Do I need to go on an interview as part of my college application? 

College Interviews 

There are a small number of colleges and universities that require or recommend an interview as part of their application process. The majority of these schools are Ivy League universities, highly selective colleges & universities, or schools for music and art. However many liberal arts colleges and other universities offer applicants interviews as a part of the application process. A successful interview will allow an interviewer to learn more about your goals, interests, and passions, and how you might contribute to their school. It should also give you a better idea about whether or not a school is the right fit for you.   

Tips for a Successful Interview 
  • Research the college in advance. Write out why you think it would be a good fit for you. 

  • Be prepared to talk about your extracurricular activities and your high school experience. 

  • Be yourself. Take time to think of a response that truly represents you, not what you think an interviewer wants to hear.


  • Have a conversation. Don't focus on trying to memorizing specific responses. Be prepared, but don't try to memorize a script.


  • Prepare one or two thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer. 

  • Practice interviewing with friends or family before the actual interview. 

  • Dress appropriately. Wear business casual or business attire. 

  • Send a thank you note to your interviewer.

  • If the interviewer is an admissions representative, use the interview as a way to build a rapport with someone on campus. Stay in touch with additional questions and updates. 

Types of College Interviews 

College interviews can be evaluative or informational. Many interviews are a combination of the two. 

Evaluative interviews are usually led by someone from the admissions office. This type of interview is factored into the admissions decision. The main purpose of an evaluative interview is to hear more about a student's personal story and to get a better idea of who they are as a person. 

Informational interviews are usually led by a school's alumni or current students. These interviews do not inform admissions decisions. They are an opportunity for the student to ask questions about a school and for the school to share insight and information to a potential student. 

Resources to Prepare
For College Interviews