If an upcoming college interview has you in a panic—relax. Most college interviewers are not trying to trip you up, but instead attempting to gauge your interest in the school and find out more about you than what’s on paper.
Here are 10 “don’ts” when it comes to college interviews:
- Don’t interview without doing some research.
Take a look at the school’s website, brochures, and course catalog.
- Don’t dress inappropriately.
You probably won’t have to don a suit, but dress as if you were making a presentation at school, which means no jeans, T-shirts, or gym shoes.
- Don’t arrive late.
This shows a lack of respect, makes a bad first impression, and will give you less time for the interview.
- Don’t bring an entourage.
Parents or friends should wait for you outside of the interview.
- Don’t act arrogantly.
It’s fine to brag about yourself a bit, but there’s a difference between speaking proudly and sounding too full of yourself. And definitely don’t exaggerate the truth.
- Don’t use too much slang or foul language.
Speaking inappropriately in an interview will make the interviewer think you lack the maturity—or the vocabulary—to take on college life.
- Don’t refer to the college as your “safety school.”
This will not win you any points with the interviewer.
- Don’t leave without asking some questions of your own.
Some interviewers will perceive a lack of questions as a lack of interest.
- Don’t make too many excuses.
Sometimes a poor grade or a bad semester will require an explanation (e.g., a death in the family). But you shouldn’t go in with a litany of excuses for any subpar work.
- Don’t forget to send a thank you note.
Not only is it polite, but it will also help the interviewer remember you.