Acing Your Interview

College application season has begun, and we know you have questions about interviews! We turned the tables and interviewed our Senior Assistant Director of Admissions (and interviews expert), Libby Lakeman, about her best advice for acing your interview. Check out her thoughts.

What are you looking for when you’re interviewing a student?

We are interested in learning more about you and what gets you excited! We want to learn about you as a person both academically and socially. What is your favorite class? What do you like to do when you are not in school? What makes you, you? These are the big questions we are trying to answer through the interview process.

Why would students want to interview at Bryn Mawr even if it’s optional?

Interviews are a great way to humanize the admissions process. While we get to see what you are involved with in and out of the classroom in your application, an interview allows you to talk about your activities in depth. Then when we read your application, we can remember your excitement when talking about math class or your involvement with debate. Interviews also give you the opportunity to ask us questions. It’s a great time to ask about campus life, the academic community, and what resources are available to students. We really see interviews as a conversation and want this to be a learning opportunity for you, too.

What are some ways students can prepare for their interview?

Take some time to reflect on your accomplishments throughout your schooling as well as any challenges you may have faced. What growth have you seen in yourself? Write about some of your favorite memories, what activities you have found the most fulfilling, as well as what you are looking forward to most about this next step. This will hopefully help get you comfortable talking about yourself. I also recommend writing down a few questions you have for us. How can we help you through the admissions process? We are here to help you make the most of your college search process. There are no bad questions!

What are some common mistakes students make during interviews?

A common mistake I see students make is not sharing a big accomplishment or activity in the interview. Are you the president of a club or did you win a major school award? It can feel awkward to brag about yourself in an interview, but this is really the time to tout your achievements! I also encourage students to come with at least one question for us. We really do want to be in conversation with you and the best way to do that is to come prepared with questions for us.

Any tips for calming nerves?

Take a few deep breaths! Remind yourself how exciting the college admissions process is, even if it feels more nerve-wracking than exciting in the moment. If writing down your questions and take notes would easy any tension, feel free to bring a notebook into the conversation with you. Please know that we will not throw you any curveball questions, we just want to get to know you better and be as helpful as possible.

While we do not require interviews for most applicants, we encourage rising seniors to interview with us if you can. Visit our website to register for a virtual, on-campus, or off-campus interview. Reach out to our office if you have questions!

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