How to Succeed in College Interviews


College Interview Counselors / Career Interview Coaches, LLC has just released a book, College Interview Essentials, which is available for purchase on Amazon.com.  In this first publication, authors and founders of CIC, Peggy Nash Marx and Kyrie O’Connor, discuss how a young, texting generation has lost the art of verbal communication and needs to prepare in order to have an impressive interview.

An interview write-up (what the interviewer writes about you post- interview) is included in the college admissions file.  When an applicant’s file is up for review and is decided upon – whether the applicant will be accepted to the schools of choice or not – the interview write up is reviewed along with the written application, complete with transcripts, essays, resumes.  Furthermore, interviewing is a life skill – the sooner a young person learns how to have an impressive interview, the better one is prepared for interviews associated with internships, scholarships, jobs and careers.

Often, by the time a candidate is asked to set a date for a school interview – whether the event is conducted by an alumni interviewer or admissions staff representative – the candidate is exhausted from the process.  However, just like a football game where the applicant is in the end zone, the applicant must persevere and not give a college a reason to say NO!  Having an impressive interview is key to completing an application.  In spite of stellar grades, extracurricular activities and the superlative essays, the applicant must prepare for the interview through research and practice.

Here are some tips which CIC offers for your college interviews:

  • Arrive early to the appointed venue. Make sure you have the proper destination in mind and allow for traffic and Murphy’s Law.
  • Dress neutrally – that means dress as if you are visiting an elderly relative.
  • Know what you want to communicate to your interviewer which will add personality and relevant information (not a repeat of your scores, GPA, etc.) to your application.  Have 3 – 4 elements of your conversation in mind so that you are able to communicate these concepts no matter which questions arise.
  • Try to research your interviewer before you arrive at the venue.  In this day and age of the internet, one can often find out something about the interviewer online.
  • Know as much as you can about the school to which you are applying. Research areas of study, what is unique about the school, and why you believe you will be a perfect fit for that college or university.
  • Have questions ready for your interviewer on subjects that are not available on the school’s website.

These are only a few of the secrets to having an Impressive Interview.

College Interview Essentials offers greater insight into the college interview process. CIC – www.collegeinterviewcounselors.com – also offers interview training and college application assistance through workshops and one on one consultations .

Today’s guest post was contributed by Peggy Nash Marx and Kyrie O’Connor.

A Producer of multi-media business meetings, Peggy Nash Marx trained executives on how to speak from the podium and answer employee and client queries with sincerity, but with a direct purpose in mind.  As Chairperson of a top New England interview committee for more than 15 years, Peggy has managed the interview process for hundreds of diverse applicants.  She utilizes her editorial and communication skills to fine tune applicants’ positioning in and identification with specific opportunities. Peggy is the owner/founder of Mon Amie and CIC, consulting groups dedicated to enhancing individuals’ potential. She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University. Her family members have attended Princeton, Tufts, USC and the U of R and have participated in both the public and private school systems.

A branding and marketing expert, Kyrie O’Connor has spent her career launching and building brands and businesses.  She developed her entrepreneurial approach through classic brand management training at Kraft/General Foods and further honed her skills at Cuisinart, Corning, London Fog, Bally Shoes, Switzerland and BhS, London. In 2006, Kyrie founded the business strategy firm, The Opportunity Team.  Her marketing acumen and abilities to identify and maximize talent are put to good use in preparing applicants for admission and employment positions.  Kyrie interviewed hundreds of students as Co-Chair of a top New England college interview committee.  She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and earned an MBA with distinction from NYU/Stern Graduate School of Business.  Family members were graduated from the public school system, having participated in the I.B program abroad, and attended Dartmouth, Tufts, Johns Hopkins, NYU, and Harvard.