Usually when applicants prepare for their admissions interviews, they spend their time trying to figure out what questions will be asked and how they can best answer them. This is important and a good idea. But it’s not the only step to prepping for an admissions interview.
An interview is a two-way street.
Your interviewer will ask you questions and listen your answers, and then will turn the asking over to you. When your interviewer says, “Do you have any questions?” you don’t want to shut the interview down by saying, “Nope, I’m set” but want to keep the flow of the conversation going by taking the reins of the interview into your hands and asking some questions of your own.
There are two things you can do before your interview to help you come up with intelligent questions:
1) Familiarize yourself with the program’s website and other literature. Never ask a question that can be answered easily online.
2) Review your application. Your questions should be specific to your unique situation – your skills, interests, and goals. Questions about the faculty or clubs, for example, should relate to your own education, career, and goals.
Since your goal should be to come up with questions that are specific to your situation, I can’t give you a list of must-ask questions without knowing who YOU are. But here are a few sample questions that you can review and tweak so that the questions are more appropriate for YOU:
• How difficult is it to enroll in a popular class like XYZ? (Insert a class that appeals to you. Not a required course.)
• Do recruiters from XYZ (a company or a particular field that interests you) visit the school? How do students get interviews with recruiters?
• Are business plan competitions (or something else that’s relevant to you) open to all students, or are there certain requirements to qualify?
If you are interviewing with school alum or a second-year student, then you should ask questions about their experiences, for example:
• Who were some of your favorite professors? Favorite classes?
• What is/was a typical day like for you?
• Are there clubs or activities that you would recommend for someone interested in XYZ? What clubs are you involved in? How important do you think it is to be involved in extracurricular activities?
• If you could change anything about your experience at this program, what would it be?
You get the idea. You want to come up with questions that personalize you and that show you have an interest in your interviewer’s experience (if relevant). Be specific, show that you’ve done your research, and most importantly, relax!
Good luck and let us know how we can further help you prepare for your interviews!