Guide The Best Little Book On Impressing Your Ivy League Interviewers

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A prepared speech on your leadership experience will probably sound rehearsed, and it may fail to impress. It's distracting and annoying, and it will also appear disrespectful. You want your interviewer to be listening to your answers, not to your smacking mouth noises. By putting something in your mouth for an interview, you send the message that you have little interest in having a meaningful conversation. Your interviewer wants to get to know you, not your parents.

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Also, it's hard to look like you're mature enough for college if Dad is asking all the questions for you. Often your parents won't be invited to join in on the interview, and it's best to not ask if they can sit in. College is about learning to be independent, and the interview is one of the first places where you can show that you're up for the challenge. A comment like "you're my back-up school" or "I'm here because my parents told me to apply" is an easy way to lose points during the interview. When colleges give out acceptance offers, they want to get a high yield on those offers.

Disinterested students won't help them accomplish that important goal. Even students who are academically overqualified for a school sometimes get rejection letters if they demonstrate no real interest in a school. If you ask questions that could easily be answered by the college's website, you'll send the message that you don't care enough about the school to do a little research.

Ask questions that show you know the place: "I'm interested in your Honors Program; could you tell me more about it?

This should be obvious, but some students do get themselves in trouble by fabricating half truths or exaggerating during the interview. A lie can come back and bite you, and no college is interested in enrolling dishonest students.

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Good manners go a long way. Shake hands.

Address your interviewer by name. Say "thank you. Sound natural when answering questions. Bring a pen and paper. Maintain good hygiene.


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Behave in a rude or disrespectful way. Show a lack of interest in the school. Act shy. Mumble when speaking. Chew gum. Show up unprepared. Use foul language. Use slang. Pay attention to your phone. Get too personal. Sound too rehearsed. Why did you choose your major? What the interviewer is looking for: Schools want to know what students are passionate about and what their academic goals are.


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Why are you interested in our school? What is your favorite book and why? What the interviewer is looking for: This question is designed to find out what is important to students and what their interests are. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

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What are your favorite courses? What the interviewer is looking for: This is an opportunity for students to talk about their academic interests, especially if they have already chosen a major. What's one thing that your future roommate should know about you? What the interviewer is looking for: This type of question is designed to find out if students have been keeping up with current events. What will you contribute to this school? What the interviewer is looking for: Schools want students who are going to do more than just go to class every day. What would you change about your high school if you could?

What the interviewer is looking for: This question is designed to determine what students are looking for in a school, as well as their problem solving skills. Who is your hero? What advice would you give to incoming freshmen? How did you make the decision to attend your alma mater? What kind of internships have the students here been able to get?


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What are the greatest strengths of this school? How do students spend their time on campus? Why ask this question: This question can give students information on the clubs, events and other extracurricular activities that are available at the school. What is the community surrounding the school like? What would you change about the college if you could? What preparations has the university made for emergencies, such as extreme weather or violent crimes?

What issues are students concerned about and what is the school doing about them?

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Why ask this question: This is another question that will give students insights about a college they may not otherwise obtain. What guarantee would you make to a student enrolling in your school?

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Being late for an interview. Missing an interview. Getting extremely nervous. A ringing cell phone.