What questions should I expect during a college interview?

The interviewer’s goal is to find out about your intellectual strengths and your personality and your goal is to learn what makes this college unique. They want to get to know you as a person, so they will typically not have any information about you other than your name, address, and high school.

Questions the Interviewer Might Ask You

  • Tell me about your family.
  • What is your hometown like?
  • How would your friends describe you? How would your teachers describe you? How would you describe yourself to someone who did not know you?
  • What do you do well which is not academic nor extracurricular?
  • What books have you enjoyed? Do you read outside of school?
  • What do you like to do for fun? How do you spend your free time? What do you do when you’re not in school?
  • What did you do last summer?
  • Have you had to face any difficult situations, ethical dilemmas, or unusual challenges? If so, how have you handled them?
  • What’s the most negative experience you ever had in school?
  • Which extracurricular activities are most important to you and why?
  • How do you contribute to your school or community?
  • What’s the last cultural event you went to?
  • What is the most important thing you’ve learned in high school?
  • How would you describe your school? Do you have a favorite teacher or class?
  • What classes are you taking now?
  • What courses have you enjoyed the most and why?
  • What courses have been the most challenging for you?
  • Tell me something about you will not appear on your application.
  • Is there anything you would change about your school if you could?
  • What has been your most positive academic experience in high school?
  • If you could start high school over again, would you do anything differently?
  • Why do you want to go to college? What are you most looking forward to?
  • What are you looking for in a college?
  • What are you interested in studying in college?
  • What do you want to get out of your college experience? Do you hope your college years will be different from your high school years and if so, how?
  • What sparked your interest in this college? What do you know about it?
  • What else do you want to know about this college?
  • What else would you like me to know about you?

The interview is your chance to not only answer, but also to ask questions.

Questions You Might Ask the Interviewer

  • I imagine there is no typical student at X College, but what characteristics would you say the students here have in common?
  • What kind of student is happy here? What kind is not happy?
  • Why do students choose your college? (Do not ask the interviewer to compare their college to others you may be considering).
  • What do you think is the best thing about this college? What would you change about it?
  • Why did you choose this college? (if you are interviewing with a student or an alum/na)
  • What are your most vivid memories of the College? (if you are interviewing with an alum/na)
  • Why did you choose to work here? (if interviewing with an admissions officer)
  • What do students think is the best thing about this college? What would they change?
  • What is the general mood on campus?
  • Can you describe the academic atmosphere? Do students compete against each other or themselves?
  • Do students talk about academic subjects outside of class?
  • What are weekends like?
  • Is there anything else you would like to know about me?

She just found out yesterday that she got into Skidmore Early Decision. I’d like to thank you for all the help that you’ve given her. The mock interview, in particular, gave her a lot of confidence and she felt that the Skidmore interview went well.