How to Help Your Teen Prepare for College Admissions Interviews

College and university interviews allow admissions officers to gain a more personal perspective on all applicants and what they can offer if they are accepted in the institution. Because of this, the interview is an important element of the whole college application process and one that all incoming freshmen should successfully pass.
How to Help Your Teen Prepare for College Admissions Interviews

Although your teen will be the only who will be interviewed, and thus, the outcome will depend on him or her alone, there are ways for you to help your child prepare for his or her college admissions interviews. Here are some tips for doing so:

1.    Enroll your teen in a college interview prep program

If acing interviews has never been your teen’s forte because he or she tends to get easily overwhelmed by his or her anxieties, you can help your child overcome this by signing him or her for some interview preparation courses.

Under this program, qualified instructors will conduct mock interviews with your teen to help him or her have an idea of how the whole process goes. The instructors will ask questions that are normally asked during formal admissions interviews and will assess your teen’s responses.

If the interviewers are not satisfied with your child’s answers or feel that they are lacking, and he or she doesn’t appear confident throughout the interview, they will give your teen pointers on how to come up with better, more suitable responses.

The instructors will give your child tips on how to boost his or her confidence and deal with his or her anxieties as well.

2.    Conduct mock interviews with your child

Allow your child to practice whatever he or she learned from the prep course at home by conducting mock interviews with him or her.

Aside from pointing out other weaknesses your teen may not be aware of, you can also give him or her other tips on how to improve. Make sure you tell your child the good points of the mock interview and compliment your child whenever you see him or her improving or making an effort. All these will help build up your teen’s self-confidence.

3.    Visit the college or university with your teen

Help your child feel more comfortable for an upcoming admissions interview by bringing him or her to the campus before the actual interview.

With a campus visit, your teen won’t have to go through feelings of unfamiliarity during the interview which can affect his or her concentration. Going for a visit will also help your child make a more informed decision about choosing this particular school or selecting another.

After the visit, encourage your teen to think about and reflect on the visit. Ask him or her questions that will make him or her finalize or reconsider his or her decision.  If your teen really likes the college or university, help him or her recognize why he or she would be a good fit for the school.

4.    Research about the school

Another great way you can assist your teen in preparing for the interview is to read about his or her potential college or university.

Compile some interesting facts about the school by visiting their website and reading their online newspaper. Give the information to your child and help him or her connect his or her academic passions, achievements, and extracurricular interests to distinct features of his or her course and the school.

By doing this additional research, you will allow your kids to skip this extra step and focus more on preparing their responses, and for the whole interview process.

5.    Help your teen prepare questions to ask during the interview

Since you already did some additional research about your teen’s potential school, work with him or her to come up with a list of questions to ask during the interview.

College admissions officers also encourage applicants to ask questions after the interview. You will enable your child to impress the interviewers by coming up with relevant, well-thought-out questions he or she can ask.

Make sure these questions are not generic or ones that can be answered by reading the school’s brochure. Try to think of questions that are specific such as what the college or university’s plans are of giving students more modern learning experiences, or how they will implement new technologies in your child’s chosen course.

Lastly, don’t forget to share other typical tips that will help your child ace his or her interview. These can include tips on:

       What to wear
       How much makeup to put on
       What accessories to wear
       What time to arrive for the interview
       How to shake hands professionally

Always remind your child that smiling and being confident and conversational will go a long way in enabling him or her to have a successful interview and be admitted by the college or university.

Maloy Burman is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Premier Genie FZ LLC. He is responsible for driving Premier Genie into a leadership position in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education space in Asia, Middle East and Africa and building a solid brand value. Premier Genie is currently running 5 centers in Dubai and 5 centers in India with a goal to multiply that over the next 5 years.