How to Nail Your College Applicant Interview

By Susan Knoppow
CEO, Wow Writing Workshop

Wow CEO Susan Knoppow

A college applicant interview can be a great opportunity for students to learn more about a school and to demonstrate their interest. Here are Wow’s top tips for great interviews.

 Be prepared. Are you clear about the interview’s purpose? Some colleges make it clear that your interview is an opportunity for you to learn more about the school, and the interviewer has no influence over admission decisions.

Consider what they already know about you. Has the interviewer read your resume? Do they have access to your application file? You do not need to repeat information they can get elsewhere.

Decide what you want readers to remember about you. Think characteristics, not accomplishments. What stories or examples can you share to demonstrate those characteristics? Practice sharing brief anecdotes aloud. You won’t have time for long, detailed stories.

Be curious. Ask questions about the college, program, etc. People like to share their expertise, and interviewers are no different. Your questions should be genuine and specific. Will you be meeting with an alumnus? A student? Your questions should be relevant to the interviewer’s experience as well.

Ask to follow up. Find out the best way to communicate with your interviewer in case you have additional questions.

Say thank you in writing. A handwritten note is always appreciated, though a warm, personal email can be fine too. If you do not have a personal address, you can send a handwritten note in care of the admissions office.

Do you need help polishing your resume or practicing for interviews? Wow can help. Contact Susan Knoppow at