The best way to approach any college interview is like you are interviewing for a job.  In a sense, you are, since your college career is the first step on your professional career path.  As with any interview, you want to make a good impression, and there are a number of considerations.  However, you also need to look at the interview as a two-way street.  You must also be impressed with the college you are considering and make sure that it’s the one you want to attend.  Here are a few ways to meet both goals.

There are two types of interviews you might participate in as a student seeking admission to a college or university.  In some cases, you’re being evaluated to determine your fitness for admission.  Some schools, programs, or scholarships require this type of interview as part of the admission process.  In other cases, the interview is not required for admission, but is encouraged as a way for both the school and students to get information and make sure the arrangement is a good fit for all parties.  It’s important to know what type of interview you’re going into beforehand so that you can prepare appropriately for the process.

Either way, you’ll want to brush up on questions that might be asked.  You should probably come prepared to discuss your grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, charity work, outstanding achievements, and so on, as well as your areas of interest and your intended major.  In addition, you must come prepared with questions.  It’s important to do your homework here.  You want to show an interest in the school and let your interviewer know that you’ve done preliminary research.  So don’t ask questions that can easily be answered by the school website.  Before your interview, it’s a good idea to practice how you will ask and answer questions.  This preparation will help you to present a confident and relaxed demeanor during the interview.

Proper attitude and appearance are also of the utmost importance during the interview process.  Colleges are seeking students that are intelligent, polite, and excited to participate in higher education.  If you behave like a bored, moody, spoiled child, interviewers will not be impressed.  Don’t forget, eyes could be on you the moment you set foot on campus, so behave appropriately during your entire visit.

You also need to dress the part. What do you think when you see someone on the street with baggy pants, a torn tee, and disheveled hair?  You might think that person is homeless or that he/she doesn’t care much about appearance or anything else.  The last thing you want is for your Ohio University college interviewer to have this impression when meeting you for the first time.  The best look is business casual.  Girls should wear a dress or a blouse with slacks or a skirt.  Boys should opt for slacks and a button down shirt at the least.  Don’t wear clothes that are too casual or revealing or you could make a bad impression.

Finally, remember to be yourself.  If you try to act like something you’re not, you risk coming across as stiff and uncomfortable, or maybe even aloof.  Instead, let your personality shine through.  You’re going to be more comfortable and confident as a result, and college interviewers will have a chance to see why you are exactly the type of student they’re looking for.