During my time as an admission officer, student after student would enter my office for school admissions interviews, and tell me about academic success, athletic abilities, and passion for the arts. While I always took the time to get to know each and every student I interviewed, I especially appreciated those who used their admission interview as an opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Below I’ve outlined several ways to make sure you stand out in your admissions interview:
Show your creative side.
At one school, we had a writing sample that we asked students to fill out as part of the interview process. The writing sample included about a dozen fill-in-the-blank questions that helped us get to know students. While most students filled out the form with the expected answers, one applicant took advantage of the opportunity to get creative. I will always remember her answer to the final question on the form: “I have always wanted to: dance the boogie on the moon.” It was a silly response, but it showed her sense of humor and unique way of thinking. When reading through hundreds of applications months later in the admission process, she was a candidate I easily remembered.
Share your unique talents.
One candidate I interviewed was super shy, but when I asked what he liked to do outside of school, his demeanor changed completely. He launched into a narrative about how he was working to get his student pilot certificate, which would allow him to fly a plane, solo. We talked about his flying lessons, and how he wanted to be a pilot when he grew up. Not every student can say they are working to earn a pilot certificate, making him another memorable candidate.
Connect with your interviewer.
It’s pretty safe to assume I’m Polish with a last name of Jagodowski, and one student I interviewed was from Poland. She came to her admission interview having looked into the meaning of my last name, and shared some information about her language and culture with me. I learned from her that jagoda meant berry, and it was likely that my family had a history of berry farming. It helped us make a connection during the interview, showed that she would bring an element of diversity to our campus, and again, made her easy for me to remember when it came time to read files months later.
While acceptance to any boarding school still requires that you meet the admission requirements, making the most of your admissions interview can help you stand out from the hundreds of other applicants.