University interview tips & questions

Written by alan bass
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University interview tips & questions
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A university interview can be the deciding factor on whether or not you get accepted to the university of your dreams. The interview allows your admissions counsellor to get to know you on a personal basis to determine whether you would fit into the lifestyle if you were to be accepted. Knowing various tips and the different potential questions can help you ace your interview and increase your chances of acceptance.

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Questions That May Be Asked

The interviewer may ask you any kind of question relating to your academic, extra-curricular or personal experiences. These questions can raise from "Why did you get a C+ in Biology in high school" to "What is your relationship with your mother?" Though some of the questions asked may seem strange, the interviewer has a reason for each one: to get a better idea of who you are as a person and as a student. Other questions that an interviewer may ask are: "What is your favourite subject in school," "Why do you want to attend our university," "Do you think your grades reflect your academic potential," "What do you want to be after you graduate," "What is a situation that you had to deal with adversity," and "If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?"

Stay Calm and Don't Force It

Sometimes you may get a curveball thrown your way and you may be unsure of how to answer it. For example, an odd question that can appear is "If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?" Most likely, you will not have an immediate answer. Stall by telling the interviewer what an original question it is, allowing you to think and assess the questions quickly and effectively. Ideally, you answer should mingle your experience and academic goals to form a distinct answer your interviewer will be impressed by.

Understand that it is more important to sit in silence for ten seconds to think about an intelligent answer, as opposed to stalling with "um," "uh," or nervous laughter. The interviewer would rather hear a smart answer, than a quick, mediocre, off-the-cuff response.

What the Interviewer is Looking For

In addition to your answers, the interviewer will be looking at your facial expressions, your body language and any other aspect of you that they can see, according to Acting For Business. Because it is tough to determine a person's character in a brief interview, the admissions counsellor must take everything into consideration. This can include your eye contact, posture, grammar while speaking, enthusiasm, the speed you speak at, your volume, how much you fidget and how sincere and interested you seem in the campus and the interview. Sit on the edge of the chair and lean forward a bit to portray sincere excitement to speak with the counsellor.

Do Not Pre-Memorize Your Answers

The worst thing you can do is to sound too prepared. If you memorise answers to questions before the interview, then simply spit them out when the admissions counsellor asks the question, you will sound more like a robot than an excited high school student. By doing this, the counsellor sees you as boring, too formal and not sincere about the opportunity to attend. Of course you should thoroughly prepare for the interview by simply thinking about what is important to you, ideas you want to touch on and potential answers to certain questions; however, you should not feel pressured to recite memorised answers as this will make for an interview disaster. Instead, when the interview occurs, simply relax and let your mind say what you truly feel. Remember, the counsellor is also judging how you might fit into the social lifestyle, so if you lie or if you fail to act like yourself, the counsellor may be accepting you for a school that you may not belong at.

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