Much as they seem to vary, all good admissions interviews have a common structure with core questions. They start with easy questions intended to put you at ease. Then they'll move through your past academics and activities, to your current interests, to your plans for college. Individual interviewers may digress from this format but it's pretty standard.
Two of the keys to interviewing successfully is to know what you want to communicate about yourself and be sure you pace yourself to get it all in. As a guide, we have presented here that standard interview format with the rough time allocations for each section in a typical one-hour interview. Remember, it's your job to get your points across in the time you have. Be prepared.
Standard Interview Questions: (20 – 25 minutes)
Assume you’ll be asked at least 3 of:
1. Why are you applying to This College?
a. For the unique aspects of the school (small seminars, its location, its history, etc.)
b. If you've been there, point that out.
2. What’s your favorite subject?
3. What will you major in?
a. How did you develop that interest?
b. Cite your summer and work experiences
4. What books have you read lately?
a. Lead with books not assigned in class.
5. Of those books (or all books) what’s your favorite? Why?
a. Some points are earned for mentioning a book not assigned in class.
6. What extracurricular activity means the most to you?
7. What do you do for fun?
College-Specific Questions (15-20 minutes)
Assume you’ll be asked 3 of:
1. What’s your impression of This College campus?
a. Answer should include comparisons to your experiences on other campuses.
b. Address how you feel about the social atmosphere or atmospherics at This College
2. Are you aware that This College has an extensive core curriculum requirement?
3. Do you follow This College sports?
4. How do you feel about the campus culture of This College?
a. Could be framed as: How do you feel about our unique course requirements?
i. Don’t act in a way that could be interpreted as surprise at question or the underlying facts.
ii. If honest, the best response will be one that frames them as an asset.
iii. The ideal response reflects some knowledge of This College and its roots.
6. Where else are you applying?
7. Who else do you know that went to This College?
The Future (10-15 minutes)
Assume you’ll be asked 2 of:
1. What specific skills do you bring to This College and to campus life there?
2. What do you plan to do after graduation?
3. Do you plan to go to graduate school?
4. Will you go right into [something] after graduation?