College interview can be an opportunity | On College

I don’t think there are any optional choices when it comes to college admissions. This holds true for interviews as well as optional essays.

I am a senior who is applying to college this fall. I was offered an optional interview and wonder if I should bother accepting.

I don’t think there are any optional choices when it comes to college admissions. This holds true for interviews as well as optional essays. This is one case where less is not better. Yes, you want to have an interview if for no other reason than to show them your interest in their school. I like to compare schools to suitors, both of which require some wooing and attention. Schools need to know that you are truly interested in attending their school if accepted, as their yield is one factor that influences ratings.

I always like to ask whether or not the interview is evaluative. An informative interview simply allows the student the chance to ask questions and learn more about the school, while an evaluative interview is considered part of the admission process. Though you should come prepared regardless, understanding the weight of the interview will at least help you put it all into perspective. I ask that students dress in nice, but casual, clothing and bring their resume along with a few well thought-out questions. I want students to have done their “homework” about a school before they interview so that they do not ask questions that could have been easily answered by studying the website. I also ask that students come prepared with a clear picture of why they want to attend that specific school and what it offers apart from other schools they are considering.

Interviewing is a real skill and one that students generally find awkward and uncomfortable. I have met many a student who falls mute when asked the question: “Tell me about yourself.” I find that if a student can enthusiastically share what he/she included on the resume, he/she will come across as genuine and engaging. Students should be themselves and should not try to answer the questions based on what they believe the interviewer wants to hear. If the students are clear on what they are looking for in a school and can speak articulately to that, they will make a favorable impression.

Joan Franklin is the owner of MI College Support (formerly The College Source), an independent college counseling practice ( She can be reached at (206) 232-5626 or


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.


More in News

Islander varsity prep sports schedules

Football March 12 - 7 p.m. at Newport March 20 - 7… Continue reading

Washington State Supreme Court Justices (back row, L-R) Raquel Montoya-Lewis, Sheryl Gordon McCloud, Mary I. Yu, G. Helen Whitener, (front row, L-R) Susan Owens, Charles W. Johnson, Steven C. Gonzalez, Barbara A. Madsen and Debra L. Stephens.
Justices strike down Washington state drug possession law

Police must stop arresting people for simple possession.

Residents show their stripes on Rare Disease Day

Nearly 100 people donned zebra masks and attire during a Rare Disease… Continue reading

Residents can follow the Leprechaun Trail through the Island business district

According to a flier, “A mischievous leprechaun left hidden shamrocks throughout the… Continue reading

FeelLinks focuses on kids’ social-emotional skills

Island native’s resource features feeling dolls and feeling journal.

In Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan, which was announced Jan. 28, restaurants can reopen at a maximum 25% capacity and a limit of six people per table. Inslee recently announced all counties will be staying in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan for the next several weeks. Pictured: People enjoy outdoor dining last summer in downtown Kent. Courtesy photo
Inslee: All of Washington to stay in Phase 2 for a few weeks

The governor issued a weekslong pause on regions moving backward, but has yet to outline a Phase 3.

Mercer Island police’s top gun retires

Sgt. Noel worked for 30 years on the Island.

Entrance to the Tukwila Library branch of the King County Library System. File photo
King County libraries will reopen in some cities for in-person services

Fall City, Kent libraries among six selected for partial reopening.

Most Read