Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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August Tip: The Ins and Outs of Interviewing

  • TPohle and ABenjelloun

If you're like most high school students, the college interview is your first experience in a formal interview setting. It is normal—and O.K.—to feel a little nervous. At Franklin & Marshall College, we want to reassure you (and hopefully take some of this nervousness away) by sharing a little secret: the majority of college interviews lead to stronger overall applications.

An interview lets the college get to know "the real you." While your application, essays and recommendations give the school a pretty good idea about who you are as a student and a person, they are no substitute for a face-to-face meeting where you can talk about your interests and goals. The conversation also helps the college make a more informed decision about your overall application.

There are other benefits. By making the effort to interview, you let the college know you are a serious applicant who is sincere about attending. It's also a great opportunity for you to find out more about a particular school. The information you gain during the interview will better prepare you to customize your application. Remember: you are interviewing the college as much as the college is interviewing you!

Want to try out your interview skills? Come in for an interview at Franklin & Marshall College! We'd love to speak with you and learn more about your interests, talents and goals. We offer interviews by appointment on weekdays throughout the summer and fall. To schedule an interview, visit our website, or call us at (877) 678-9111.

To help you have a successful college interview experience at F&M or elsewhere, here are a few insider tips, courtesy of the Franklin & Marshall Admissions Team:

  • Ask beforehand if the interview will be evaluative (something that will be used in the review process) or informative (something that will help you learn more about the school but does not factor into your admission decision).
  • Arrive a few minutes early in case there are forms to fill out; showing up late may inconvenience your interviewer or cut into your time for discussion.
  • Dress appropriately and modestly; you don't have to show up in a suit, but you should avoid risqué or overly casual—or clothing advertising another college.
  • Come up with a few questions about the school in advance; you will probably be given the opportunity to ask questions during or after your interview.
  • Be prepared for the basic opener, "So, why don't you tell me a little about yourself?" If you can clearly answer this question in about 2-3 minutes, you are set.
  • Try to, like, speak without, you know, fillers. It can be challenging, especially when you're nervous, but minimizing your use of common fillers such as "like," "um" and "you know" will go a long way toward putting your best foot forward in your interview.
  • Don't try to memorize your responses ahead of time, but do take time to think about the attributes and experiences you want to share during the interview.
  • Relax! Remember, the interviewer wants to learn about your unique point of view, so take a deep breath, smile and let your personality shine!

We hope to see you on campus soon!