A typical US college admission interview usually lasts for around 45 minutes, but sometimes it may take longer. What are the alumni interviewers going to ask? Let’s take a look at the 5 most common problems and preparation tips!
Question 1: Tell Me about Yourself
This is technically not a question, but you may be asked this during the interview. Because the question is too general, you may have a hard time deciding where to start.
Why they ask this question: The reason is that they really want to know more about you. After all, this is one of the main purposes of the interview! Also, the interviewer might want to use this question to break the ice as well.
What they are looking: You need to draw a unique self-portrait, or you have to have a clear idea of who you are in order to be separated from other applicants. Avoid using clichés descriptions. For example, don’t just say that you work hard and put in effort, but to explain why you are so diligent and why you feel it is being diligent is important.
How to prepare: Rehearsing to answer this question, try to talk about your passion, hobbies and interests. You can discuss what inspires you or what your friends like about you. Be specific! Have specific details, remember that you want to impress the interviewer.
Question 2: Why Are You Interested in This College?
Why they ask this question: This is an important issue and a problem you must prepare for, because the university wants to see that you are taking their application seriously and have a real interest in them.
What they are looking for: Talk about your interest in a professional or academic program, the cultural value of the school or the extracurricular activities that appeal to you. Again, be specific. Don’t talk about prestige or ranking, let alone you just want to go there because it’s closer to home; none of these shows real interest in the university!
How to prepare: To answer this question well, you need to conduct extensive university research before the interview (hopefully it is done much earlier!). When answering this question, you should be able to enumerate some details. At the same time, you should note that the answer to this question is consistent with the discussion to relevant aspects of your application.
Question 3: Why Do You Want to Major in _____?
If you say you want to pursue a major, you may be asked why you are interested in that particular area.
Why they ask this question: The university is very interested in your academic goals and wants to see your interest in the academics. Through the interview, they want to see how you pursue your interest too.
What they are looking for: Talk about why a profession can inspire you or why you are passionate about it. Don’t say that you want to make a lot of money or have a steady career development. That doesn’t mean real academic interest; it only makes you look superficial and selfish.
How to prepare: Think deeply about why you want to take a specific major. Why do you feel fascinated about it? What experiences have inspired your interest in the profession? How will the major enable you to achieve your future career, academic or personal goals?
Question 4: What Are Your Academic Strengths?
Why they ask this question: In order to work hard to understand you as a student, the university wants to know your opinion about your academic strengths.
What they are looking for: Make sure your answer is not too short or general. Don’t just say “I am good at science.” When discussing your academic strengths, please explain how you can take advantage of your strengths. For example, if you are a good writer, how do you use your writing skills to excel at school? How do you plan to continue to use your strengths?
How to prepare: Make sure you understand your academic ability. You should be able to explain how you recognize your strengths, how you will use them now and how you plan to use them in the future to create value.
Question 5: What Are Your Academic Weaknesses?
Why they ask this question: Universities want to recruit good students, but they know that everyone has their own individual advantages and disadvantages. The university hopes to see that despite the challenges, you still have the spirit of perseverance to overcome them.
What they are looking for: Top colleges want students to demonstrate their ability to face and overcome challenges, and to try to understand the strategies and methods students use to improve themselves. You can also tell a specific story about how you can achieve great results in a discipline that is particularly difficult for you.
How to prepare: Be aware of your academic weaknesses and know how to address them. Don’t say that you don’t have any weaknesses. That is not very convincing and will make you look arrogant.
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