2 Answers

Janice Kirn-Sottilaro Points6300
I have often wondered that if perhaps the interview is not as important as the rest of us think after all, many a rep. has shared that very thought with me. Still my own belief is that maybe the interview won't guarantee an acceptance but, it can find you cut form the list pretty quickly. For example, a client I had a few years back had an alumni interview set up which we role played. During the role play sessions she spoke so softly reflecting her very, very shy personality. I would ask her questions such as - what are your strengths, what are you weaknesses, why do you want to come to......, can you tell me about a project you worked on and found great satisfaction in, which class has influenced the most, etc. This particular client barely responded to each question.We talked about the dangers of not fully responding to questions; the importance of sharing yourself, the things that make you up, with an alumni. Needless to say, the interview for this client was a disaster. The alumni fellow was very easy going, completely non threatening, reassuring to her, light questions but still, he could barely hear her speak and the responses were very often yes or no or better still, I don't know. hen she shared the experience with me, I knew she was not going to be accepted. Her grades and test scores were great so that on paper, she was a perfect match but, her shyness which had followed her throughout life, was very pronounced during the interview. This individual shared nothing about themselves, offered no reason why she really wanted to go to the school, could not say anything particular about her favorite class. So no, she was not accepted. The interview would not have guaranteed her acceptance but it did, have her cut from the list. Role play the interview as often as you. The more familiar you are and comfortable you are, talking about yourself and asking questions about the institution, the stronger of a candidate you will appear. Also, be sure to research the school itself so you can speak with confidence about some of their programs allowing yourself to shine even more brightly - quick note: I would leave the ripped up jeans home for this meeting - no ties needed just a simple, well put together outfit, presenting yourself as one that cares so much about the interview, about the school that, you want to put your best foot forward. Good Luck!
Jon Semcer Points3610
My experience is that almost all alumni interviewers are nice person who take their role seriously, but not to the point of being overbearing. Keep in mind that those folks are not professional admission counselors. They have great loyalty to their college/ university and what to help in any way they can. The interview can be in a public place or in the student's home. It serves as another source of information about the candidate but does not carry the weight of grades, test scores,teacher recommendations, counselor recommendation , courses taken, grade point average or rank in class. The alumni interview is somewhere near the low middle of the factor list. Should it be taken seriously and prepared for ? Sure. Role playing with your school counselor is great practice. During the interview be at easy, make good eye contact, dress casual but not sloppy and by all means have a few questions. The alumni interviewer will set the pace for you and often ask open ended questions to get you to open up about your self. Their job is to fill out a summary sheet with notes and ratings and forward that to the Admission Office to be placed in your file for later reading.. The questions are not meant to trip you up but to engage you in a conversation about your self. Be sure to get the interviewer's business card and mail a thank you note ( a written note is very good) Be yourself and know that the alumni interviewer will in most cases give you every opportunity to fill in the gaps of the application and it is used by schools who have far to many candidates to interview on campus. Good luck!!

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