Friday, March 8, 2013

College Interview Questions

Applying to college is very different than applying for a job. If you're going to work and coming home at the end of the day, much of your life is irrelevant to your job. But if you're applying to a college you'll live at, everything about you matters because you're there all the time. It's more important than ever to present yourself honestly and ask the questions you really have, regardless of how it will make you look.  If your interviewer is a current student or alum, they can be a great resource for finding out what you need to know.
Note: Some of these questions don't have right or wrong answers - just right or wrong answers for you.


Interview Questions:

- Ask your interviewer to describe a typical student from the college. Ask how homogeneous the student body is, e.i. how far the population deviates from the typical student they described.

- Ask point-blank how students treat people of your race, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, weight, economic background, political beliefs, or anything else that you think may be an issue.

- Ask what the college is doing to prevent sexual assault and harassment. Are they going after the people doing the assaulting, or are they blaming you if you walk alone at night?

- Ask what support is available for any physical, mental, or personal issues that you already have.

-Ask about the dorm culture. Will people treat your dorm room like your home, knocking on the door and respecting your personal space and alone time? Will they treat the dorm experience like a non-stop party, expecting you to leave your door open and socialize all the time? Can you really live in your room like a home, or is it just a place to sleep?

- If your living situation is important to you, ask how the housing procedure works. How easy is it to get single room? To room with a friend? To get into a particular dorm? To change dorms in the middle of the year if you're not happy?

- Ask how easily you'll be able to do things that you want to do.  Can you assume that you'll get to act in plays, join the ultimate Frisbee team, or write for the school paper, or is it competitive to get into these things?

- Ask about the emotional support of other students. Will you have someone to talk to when something is wrong, or do people expect you to suck it up?

- If you like hugs, ask if other students are touchy-feely. Make sure you'll get the physical affection that you desire.

- If you're not into drinking, ask how much of the fun centers around drinking. If you don't drink, will you get to have the same kind of fun?

- Ask about the cost of fun. Do most students go to the free events on campus, or do they go into town and do expensive things that you won't be able to do?

- If you can't or don't plan to go home for school vacations, ask about other options. Does your school offer spring break trips that you're interested in? Will there be anything to do if you stay on campus?

- Ask how easy it is to go places off campus. If you don't have a car, how reliable is the bus or jitney service?

- Ask about phone service and internet on campus.  Make sure you're able to do what you plan to do from your dorm room.

- Ask about the cliques on campus, and where you might fall.

- If it matters to you, ask about the dating culture.

- Ask how easy it is to have alone time or how easily you can find someone to hang out or go out with.

- Ask how busy students typically are and how much downtime you can expect to have. Make sure it's what you want.

- Ask if the college has a competitive feel once you're enrolled.

- Ask how much other people will be involved in your business. Will students push you to join clubs, go to events, and whatever else they're doing, or will they leave you alone? Will other people tell you what to care about?

- Ask about social pressures. Will you be pressured to play a sport? Go to events? Get drunk? Go to the gym? Have sex? Can you eat what you want in front of other people? Dress the way you like? Is there an image you're expected to uphold?

- Ask how people change from freshman to senior year. Do most students leave college the same person they were before, or do they go through a transformation? Do they become more like typical student from that school? Is the college accepting you as you are, or are they accepting the potential of who you could be if you wanted to change?

These are just some examples, but you get the idea. Don't be afraid to ask what you really need to know.

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