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ACING THAT INTERVIEW

Interviews are an integral part of the application process at several universities. There have been countless cases of students who despite clearing difficult entry tests, were unable to make it past the interview stage. Interviews can therefore prove to be an obstacle in your route to your dream university. However, if looked at from another angle, and if navigated through in the right manner, it is possible for you to change this very obstacle into a stepping-stone!
Additionally, if interviews at a particular university are optional, we highly recommend that you opt to have one conducted. If prepared for well, such interviews can be a key asset to your application profile, by demonstrating your genuine interest in the institution, and giving the admissions counsellor an opportunity to get to know you personally.
So here are the top tips that we recommend for you to ace college interviews, and boost your chances of getting into your dream university:

DO YOUR RESEARCH

The interviewer is very likely to ask you questions regarding how you think you can contribute to the university, or why you wish to join that particular university. Coming up with answers for these questions on the spot may not be the best idea. In such cases, it is highly recommended that you research on the university well, find out about its goals, mission, opportunities, agenda, latest news, etc. Having a good grasp of these can help you effectively figure out a genuine reason behind you wanting to join the university, and how you may be able to contribute to it if you are able to become a part of its community.

USE BODY LANGUAGE EFFECTIVELY

There is a reason they say that actions speak louder than words. From the moment you step into the interview room, the way you carry yourself puts forward an impression about your personality. Here are a few things you should particularly focus on:
Initiate a firm handshake, while keeping eye contact and smiling.
Maintain an upright posture. This can help to display confidence.
Avoid restless or fidgety movements. These tend to be distracting to the interviewer, and may also demonstrate lack of interest from your side.
Use appropriate hand gestures while speaking. However, refrain from doing this excessively.
Keep moderate eye contact. This demonstrates your interest in the conversation with the interviewer. However, you may cease to keep eye contact at times when it feels unnatural to do so.
Maintain responsiveness. Nodding at what the interviewer has to say, leaning in to listen more attentively, and occasionally smiling, can help to demonstrate your interest in what the interviewer has to say.

HAVE QUESTIONS READY

At the end of interviews, you are usually asked about any questions you may have about the university in general. If given the chance to ask such questions, it can be helpful to have a few questions prepared beforehand. However, what is important is that these questions are specific to a certain aspect of the university, and not questions that you could easily find the answer to by simply searching the university’s website. In that case, researching more about a particular course you have opted for, a society that you are interested in, or if the interviewer is a graduate from that very university, what advice they may have for you given their experience of the university, could help you figure out questions you may genuinely want to ask.

DON’T FORGET TO SAY THANK YOU!

Writing a short email to the interviewer within 24 hours of the interview is a great idea. Your email should highlight your genuine appreciation for them taking the time out to interview you, and also highlight a couple of interesting things you learnt about the university during the conversation, and why these things that you learnt are important to you.

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