Should I Do An Optional College Interview?

April 22nd, 2013, 3:59pm, Topics: college interview, optional interviews, demonstrated interest, advantages, admissions

Question: Should I Do An Optional College Interview?

Often the college interview is an optional part of the application process. So why bother? You're busy. Applying to college is stressful. Why should you create more work and more stress for yourself by going through the interview process when you don't have to? Why not simply decline?

Answer: There are several reasons why you should take advantage of the opportunity to interview with the colleges you're interested in attending:

  • Choosing to interview demonstrates your interest. A student who is applying to 50 random colleges isn't going to bother interviewing. When you take the time to meet with a representative from the college, you're making a statement that your interest is sincere and that you want to learn more about the school. Also, the college wants to admit students who will accept their offer, and your decision to interview makes you a safer bet.
  • The interview lets you learn more. A successful search for a college isn't about getting into the best school, but getting into the school that is best for you. An interview is a great opportunity for you to learn more about the college and find out if it really is a good match for your personality and interests.
  • The interview allows the college to put a face to the numbers. Put yourself in the shoes of the admissions folks. They have a bunch of transcripts and test scores to use for making admission decisions. If they meet you, you'll be more than numbers.

Are there good reasons to not interview? Perhaps, but rarely. Here are a couple:

  • If a college doesn't have regional representatives and you can't afford to travel, you might pass on the interview. In such a case, however, you could try to set up a phone conversation.
  • If you really, truly are an awful verbal communicator, you may want to keep that fact hidden from the college. Let your written work speak for you.

In general, it's to your advantage to interview. You'll be better informed when making important decisions about choosing a college, and the admissions folks will be more certain of your interest in their college.