8 Meaningful Questions to Ask During Your College Interview

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College interviews can be a crucial (and one of the most nerve-wracking) part of the college admissions process. When your college interview draws to a close, most interviewers are likely to ask you, “Do you have any questions for me?” You may be tempted to respond, “No,”.

 

Don’t. Your interview is not over. You should go into your interview with at least two to three questions to ask. But, what should you ask? Based on data we’ve collected, here are 8 meaningful questions that will convey your interest and leave a lasting impression.

 

Why You Should Ask Questions During Your College Interview?

 

Asking questions during and at the end of the interview demonstrates that you’re engaged. While you may be regarding this as another piece of your application—a “test” of you as an applicant—it’s really an opportunity for both of you: your interviewer can learn more about you, and you can learn more about the school. Asking questions not only shows that you’re involved in the conversation, but it can also help you gauge your fit with the college. After all, you don’t want to end up somewhere that’s not right for you.

 

8 Questions to Ask During Your College Interview

 

1. Why did you decide to attend this college?

 

If your interviewer is an alum, as many are, this question will show that you’re not only engaged in the interview but also care enough to know their story. People love to talk about themselves, and this question presents an opportunity for both of you since she can share her perspective and you can discover more about what kinds of students the school attracts. Bottom line, this question asks “what makes this college stand out and why should I choose it”. It can also help if you google your interviewer beforehand to better tailor your questions. For example, if your interviewer is younger, they may be able to give you info on campus life or post-graduation careers.

 

 

2. What advice would you give to yourself as an incoming freshman?

 

Someone who was once in the same boat as you probably has plenty of useful advice, and you should use this time to find out what it is. This will not only help you prepare now for transitioning in to freshman year, but it can also provide tips on what you need to navigate your first year – a willingness to try new things, an open mind, or a balance between academics and campus involvement.

 

 

3. What’s one tradition from this college that you admired or enjoyed?

 

This question can give you a sense of how well you might fit in at a particular college. For example, if your interviewer describes how important homecoming is and you’re a football fan, that can indicate that this might be a good choice for you. 

 

 

4. What is one thing you would change about this college?

 

It’s important to weigh both the pros and the cons when choosing a college, and your interviewer’s response can provide some insight that will ultimately enable you to consider all angles of a school. This will also demonstrate to the interviewer that you do your research and take your education seriously.

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5. What was your favorite club or extracurricular activity and why would you recommend it?

 

Extracurriculars are an important facet of college life. Asking this question shows that you’re interested in getting involved in college life beyond your courses. You may even get some good recommendations! 

 

 

6. What is student activism like here?

 

This type of question demonstrates that you’re a citizen who wants the opportunity to participate in democracy. College campuses can vary considerably with regard to activism, so it’s important to find one that complements your level of involvement.

 

 

7. Is there a common challenge students face here, and how do successful students overcome it?

 

Rather than showing that you’re weak or anxious, this question demonstrates that you’re a take-charge person and want to resolve issues before they get the better of you. Chances are, many students face challenges, but the ones who conquer them take advantage of what the college has to offer.

 

 

8. Can you tell me about the ABC or XYZ programs? 

 

Asking a question specific to the course of study you are intending to pursue is one of the best type of question since it demonstrates that you’re contemplating your college path. For instance, if your interviewer mentions a study abroad program that’s of interest to you, you might ask her to elaborate on it or review the procedures for participating in it.

 

What Not to Ask in Your College Interview

 

Questions pertaining to your odds of getting in. Your interviewer probably doesn’t know, for one. It’s also not an appropriate forum to ask this question.

 

 

Questions with obvious or easily obtained answers. If you can find the answer online, it’s not an good question to ask. One example of this type of question is “Does this college offer X major?” You can easily find out on the college website.

 

 

Questions that are irrelevant. For example, you should avoid asking questions completely unrelated to your education, such as those concerning the party scene or drinking culture. Again, this isn’t the proper forum, and you can discuss this kind of thing with former students outside of an interview.

 

Keep in mind, you don’t want to bombard your interviewer with questions. Keep it to two or three. Also remember, that even if you think you bombed the interview, you should still ask questions. Asking questions after an bad interview will show your interviewer that you are serious about the school and could give you that needed boost of confidence.

 

For more personalized expertise on acing your college interview, consider CollegeVines’s College Application Guidance Program. When you sign up for our program, we carefully pair you with the perfect admissions specialist based on your current academic and extracurricular profile and the schools in which you’re interested. Your personal application specialist will help you in prepping for interviews and provide you with support and guidance in all other aspects of the application process.

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.