When we interview candidates for a position at Collegewise, we don’t want the exchange to feel like an interrogation. Our interviews have structure and are focused on specific outcomes, but our hope is to have a relaxed conversation with this person. The more comfortable a candidate is, the more likely they are to share candid thoughts rather than polished, rehearsed answers that they pulled from an article on LinkedIn. And everything from our communication to our demeanor to our questions is designed to put a candidate at ease. It makes the interviews more valuable for both parties.
College interviewers, please remember that not only will your interviewees likely not have much experience in this capacity, but many of them will also be carrying with them years of stress about—and hope for—gaining admission to your school. Do what you can to put them appropriately at ease before and during the interview. Even a short email exchange ahead of time can make all the difference.
“This won’t be a test to see if you can give me good answers—we’ll just have a conversation so I can get to know you a little better. And I hope you’ll bring some questions about XYZ University—I graduated a decade ago but my enthusiasm is still going strong!”
It won’t just help the applicant. It will also help you do a better job as an interviewer.