Sunday, July 31, 2011

Re-calculating.. oh wait, where's the GPS?

Hey guys! I thought it would be interesting to do a post on college interviews, since they can be a make or break situation in the college process. Many colleges will tell you that an interview is "optional, not required, but recommended." This leads prospective students to wonder "Do I schedule an interview or not?" Saint Mike's offers interviews at the campus with an admission counselor on select weekdays. Besides the option of an interview on campus, Saint Mike's provides the opportunity of an admission counselor to come straight to an area near you for 'a coffee with a counselor'. Being from Salem, NH, the closest area was Manchester, NH. I jumped on the offer quickly, immediately setting up an appointment with the admission counselor.

Let's just say that the interview didn't start off quite as I planned....

I had one thing right, which was dressing neat for the interview. After leaving my house, everything began to spiral downhill. My parents told me that Starbucks was right off of the exit, so I didn't even bother bringing my GPS. Mistake #1.

I ended up driving in circles around the nearby Manchester Mall, frantically calling both of my parents to ask where I was. As they were guiding me in the right direction, they also told me that I should call Michael (the admissions counselor I was meeting with) to tell him I was running late. Great, I didn't have his number. Mistake #2.

Luckily, I was able to get the Starbucks number, and had one of the staff members relay the message to Michael that I was going to be late. That leads to tip #1 of college interviews...
(As you can see, I'm not the best with bubble letters haha.) Granted that Michael was completely understanding of the situation, it is always good to arrive to interviews on time, or even a couple minutes earlier. If for some reason the time needs to be changed or you are going to be late, then it's important to have the contact information of the person you have the interview to give him/her an explanation of why you're late along with an apology.
As soon as I did arrive, Michael warmly greeted me, and offered to pay for a drink or snack at Starbucks. My nerves started to kick in as soon as my drink was served and Michael and I were making our way to our table. Tip #2..
You are going on an interview to make a good impression, but that doesn't mean you need to stray away from who you really are just to make that impression. Be honest, act natural, and you'll be all set :)
 Tip #3..
My first five or so minutes with Michael consisted of answering simple, personal questions like, "Why are you interested in Saint Mike's?" and "What do you want to know about Saint Mike's?" I responded to his questions but also had some of my own, like, "What are the average SAT/ACT scores required by Saint Mike's?" (This is where I learned Saint Mike's is now a test-optional school.), "What is the campus life like?" and "What is the average class size?" He was eager to answer my questions. It's never a bad thing to come prepared and have your own questions. If anything, it shows how interested you are into learning about the school.
Despite the rocky start off arriving at the interview, it went really well. One last tip,
As soon as you get home (hopefully, not getting lost on the way back, too), remember to send a thank you note through the mail or an e-mail to the person you had an interview with. A follow up note is polite and demonstrates manners, which allows you to stand out.
Overall, I would make an interview mandatory. An interview gives you a direct connection to someone at the school, who has a strong influence on your application. If you are interested in setting up an interview or a visit at Saint Mike's, click this link!

No comments:

Post a Comment