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“Orbital Career” helps for preparation for Admission Interview. Preparing and applying to study abroad can be a long and exhausting process for most students. Following an admission schedule that’s quite different from the Indian education calendar, writing essays and SOPs, applying for VISA, scholarships, the entire rigmarole can be quite a Herculean task!
But who said applying to study a course abroad was easy? If these things-to-do were not enough, here comes the biggest challenge of all, facing and clearing the college admission interview!
A college admission interview is your chance to prove that there’s more to you than just your SAT/GRE/TOEFL scores and school grades. It is an opportunity for you to add another dimension to what you wrote in your essay or SOP. The interview is where you get to personally interact with the admissions committee. It is usually a two-way process, an exchange of information: they get to know you better; you get to know the college better.
So if you’re applying to especially to graduate school abroad, you should expect an interview. Interviews are not a mandatory part of every college admission process abroad, but most of the colleges include it in their admission process. So it is better to be prepared for the possibility!
Things you need to keep in mind while you gear up for an interview:
• Do Your Homework, It Helps!
Doesn’t mean you’ve got to do any course work of course! It means you should prepare yourself for what you will say, how you’ll present yourself etc. Learn all you can about the college you’re applying to, the course you’ve applied for, the faculty that would teach you and also the country that the college is located in. Don’t fumble during the interview. Prepare yourself for every kind of question that can come your way.
• Don’t be Nervous, Be Cool!
As long as you’ve done your homework, you need not worry at all. You’ve reached the interview stage, because you did a good job with your essay/ SOP and have good enough grades! So you can’t possibly go wrong now! The admissions committee of the college wants to meet you because they already like you and want to get know you better, in person! So if you’re getting the jitters, calm down!
• Ask Questions, it’s good!
It’s not just okay to ask questions (intelligent questions) to your interviewers; it’s in fact, good! It shows that you have a keen interest in the college you’re applying for and that you respect what the interviewers have to tell you. A lot of times, the interviewer is an alumnus of the college, you can ask them why they chose the college over others and what sets the college apart from other colleges. A word of caution: Do not come across as over-smart or arrogant, when you put across your questions. You might put your interviewers off!
• Dress Right, First Impressions Matter!
If your interview is going to be a face-to-face one rather than a telephonic one and if you were planning to wear your Hawaiian slippers or your latest party wear, think again! And keep away those jeans and t-shirts! Remember that the interview is your last chance to market yourself as the best choice for a particular course. You should project yourself as an earnest student who is serious about his/her education. You might be confused about the right attire for a face-to-face interview if you are applying to study abroad. Well, the rules are the same in almost every country: stick to formals. They’re your safest best.
• Make it a Conversation
What most students don’t realise is that they have the power to steer which way an interview is going. Most of the time, your answers prompt the interviewer to ask the next, often related question. So you can quite smartly manoeuvre the interview to your advantage, make the interview interesting. Note that your interviewers have been interviewing dozens of students before you and will probably talk to a lot more, after you. Your interview should be like a whiff of fresh air, different yet impressive. Another word of caution: This does not mean that you will sit back, cross your legs and strike up a casual conversation! Maintain the formal atmosphere, but make it pleasant and friendly.
• Talk to Students already studying there
They are a gold-mine of information and useful advice. Not only would they’ve already undergone the same procedure to get into the college, the can also give you practical tips to ace the interview, give insights about the college activities that you can put into use during your interview. So try getting in touch with them. It would be of great help!
• Do not give run-of-the-mill answers
Like we mentioned before, you get to choose if your interview is going to be interesting or boring. There are innumerable books, websites, coaching centres that prepare you for interviews which give the same advice and similar-sounding answers. To stand out from the crowd, you need to be yourself and give your opinion and your own answers. That’s the only way you can make a distinct impression.
Basic interview questions you SHOULD be equipped to handle:
- Why do want to study in this college?
- Why this particular course?
- Tell us something about yourself (This question will never go out of style!)
- What other colleges have you applied to?
- How can you add value to this course and class?
- Your strengths/weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself 5/10/15 years from now?
- Your interests/hobbies/ achievements?
- Do you have any questions for us?
As mentioned in point number 7, do not give those tried and tested, usual answers to such questions. Give your answers your own special touch. There can also be out-of-the-box and unexpected questions, of course. Be prepared for them! The college admission interview is a very crucial step towards getting into your dream college. Prepare yourself well! All the Best !
Share your Interview tips, experience & best practices in the comments section. Let everyone benefit.