Final Thoughts on University Interviews

You’re reading an excerpt of Admitted by Soundarya Balasubramani. Written by an Ivy League graduate from India, this is the proven guide for students worldwide looking to pursue undergraduate or graduate study abroad in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Purchase for instant access to the guide and other exclusive resourcesβ€”including sample SOPs, sample resumes, scholarship lists, and a private community with other readers.

The interview is the first instance the university gets to connect mere words on paper to a real, breathing human being. This is your chance to show them how all of the experiences from your past align perfectly with what you’re looking for. The interview itself can be divided into three parts for ease of preparation: The General, The Academic, and The Personal.

The General is for them to understand why you made the decisions you made. Why that university? Why that major? Why now? Why you? These are not easy questions to answer, especially the last one. Use the framework we provided by connecting what you’ve done to what you learned to how that will help you in the future. It’s nothing new; however, few students actively think about it.

The Academic is for them to see what you can bring to the table. How have your past experiences prepared you for this venture? What are you interested in? How will you add value to the university? This should be easier to answer if you did a good job choosing your major and universities.

The Personal segment is for you to explain how you react to situations. How did you overcome a major failure? Or work with an unpleasant colleague? Pick your answers carefully, as they have to be both genuine and not too personal.

The interview will happen through a video call. Recently, universities have begun to outsource this task by setting up a system that displays questions and records your answers, which they will later evaluate. So, learn to speak into a computer, and practice rigorously with your friend and a mirror. Learn from my mistake and ensure you are in a quiet environment with a sufficiently fast internet connection before you begin. You know what you want. You know why you want it. You’ve got this!

A Little Reflection on Interview Prep

​think​Which question took the most time to write an answer to?

Did you find a way to respond by following the rule of three?

Did you identify a friend of yours you can practice the answers with?

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