The College Interview

The Alumni Interview – what if you’re not contacted to have one!?!
First off, some colleges want the students to call them, or fill out an online form to set up the interview. So the first thing a student needs to do is call the admissions office or check online to find out what the school interview policy is.   A student should do this as soon as they send in their application materials. 
Second, a student needs to find out if a college requires an interview.  At many schools, including Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania, interviews don’t count towards admissions.  Their interviews are “informative.” 
Other schools have an evaluative interview which means they “count”. 
It’s important to know which type of interview a school has.
If the policy of the College is to contact the student and he or she does not get offered an informational interview, this may not be a reflection on a student or their application.  Many colleges, including some Ivy’s, have no prescreening process for interviews.  They try to reach every applicant.
 There are a few reasons why you might not have gotten a call for an interview:
1.       In some areas (such as rural locations), there may be no alumni to do the interviews.
2.       In population dense areas like New York there is a wide alumnus/a to student ratio.  This means that there are typically more interviews that alums can ever hope to have.   
3.       Interviews are coordinated by alumni volunteers.  And like any group of people, some alums are more organized than others.  If you are not contacted about an interview, it may just mean the alumni in your community could not get to you
The sooner a student submits the application, the greater the chance of being offered an alumni interview. To increase the likelihood of being contacted for an interview, students should submit their application at least 2 weeks ahead of the deadline. 
Typically, interviews are conducted for Early Decision candidates between November lst and December 1st, and Regular Decision candidates are offered interviews in January and February. However, interviews can take place as late as March.
The Admissions Office knows that not every applicant will be contacted for an interview, and they will not hold this against a candidacy. 
If a student has not heard from a much-wanted school, they need to find out if they can request an interview.  Some schools do not allow interview requests and others, like Duke, do.  Again, call the school admissions office or go online to see what the College policy is.  If the School does allow you to request an interview, they will tell you what the next steps are.     
If the school gives you the name of the regional person who sets up the interviews, call or email that person.  Then give your alumnus time to respond (5 business days).  These are volunteers who are often busy with career and family.  If you still haven’t received a response after 5 business days, contact the admissions office for a different alumnus on the list. 
For more information on the College Interview, click here.  Putting things into perspective, when the alumni interview is used as part of the admissions consideration process, it rarely makes or breaks an application.  However, interviews mainly work in the applicant’s favor.
When your student does get the interview, here are some tips on what to wear.

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