20+ TOP College Interviews Questions & Answers
1) Tell me about yourself –
obviously a statement, but you’ll have to provide a response to this tough one by summarizing your life into a few sentences. Your answer should be conversational but also try to offer one thing that makes you unique from all of the other applicants. This could be a hobby, accomplishment, goal, or anything else that sets you apart.
2) Who in your life has influenced you?
This can be a tough one to figure out if you’re put on the spot. Think about it before the interview but make sure you don’t have a planned answer. This should be a thought-provoking exchange, not just a question and answer session.
3) What do you do in your free time?
This college interview question is a big one for you and the interviewer. It gives you an opportunity to set yourself apart from the other applicants by talking about your hobbies and what makes you who you are. Really, this question is what the interview is all about.
4) What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
Don’t try to act like you have life figured out at age 17 or 19 and planned perfectly for years. However, do make sure to show that you have aspirations and that you think ahead.
5) What are you most proud of?
Again, this question is a good opportunity to show who you are beyond your resume, application, and test scores. This could be totally unrelated to school. Just note – colleges want to see why you could bring more value to their community than another applicant.
6) What are your strengths/weaknesses?
You’ve probably been asked this in some form before and you might know how hard it can be to answer. One tip – do not try to turn your biggest weakness into a back-door strength. That’ll come off as phony.
7) If you could change one thing from high school, what would it be?
Your answer should show some turning (or learning) point for you. Demonstrate how you can reflect and adapt based on the decisions you made when you were younger.
7) What interests you in our school?
Obviously if you’ve applied, you are interested. Show that you’ve done your research and try to avoid saying things about wanting to get a good job or degree. Try to focus on how you see your 4 years there, rather than the years after college.
8) What questions can I answer for you about our college?
Have a list of questions ready and don’t wait for this question to ask what you want. This should be a conversation and asking questions shows interest and gives you insight into the college that you can’t find on the website or a college tour.
9) What will you bring to our school that another applicant couldn’t?
Picture yourself in the college community. What can you offer to the culture? Think about community service, clubs, athletics, and other similar topics when answering this college interview question.
10) Tell me about a challenge you overcame.
The college experience isn’t easy for anyone. Challenges will likely arise from your classes, dorm life, family relationships and so on. College admissions officers want to know that you can handle stress and overcome obstacles… and that you’re not likely to drop out. Tell a story about perseverance.
11) Who is your hero?
If you don’t have a “hero” per se, consider some real and fictitious people whom you admire. Practice explaining why they are admirable. That’s what matters – the why, not the who. Emphasize character traits that would appeal to a college interviewer.
12) What will you contribute to our school community?
In other words, “How will you stand out among other hardworking students?” Colleges seek a wide range of diversity. Every community needs people to fill different roles.
Are you an artist? A student leader? A creative fundraiser for student groups? Try to imagine where you could fit in at the university.
13) How do you define success?
Your response to this college interview question will reveal your values. Consider different aspects of your life when planning your response. Be sure to avoid emphasizing material wealth. It might help to ask yourself, “To sleep well at night, what do I need to know that I’ve done?”
14) Do you have questions about our university?
Ask the interviewer some thoughtful questions, not questions seeking basic information that’s available on the university’s website. Show that you’ve pictured yourself at college and have done your research about the school. For example, a physics major could say, “I’ve read that you have an ongoing project about ________. Could you tell me how physics majors are involved in the work?”
15) What do you hope to do after graduation?
Lots of high school students have no idea what they want to do in the future, and that’s okay. Still, you should formulate an answer to this question. If you’re not sure what your career goals are, say so, but provide a few possibilities.
16) Who do you most admire?
This question really isn’t so much about who you admire but why you admire someone. The interviewer wants to see what character traits you most value in other people.
17) What makes you special?
Or the interview might ask, “What makes you unique?” It’s a more difficult question than it might at first appear. Playing a sport or getting good grades is something that many students do, so such accomplishments aren’t necessarily “special” or “unique.” Try to get beyond your accomplishments and think about what really makes you you.
18) What can our college offer you that another college can’t?
This question is a little different than one asking why you want to go to a specific college. Do your research and look for the truly unique features of the college for which you are interviewing. Does it have unusual academic offerings? Does it have a distinctive first-year program? Are there co-curricular or internship opportunities that can’t be found at other schools?
19) In college, what do you plan to do outside of the classroom?
This is a fairly simply question, but you need to know what extracurricular opportunities exist at the college. You’ll look foolish saying you want to host a college radio show if the school doesn’t have a radio station. The bottom line here is that the interviewer is trying to see what you will contribute to the campus community.
20) What high school experience was most important to you?
With this question the interviewer is looking to find out what experiences you most value and how well you can reflect back on high school. Be sure you are able to articulate why the experience was important.