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From College Counseling: Interview Tips

Lisa Partridge, Director of College Counseling
Tilton School College Counseling Office works throughout the year (summers, too!) to ensure students are fully supported in the college selection process. Lisa Partridge, Director of College Counseling, provides some interview tips in today’s The Hill blog post!
For the graduating class of 2019, the next level of education is right around the corner. Seniors are currently finishing up applications and putting last touches on college essays. Interviews are a great way for universities to get a feel for each individual student, and for said student to decide if the school is right for them. Most colleges close their interview process around Thanksgiving, so many seniors are hurrying to secure those last minute face-to-face meetings.

At some schools, interviews are done by current students, alumni reps, or admissions officers. Some schools require interviews while others just recommended. Lisa Partridge, Director of College Counseling at Tilton School, has some great tips on ways to completely own a college interview!
  • Always Take the Opportunity: Never turn down an offer for an interview, even if they are not required. Think of the interview as an opportunity to showcase who you really are.
  • Give Yourself Enough Time: Traffic happens. Leave early to get to interviews.
  • Talk About Two Things: You and the college you want to go to. Interviewers are nice; they like to talk to people about college. That’s why they do it. It doesn’t have to be scary.
  • Dress to Impress: Wear the clothes that make you feel confident. Don’t overdress or underdress. No sneakers!
  • Do Your Research: When you find out who is interviewing you, do a little online research on the person – just to know who you are meeting. Don’t ask them too much about themselves but a little makes you engaging. Throw out one or two questions for the interviewer; engage them.
  • Avoid “Question-Answer-Question-Answer” Pattern: The interviewer will lead the conversation but you can prepare in advance with some things you want them to know.
  • Ask About Their Experience: If a senior on campus is interviewing, ask them about their experience. They interview prospective students because they love to talk about their college experience. Why did you decide to apply here or what’s your major and why did you decide to pick that?
  • Be Ready for the #1 Interview Questions: “Why do you want to go to this college?” You need to have something to say that you’ve thought about in advance. Use your “why” essay (which you will work on with your college counselor) as an answer; talk it out and make it come to life.
    • Other Questions Likely to Come Up...Do you know what you want to study? Make sure you have the right name of the department that is offered at that college. Go on the college website and have those actual names at the ready.
    • Other Questions Alumni May Ask...If you could change something about your school, what would it be? What do you think you’re going to remember 20 years from now about high school? Tell me something about yourself that’s not on your application. (Prepare something – not Netflix and sleeping. “I taught my little brother how to play the harmonica.”)
Learn more about Tilton's College Counseling program HERE!
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