Applying to College as an Introvert: Admission Interview
As I mentioned in my last post, “Applying to College as an Introvert: Extracurricular Activities,” introverted students sometimes feel that they are disadvantaged in the college application process, especially where extracurricular activities are concerned.
In this post, I would like to discuss how to approach admissions office interviews.
A Heads-Up About Interviews in General
Before worrying too much about whether or not you will be comfortable during a college admission interview, please understand that most colleges do not require or even offer interviews. So there is a good chance that the colleges you’re planning to apply to will fall into this category.
That said, if a college does offer an optional interview, I typically recommend that students take advantage of this opportunity, especially if applying to a college relatively close to home.
More and more colleges pay attention to demonstrated interest. Therefore, it makes sense that, if the college offers interviews and they know that the student’s home is within a reasonable distance, avoiding the interview might be judged as having a lack of interest in the college.
To be clear, though, this alone does not determine whether a student is admitted. However, it is something worth considering.
5 Pieces of Advice for Introverts About College Admission Interviews
If an introverted student has determined that they are going to interview with the college, here are a few recommendations:
1. Read my previous blog post about admission interviews.
“Zen and the Art of College Admission Interviews”
2. Remember that you do not need to lead the interview.
It’s okay for you to sit quietly and wait for your interviewer to ask you questions. Don’t worry if there are pauses between your answers or between questions. A calm and quiet conversation is not the sign of a bad interview.
3. Take your time answering questions.
You needn’t provide a quick answer to every single question. Admissions officers appreciate thoughtful responses!
4. Prepare to talk about yourself during the interview.
This may be one of the more difficult parts of an interview for a student who feels introverted or shy. But the college admissions staff wants to discover information about you that is not available in any other part of the application. They have your grades, test scores, and extracurriculars, but they don’t know how you think, what you think about, and how you might conduct yourself if you are a student at their college. If sharing this type of information feels difficult to you, it is important that you spend some time preparing in advance to answer a few critical questions which might help you during the interview.
5. Be ready to answer the most important question: “Why?”
Why what? Why everything. If your interviewer is asking why you’re interested in a particular college, you need to be able to answer. If your interviewer asks you why you mentioned a certain major in your application, you need to be able to explain. And if you’ve referred to an extracurricular activity that’s important to you, you need to be able to say why this is exciting and satisfying to you.
If you still have questions or concerns about the college admission process, please feel free to contact me or click on the link. As an Independent Educational Consultant, I have had years of experience with helping students and their parents navigate the complexities of the application process with success. It would be my pleasure to assist you as well.