College interviews are used to determine your fit with a college and its fit with you. College interviews are not about auditioning you as student; you do not have to prove your ability and credentials—those are all in your application. Therefore, your best approach to the college interview is to take measure of yourself and know what you want from a college experience as well as to take measure of the college. You are interviewing to learn if the college is the right setting for you.
One important interview question you will always get from your interviewer is: What can I tell you about our campus? This question is designed to see if you have considered their campus for your needs, not for you to get information you could read on their website about the programs they offer or their application deadlines. To respond to this question successfully, you must research the college first. Then you can ask for more in-depth description of certain activities you have noted or of academic opportunities they offer. You might even ask about their philosophy about dorm living or how they foster campus spirit. But, before you speak to this question, you must know some detail about the college.
Another question used to determine student fit with a school that is generally asked is: What do you think you will contribute to our college? Again, this question is not meant to be about you as a student, how hard you work or what you want to study at the school. The question is about how you might add to the campus experience. For this question, too, you also need to do a little research about the college community. Is it sports-oriented, a green school, a college with a slew of activities and organizations? You really want to consider what you will do outside the classroom. Will you organize games in your dorm? Do you have an interest or a passion to start a recycling program? Do you want to improve your leadership skills by becoming active on campus in student government or with the campus newspaper?
Treat the college interview like a first date. Find out if yours and the college’s interests match. Determine if you might go steady by revealing personal likes, dislikes, and talents and by asking with true interest what the college could offer you in a four-year relationship.