Communication and the College Interview: Two Steps to Set You Apart

Ian Sonia

Communication is key. Especially when it comes to how prospective college students interact with the colleges in which they are interested.

In this instance, communication can come in multiple forms, whether it be through campus tours, open house and information sessions, interviews, social media, chats with faculty and staff, or more. No matter the setting, you want to put your best foot forward – and show that you are a great candidate for the institution.

After you have found a school you want to add to your list. – or maybe even the school of your dreams – you may have some questions regarding academic programs, internship and career opportunities, and outcomes. It’s a great idea to reach out individually to the college to get those answers or simply express interest in the school directly.

In fact, as a college admissions counselors, I’ll say this: we want to hear from you.

After all, you are the one who is applying and, hopefully, attending our college. From an admissions point of view, we want to make that connection with the prospective student to get to know you as a person and understand what drives you. Engaging further with the admissions counselor who is going to read your application is a great way to introduce yourself to the institution. When we in the admissions office receive an email from an interested student, we are thrilled to learn more about you (where you’re from, what school you attend, what year you’ll graduate, what made you interested in the college). This steps encourages that personal connection to blossom, and allows us to steer the conversation to what you’re interested in and what you would like to know more about, such as what life is like for students on campus, new extracurricular programs, and more.

Now that you’ve made that connection with the counselor, it is great to show you interest in another fashion: the college interview. Yes, interviewing can be a daunting experience. But I promise you: it is not a stressful situation. Interviewing at an institution is a great way to add another layer to your application, explain something from your application that requires more detail, or make that personal connection with your specific admissions counselor.

For some colleges, interviews are treated as more of a conversation between the prospective student and the counselor rather than an evaluative measure. Not only are the counselors trying to learn more about you as a student and as a person, but this step in the process also allows you to ask questions of them in return.

Coming to the interview with questions such as, “What is a school tradition that most students take part in?” or, “What internship and research opportunities are available to me as a Neuroscience major?” This shows that you are highly invested in the school and how we can benefit you along your academic journey.  It also allows you to learn more about what types of experiences your next four years will be filled with!

When thinking about whether or not to interview at a school, first you should ask if they are a required part of the application process. Either they are required, recommended or not a part of the application process all together.

While I can’t speak for all colleges, at Emmanuel, we encourage students to complete an admissions interview. It shows us you are motivated to learn more about the college and in turn, we’re able to do the same for you.

How about that for your best foot forward?

Ian Sonia
Ian Sonia

Ian Sonia is the Senior Associate Director of Admissions Marketing at Emmanuel College. After attending college in the Virginia Beach area Ian returned to his home state of Massachusetts several years ago. When Ian is not creating content for the Office of Admissions he can be found catching a Red Sox game at Fenway or enjoying one of the many amazing restaurants in the neighborhoods of Boston. He holds a BS in Economics from Christopher Newport University.