A college interview provides a college with an opportunity to give you more information about the school and answer any questions. In addition, the interview gives the college a chance to learn more about you, your interests, and how you’ll be able to contribute to the school.
Very few colleges require interviews, although a fair number offer optional or recommended ones. These are typically highly selective or small private colleges, such as Columbia, Occidental, and Bates. Most large public universities don’t even offer interviews because there are simply too many applicants.
Check a college’s website or contact its admissions office to determine whether interviews are offered and how to schedule one. Interviews can be on-campus, usually with an admissions representative, or off-campus near where you live, usually with an alumnus of the college.
If you have the option of getting interviewed, do it. It’s to your benefit to take advantage of an opportunity to interview because it shows the school that you’re genuinely interested in attending. And demonstrating interest can greatly help your chances of admission. Finally, the interview gives the school another chance to get to know you outside of what’s in your application.
Try not to stress about the interview too much, though. As long as you’re polite, attentive, and prepared, it should only help your chances of getting accepted. The interview will also give you an opportunity to learn more about the school, and help you decide whether or not it might be a good fit for you.