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Dr. Jennifer B. Bernstein

(516) 362-1929

Preparing for Your Alumni Interview

Ahh. . . .

The end of the college application process is near.

You’re done with your Early Decision and Early Action applications, and now you’re just making the final revisions to your supplemental essays for other schools.

Or maybe you decided not to apply early to any schools and are close to clicking “submit” on your Common Application.

It’s almost time to relax. Right?

Well, not quite.

Opportunities for alumni interviews seem to be popping up left and right.

Many of the students in my comprehensive Get Yourself Into College™ program, have been getting in touch to ask questions about these interviews and how to prepare for them, so I decided to create a blog and video series to help you make the most of them.

You might have heard conflicting stories about these interviews. There’s a fair bit of controversy about whether or not they make a difference–positive or negative–in terms of getting accepted or rejected from schools. I’m not going to concentrate on these conflicts, which may or may not be relevant to your particular colleges.

I want you to stay focused on turning every step of the college admissions process into a meaningful one that challenges you to develop yourself in new, exciting ways.

Alumni interviews are challenging for most high school students. In fact, even adults tend to find interviews very stressful and nerve-racking.

Obviously, whenever you’re getting interviewed, you feel like the stakes are high. You want to get in somewhere. It’s totally understandable to feel anxious.

But there’s another big reason why interviews seem so daunting.

Most of us have very little experience talking about ourselves, sharing anecdotes about our intellectual interests, extracurricular experiences, and why we want to achieve certain goals. We might think about these things, but we rarely talk about them.

Alumni interviews are all about talking, so that’s why I created this first video, which provides useful strategies for preparing to talk about yourself.

It’s important to learn how to turn interviews into dynamic discussions that grant people greater insight into who you are and, at the same time, allow you to get to know another person.

The skills you cultivate through alumni interviews can help you when you get to college and need to establish mentoring relationships with your professors.  Of course, interviewing skills come in very handy when you’re up for prestigious scholarships and fellowships as well as when you eventually go on the job market.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog, when I share a video about how to prepare to answer certain questions.

If you have any questions about alumni interviews that you’d like me to answer here on the blog, share them in the Comments!

Dr. Bernstein

Blog post image used ©donatas1205/