Hey guys! I will be visiting Middlebury College in the first week in August and I have scheduled an on campus interview. I am really nervous because I have no idea what they are going to ask. Do they ask a lot of questions to see if you know about the school or are they more about your own academic and personal interests? Those with previous experience willing to share are much appreciated! =]
I didn't do my interview on campus (had an alumni interview) but my experience with colleges in general is that they mostly want to talk about your interests. A common question was if there was anything you thought didn't come through on the application. They will definitely ask you if you have any questions, so its good to have at least one that couldn't be answered easily by looking at their website. (For example, don't ask, "Is it easy to study abroad?" A better, similar question would be something like "I've heard if you major in so-and-so its hard to study abroad. Are departments willing to work with students who want to go abroad?")
They assume you know about Middlebury so they won't ask too much, but it always looks good if you mention specific things you like about Middlebury if it comes up. (Like mentioning the Organic Garden if you're talking about the enviro club you led in HS.)
Also, my interviewer asked me what the last book I read was. (:
You want to make the interview as easy as possible for the interviewer. Most will look to you for cues as to potential conversations.
1. Be armed with the 3 things you want them to emphasize in their report (these should be the things that you bring to Midd, and think that your Midd experience will enhance, ie, your "hooks"). Answer every question that is asked thoughtfully, but be sure to work these assets into the conversation. Don't pound them, just emphasize them.
2. If it is a recent grad, ask about their Midd experience, how it changed them, why they loved it, what they studied, why they studied it. If they are an older alum, ask them if they've been back recently, how they feel it's changed, how it has remained the same etc.
3. Review the course catalogue, find a major or course that interests you outside your principal field of interest, and ask them if they have any insight. If not, tell them why it excites you.
4. If you get the book question don't start the sentence with a reference to what you are reading in class unless the book was very important to you for some reason. Talk about the last book you chose yourself, unless it was a dime store novel. You can talk about a book you've been dying to read (and why) as soon as you get the admissions process behind you.
5. Relax and be yourself. You're bright enough and talented enough to think about applying to an elite LAC (even if it's a reach). Surely you can engage someone on the topic of you and your dream education for 30 minutes.
6. Thank them for their time sincerely but not sycophantically. Your interviewer takes this seriously, and will produce a report that can take up to an hour to complete. While they will know about your admission status almost as quickly as you do, follow up with an e-mail to let them know the outcome and, win-or-lose, thank them again. ED rejections sometimes make it in RD. If your interviewer liked you, (s)he may make an effort to go back to bat for you. If they didn't like you that much, its unlikely they will take the time to re-state that.
I had mine a few days ago. It went really well; we basically just had a conversation and she asked questions in a casual way that wasn't at all nerve-wracking. We talked a lot about her experiences too. By the time we looked at our watches it had been an hour and a half! I'm feeling good about it.
I had mine on Thursday and it was great. I was nervous about what to wear and ended up wearing a formal skirt, flats, and a more interesting t-shirt. He was dressed in jeans and a button-up and the interview itself was very casual (in a local coffee shop), so I'm sure it was fine.
We talked about my school, my grades and SAT scores, extracurriculars now and in college (what I'd like to do). He asked everything very casually, only question I think I should've expanded on was the "what does your week look like" question; I said I play some music, write, do homework, hang out with friends then we moved on to how senior year was very hard and what classes I was taking. I wanted to throw some other hobbies in - but then again, at the moment it felt like it would've been an overload of info. so maybe my gut was right. And we did get to discussing another important topic. We also talked about his family, his business, the weather here & in VT, the town of Middlebury, movies & TV, music, Thanksgiving, many other things. It went on for over an hour.
My advice is go with plenty of time, let the conversation end itself. Be polite but casual. Be yourself, unless you're too serious -- laugh, joke, smile, ask questions. Also follow-up with a thank-you email. My interview was actually very fun