How to Make Yourself Comfortable During College Interviews
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Robert Crystal in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
It is completely normal to be nervous about college interviews, but make sure that feeling doesn’t become debilitating. Remember, being nervous means you’re excited, and your college interview is an exciting experience.
One way to make yourself comfortable during college interviews is to practice. As with any learned skill, it takes practice to become good at interviewing. There is no specific personality type that is best at interviewing, just as there’s no personality type that’s bad at it. College interviewers see all kinds of people, from effusive extroverts to shy people who choose their words carefully.
You can practice interviewing with your friends or family or in front of the mirror by yourself. However, you shouldn’t practice your answers to the point where you have them memorized; interviewers will be able to tell if you’re reciting a rehearsed response rather than giving a genuine answer. It’s important to preserve a conversational feel during the interview.
Be Your Own Champion
Your college interview may be the first time that you’ve been asked to talk about yourself so consistently, and it may feel strange. But just like your application, your interview is about selling yourself, so you need to get comfortable talking about and advocating for yourself.
The goal of the interview is for the interviewer to get to know you, so don’t undermine any of the hard work that you’ve done or the fantastic things that you’ve accomplished. Don’t sell yourself short. Many people will be standing behind you, helping to advocate for you—your teachers, mentors, family, and friends—but you need to be the hero of your own story and take ownership of the things that you’ve achieved.
Take the Process Seriously
This is not a problem for many students, but it bears repeating that you should take the interview process seriously. Take every interview seriously, whether it’s for your dream school, your safety school, or any school in between. The interviewer is walking in prepared to give it a hundred percent, so you should be doing the same.
Every interview experience is valuable, so treat them as such. If you go in prepared to do your best, even if it isn’t a great interview in the end, you’ll still learn something about yourself. Interviewers are looking for people who reflect the values of the institution, someone who embodies the qualities that the school represents. By taking your interview seriously, you’ll show them that you’re ready to be a representative and contributing member of whatever community you end up joining.