Insights on Preparing for Alumni Interviews

Alumni interview season is coming to an end, so I wanted to get a post up for high school juniors looking to get a sense of what’s in store for 2019.

For many students, college admissions interviews are fear-inducing. And though there is some decent prep material online, you can go right to the source for clarity on what the process entails. There really should be no reason to fear your alumni interview because many schools have their protocols and the guidance/instructions they give your interviewer available for you to review online—including possible interview questions.

Knowing the questions you might be asked is one thing but thoroughly preparing is another completely. You do not need to spend hours preparing answers to hundreds of questions to thoroughly prepare for alumni or any other college admissions interview. Canned responses sound unnatural and can be a give away that you were nervous (understandable given the hype around these things) and as a result, over-prepared. In my experience, taking the less stressful approach bodes well for students: they do not waste hours preparing, which can detract from other important tasks (homework, community engagement, Spotify) and because they have not overprepared, they will more naturally which tends to win over an interviewer.

Remember, so much of a college admissions interview (and this entire process!) is about likeability—rehashing your resume word-for-word does not make you likable, but being able to hold a conversation and do so with ease does! Getting to the point of doing so with ease is the hardest part for high school students (who have not interviewed all that much, typically), but over-preparing won’t help. Resist the urge.

Below, I’ve compiled a few of the alumni interview links for some popular, selective schools. Take some time to read over the information provided, but do not obsess over it.

You can find a general list of potential interview questions in one of my older posts, but contact us if you want individualized help preparing for your college interviews—alumni or otherwise—or want access to additional materials. We’ve helped hundreds of students ace their interviews and gain acceptance to their first-choice colleges and univesities—don’t miss an opportunity to shine in person!

 

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Brown alumni interview gone wrong…

From the Brown Herald:

A YouTube video in which high school senior Matt Sarafa claims that his Brown alumni interviewer used racist and homophobic language during his interview has gone viral. Sarafa said that during his alumni interview in Southern California, the alum told him Brown was “not very accepting of your kind,” implying that Brown students would discriminate against him because he is gay. Sarafa said that Leora Johnson ’01, assistant director of alumni interviewing and admission, told him in a phone call that the alum had admitted to using homophobic and racist language but that there wasn’t enough evidence to remove him as an interviewer. Sarafa withdrew his application to the Class of 2020 following his experience.

Not a good move Brown!