Should I interview?
Interviewing allows your personality and love of learning shine when your application is reviewed by admissions officers.
For most students, the answer is yes, as by doing so, you are giving the college another opportunity to get to know you. If you can give the interviewer examples of your passion for learning (a quality all colleges seek in applicants), you will enhance your application and the interviewer will be able to discuss your intellectual curiosity in their interview report.
Students who apply to highly selective colleges (those which admit 20% or fewer of its applicants) often present uniformly strong academic profiles (very high grades in demanding courses), so interviewing can make candidates stand out if they can relate an anecdote which shows their love of learning. As an admissions officer, I remember asking a student about her interest in higher math and her response was “I just find calculus elegant.” When I asked another student about her love of chemistry, she said “The first time I saw the Periodic Table of Elements, I got so excited!” In another interview, a student told me his interest in history was sparked when his father took him to every fort on the East Coast. While as a child, this was not particularly exciting, when he took US History in high school, what he learned from these family trips came flooding back to him and he could picture himself at Gettysburg, Colonial Williamsburg, and Fort Ticonderoga. From all these responses, it was clear to me that the students would bring a great deal to the Bowdoin community.
If you are really interested in a school and want the extra push to help you get in or earn more merit aid, do an interview. They’re really not that bad or as scary as they may seem. The admissions reps are very nice and it’s their job to sell the school to you, so they’re not going to do anything to scare you away. If you stay on the school’s radar and make the extra efforts, they’re going to do more for you when they’re making their decision. Send thank you notes to the people who interviewed you and to your tour guides after you visit at a school you really like. It makes you look better and they’ll appreciate all the little things you do.
Words can’t express our appreciation for your guidance, expertise, and patience in assisting Peter-Owen with the application process. Many, many thanks. It is an exciting time for these kids, but I also think it is a time of much uncertainty as they begin to navigate the next stages of their lives. You helped bring certainty to the table, maintained peace in the family, and helped us as parents understand the process and our role.