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Common College Interview Questions

ncm2012ncm2012 271 replies56 threadsRegistered User Member
edited August 2013 in College Admissions
By reading through the "awkward college interview" thread, I found a lot of unexpected questions that confused people. So, through the suggestions of some of the posters there, what are college interview questions people should be prepared for, and how should the more awkward ones be answered?


1. What are colleges have you applied to?/Where is this college on your list?
(What do you say if that school is a match, and you're applying to major reaches, or if it is a safety, and you still want to show interest?)
edited August 2013
36 replies
Post edited by ncm2012 on
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Replies to: Common College Interview Questions

  • ds143ds143 302 replies72 threadsRegistered User Member
    From a couple of my interviews, a lot of the questions overlapped...

    Why do you like X school?
    What makes you different? How would you describe yourself?
    What extracurricular activities mean the most to you?
    What can you add to X school?
    What challenges have you faced/how are you stronger?
    What's your weakness?
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  • PandoraHeartsPandoraHearts 404 replies31 threadsRegistered User Member
    I've pretty much gotten the same questions for all my interviews:

    -What is your current schedule?
    -What is your favorite class and why?
    -What do you do outside of school?
    -Why ____ school?
    -What is your HS like and how has it prepared you for college?
    -Do you have any questions for me?


    My interviews have all been pretty straightforward, so far, haven't been asked much outside of this. The only question thats really thrown me for a loop so far is "what kind of kitchen utensil would you like to be?" lol. But with those random questions, I think its less about the specifics of your answer and more how you address the question with composure.
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  • nightpwnsj00nightpwnsj00 469 replies13 threadsRegistered User Member
    -Pick x (usually 3) adjectives that you/your friends would use to describe yourself.
    -What did you like about ____ college/university?
    -Tell us something that is not evident from your application.
    -Do you have any questions?
    -Tell me about your high school.
    -What is your favorite author?
    -What do you do during your free time?
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  • JIMMY@KILLARNEY[email protected] 1232 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    What was yesterday's 3-months and 10-year treasury yields?

    What are the four valuation models used in corporate finance?

    How many ping pong balls can you fit inside a A380 aircraft?
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  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom 24049 replies804 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "Tell me about yourself."

    "Tell me about a challenge that you experienced in an extracurricular, how you handled it and what you learned from it."

    "Why do you want to go to X college?"

    "What's your favorite class and why?"

    "What's your favorite extracurricular? Why did you get involved in it? How has being involved in that EC affected your life?"

    A question that highly select colleges may ask: "The majority of applicants to this college are highly qualified, yet -- due to space reasons -- the majority will be rejected. Why should you be accepted?"

    "What do you feel that you have to contribute to X college?"
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  • AnagramPandaAnagramPanda 723 replies15 threadsRegistered User Member
    "How will you contribute to X College?"
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  • ncm2012ncm2012 271 replies56 threadsRegistered User Member
    Thanks everyone!

    I have another question:

    What about for high school interviews, for things like internships, certain research or volunteer programs, selective programs, etc . . .? They would probably ask

    Tell me about yourself.
    Why are you interested in X?

    Any other questions for non-college related interviews?
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  • T26E4T26E4 23243 replies1031 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "Is there anything you'd like to convey to the admissions committee outside of what you put on the application?"

    I ask this very open ended question in case the student has some salient fact that he/she feels is necessary to voice. Often there's no profound reply which is fine.
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  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom 24049 replies804 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "What about for high school interviews, for things like internships, certain research or volunteer programs, selective programs, etc . . .? They would probably ask"

    I suggest asking this in Parent's Cafe.
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  • DriftwoodPartyDriftwoodParty 14 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    At this point in your life, what sort of career do you anticipate having? How will X serve as a bridge to that career?
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  • melin720melin720 681 replies15 threadsRegistered User Member
    What books have you read recently?
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  • sinceredesichicksinceredesichick 170 replies23 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Since my interview was with someone who asked the questions that the school gave him, I'm gonna say these questions could definitely pop up in an interview someday:

    -Tell me about a book, movie, article (etc) that has inspired you/changed your view on life and why.

    -How do you work under pressure, and give me an example.

    -If you could run your school, what one change you would be sure to make?

    -What do you see yourself doing in the future?

    -And the usual "Why school X?"

    -What are some of your activities outside of school? Then I was asked to elaborate on one or two of them.

    -What do you look for in a school?

    -Strengths/Weaknesses


    And finally, the one everyone should be prepared for is "Do you have any questions for me?" - You should have questions! The interviewers lovee talking about their college days and want to share with you their story, so come prepared to ask! I wouldn't ask about housing, or drinking or stuff you could just find out on the website, I'd ask them questions about their experience, what they took away from all of it, why they feel it's such an amazing school, how available the faculty was, how easy it was to find out of class experience with internships/research.....you get the point :)
    That's as far as I can remember to be honest. Good luck to all!
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  • dreaming92dreaming92 434 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    What will be your future roommates' one complaint about you?
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  • mrbopalop1mrbopalop1 36 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Mine was largely a conversation so no real huge direct questions...but:

    -What are your grades/scores like?
    -Anything else you want the adcom to know that is not on your application?
    -Extracurriculars?

    No direct Why Harvard, Strengths but I think I answered them as I talked in the conversation.
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  • 'rentof2'rentof2 4274 replies53 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    At Occidental my son was asked, "If you were a kitchen utensil which one would you be?" He said he'd be a spork. ;)
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  • aireginairegin 189 replies16 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I got the usual questions, but also one really good question.

    What is currently the biggest problem in China and how would you solve it if you had the power?
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  • ajolewisajolewis 2 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    One that threw me for a loop: "What do you think of growing up in <insert your town/city's name here>?" Personally, I don't often comparatively evaluate my hometown on its merits as a hometown. It's open to a lot of very telling projective answers.
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  • elau0493elau0493 672 replies16 threads- Member
    @[email protected]: did they seriously ask that? 'cause if they asked me that i'm pretty much screwed..
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  • siliconvalleymomsiliconvalleymom 4377 replies84 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    This season, my daughter was asked whether her grades were the result of intelligence or hard work. She was also asked whether her school had a very easy grading scale (um, no!).
    She was asked by almost every interviewer about the other schools she had applied to and how the interviewer's school compared to her other choices.
    One interviewer asked her where her parents wanted her to go to school.
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  • bsmdncechick23bsmdncechick23 106 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I've had a couple of weird ones:

    If you were a tour guide for your city, where would you bring people to?

    Where do you see yourself in 15 years? (I hate this question)

    If someone gave you $15,000, what would you do with it?

    What do you wish you could add to the college application?

    What's the hardest thing you've ever done?
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