Many college applicants debate whether or not to accept a college interview, if offered. As you may be aware, interviews at the nation’s top colleges are optional, so why take the risk and potentially lessen your chances of acceptance?
The truth is these optional interviews cannot hurt a student—regardless of anything that may go wrong—since not every student will take on the opportunity. From one perspective, just by showing up for an interview is a plus, communicating confidence and dedication. Therefore, it can only augment your application and increase your chances of acceptance.
When applying to college, your goal is to be noticed and to stand out from the other applicants. Unfortunately, a college application allows you very few words to do just that and to include your full list of accomplishments and engagements. In addition, no matter how interesting and well written your essays may be, they can never fully display your emotions, passions, and character. An interview offers a solution to those dilemmas by providing you an opportunity to tell numerous stories that illustrate your journey throughout high school in much detail, while also displaying your personality.
Additionally, since all interviews are conducted by the alumni of a college or university, you have a great opportunity to learn about the day-to-day life of students at the school and how the experience helped in the pursuit of their career — a very helpful resource when it comes time to make an enrollment decision.
In a way, application essays provide a basic outline of your life and the interview can provide color between those lines, with details that can enhance the image on the basic black and white canvas. As any good artist knows, mastering the concept of shadowing adds depth to any work of art, allowing it to capture the eye. An interview is no different, but instead of having a paintbrush, your strategized answers can provide the desired depth, accomplished through significant practice and self-awareness.
The first step to completing a successful college interview is conducting a self-assessment of your individual interests, experiences, and abilities, then learning how to effectively communicate those insights into well-articulated thoughts. With the proper tools and guidance, you will master the skills necessary for a college interview, and will above all leave the interviewer with an impression to help your application stand out in the pool of applicants. In addition, by having the foresight regarding what to expect in the interview, you can engage in thorough preparations that will guarantee a positive outcome and increase your chances of acceptance to the college or university.
Overall, many students find the interviews to be fun and rewarding, and as I mentioned above, they can only increase a student’s chances of acceptance. So your answer to the continuing question should always be — yes!