Lee Bierer at The Charlotte Observer offers these tips for a successful college interview:
Do your homework. Demonstrate how well you know the college. Research the website thoroughly, including possible majors of interest, study abroad programs, extracurricular activities, etc.
Be yourself, but don’t be shy. Allow your personality to shine, but if you are a natural introvert, use this as an exercise to try coming out of your shell.
Make it a conversation and not an interrogation. Change up the pace and rhythm of your responses. The more you can make it a two-way street discussion with questions for the interviewer, the better off you’ll be.
Share new information, but not too much information. Don’t restate your application, don’t blame teachers and don’t talk about boyfriends/girlfriends or conflicts with your parents.
Don’t sound rehearsed. You want your responses to be fresh and not sound as if you’re reading off a teleprompter.
Come prepared with questions. You can count on the interviewer leaving time for your questions. Make sure your questions are ones that can’t be answered on the college website.
Dress for success. Use your common sense. Boys don’t need to wear a suit, but everyone should look neat and professional.
Remember the basics. Arrive early, bring a copy of your resume, thank the interviewer and go it alone. Parents should not be seen or heard from in alumni interviews.
Be prepared for a variety of questions. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes alumni want to “test” applicants and will ask questions such as “If you were a color, which one would you be and why?” Practice thinking on your feet in a mock-interview with your parents.
Stay in touch. Be sure to send a thank you note. Handwritten and delivered via postal mail is the best, but email will suffice.