What are Common College Interview Questions?

Neville Pantakhy

The good news for someone who must answer college interview questions is that he or she has moved step closer to the selection process. The bad news is that he or she will have to participate in possibly nerve-wracking face-to-face communication in order to answer those college interview questions. Most college interview questions are geared toward finding out whether the college and the prospective student are a good match. Common college interview questions ask the the interviewee about himself or herself, why he or she chose to apply at that college, his or her academic interests, his or her strengths and weaknesses and his or her long-term goals.

One common college interview question is why the candidate has chosen that college.
One common college interview question is why the candidate has chosen that college.

A question that asks the interviewee about himself or herself seems much easier than it really is. The idea is for the interviewee to condense his or her entire life into a few sentences. The interviewer is often looking to identify the interviewee's personality and passions and to find out his or her sense of self-identity and self-worth.

Much like a job interview, preparing for college interviews can help prospective students make a positive first impression.
Much like a job interview, preparing for college interviews can help prospective students make a positive first impression.

The interviewer often will ask why the interviewee has chosen that college as well as what his or her academic interests are. This helps identify whether the prospective student is a good match for the college and its areas of study. The answers will show whether the interviewee has done thorough research on the college, which might be a sign of his or her attention to detail and ability to research other topics thoroughly. The interviewee's answers will also show his or her level of interest and excitement about learning and excelling at that particular college.

Many types of interviews, including job interviews, often include questions about the interviewee's strengths and weaknesses. A good answer to these types of questions will include examples of those strengths being displayed and plans for overcoming the weaknesses. As a college interview question, the interviewer often is looking for strengths and weaknesses related to academics, but even those that are not directly unrelated can help the interviewer find out more about the prospective student's traits and character.

Another of the college interview questions that is also common in job interviews is a question about the interviewee's long-term goals, such as "What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now?" The answer to this question can reveal the interviewee's goals and perspective. If the interviewee gives an unrealistic answer, it might show that he or she hasn't thoroughly studied what it takes to reach that goal or doesn't understand the difficulty of it. An answer that is very vague might show that the interviewee lacks a long-term plan or long-term perspective.

No matter which college interview questions asked, the interviewee must remember to just relax, remain confident and think of it as a friendly conversation where the interviewer is trying to find out more about him or her and his or her interests. Preparing in advance can be helpful, but one key to giving good answers is to make them sound natural instead of like they were memorized or recited. When the questions are asked, the interviewee should take a few seconds to think them over before beginning to talk. Good body language and pleasant facial expressions also can help make the interview a success.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


I agree Rundocuri, and think that every student should be expecting this question during the college interview. They need to practice the answer long before they sit face-to-face with the interviewer.

I think the typical college interview questions about what you think your life will be like in the future are the hardest to answer, especially when you are a teenager. Most college-bound kids are only thinking about their first semester in college, not what life will be like a decade later.
Post your comments
Forgot password?