The Importance of Being Yourself During the Interview at Yale
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.
The application for Yale University involves many steps, and one of the last things that applicants will do is sit down for an interview. This can be nerve-wracking, but it’s easier than you might think. You just need to be yourself and this article will show you why.
Some people are classically extroverted, bubbly, and used to talking about themselves. You might think that these types of people would thrive in an interview setting when they have to talk about what they’ll bring to the table. That’s just how they go about life, anyway, right?
This isn’t the case. While they can be fantastic interview personalities, they don’t necessarily leave a great impression. They can talk about themselves, but they might not show that much of who they are. Their character can get lost, and they may say many words but don’t manage to communicate.
If you have more of an introverted personality, you shouldn’t worry too much that you’re going to be bad in an interview. Shy types can still make a strong impression.
Body language is important, as is choosing your words well. If you’re nervous, take a step back, and reflect on what it is that makes you who you are. People may think that you need to talk endlessly about yourself, but the interview is much more about staying true to your own character. Your interviewer will be able to tell whether you’re putting on an act or not.
You’ve heard it throughout the admissions process: be true to yourself, bring up your genuine interests, and be authentic. It’s good advice for the rest of your application and for the interview too.
A holistic admissions process means that colleges take every part of your application into account, from grades, activities, and letters of recommendation to interviews that demonstrate what being in a room with you is like. All of these work together to create a picture of a person whom admissions officers haven’t ever met. You’re going to be admitted because of the impression that you create, and you’ll create this impression by being yourself.
So, in your interview, you need to be genuine. The admissions committee will get the clearest picture of who you are, and they’ll respond in the way that they think best suits your application. You shouldn’t feel pressured to behave like a certain type of person whom you think would be ideal for the interview. It’s not a job interview—the focus is on who you are as a person, not whether you’re suited for any particular position.
You can do research on the admissions website about advice to prospective interviewees, and this should make you feel more confident about the process. However, you don’t have to be too nervous about the whole thing. The interview should feel like a conversation. You’re also there to learn more about the school. It should be exciting to get the chance to have this talk with someone who’s attended the college that you want to attend.
Don’t be afraid to share this excitement, and don’t be afraid to share your thoughts, opinions, and feelings. All of these build up to who you are, and that’s what is going to impress an interviewer.