I was doing this entire webinar looking down, it would be a lot harder. So make sure that if you are glancing at something, maybe you have a sticky note taped to the side of your computer.
That’s all fine. Just make sure that you really are treating this like a conversation. And then dotes would be again, showing up late, make sure to make eye contact with the video, even if it feels a little bit weird and you’re just staring at yourself. So I feel a little bit right now and make sure that you are not practicing these responses so much, that it sounds the same every single time.
Cause there’ll be able to tell, and then again, just make it a conversation, ask them questions about why they like this school or what they went to this school for ask them, what they would give to students as advice if they were incoming freshmen, [00:55:00] really just come into it in a way that makes it very conversational.
And then also in that donor category, the great question about making sure that you don’t sound braggy when you’re talking about accomplishments, really do lead up to it with yes, I really enjoyed this. Or, this is really important to me because before going into any awards or act.
And then I believe we have one more question coming in here and we will wrap it up playing chess, lost it.
Oh, it was another, what questions can we expect? So I think you all have a pretty good semblance of what questions to expect at this point in time. I will, I guess end the webinar now. [00:56:00] It was really great to chat with all of you today. I had a great time telling you about the online college interviews.
I hope this webinar was helpful to you and that you feel a little more prepared with your college applications. Here’s some more info about me again, if you missed it at the beginning, my little spiel introduction, our next webinar will be in two days on Saturday. This webinar will be about online fly-in programs.
So really keeping that online college theme going there this week. And I will pass me blurb and see Sophie, Richard. She will be on it, highly recommend all of our webinars. This will be a great one. And then along with that, we actually have our entire November series listed here already. It’s also on the website.
So don’t worry if you’re trying to frantically screenshot, you also should have the sides downloaded on the website. You’ll get redirected to there once you leave the session. So you can just take a look [00:57:00] there. Thank you all so much for coming out to tonight’s session. I hope you stay safe and good luck on all of your application.