How to Master College Interviews: 25 Essential Questions and Tips

College interviews are an important part of the admissions process, providing you with an opportunity to showcase your uniqueness and authenticity. While it’s tempting to simply regurgitate what’s already in your application, these interviews are an opportunity to delve deeper and share aspects of your life that can truly make you stand out.

To help you prepare for your college interviews, we’ve compiled a list of 25 essential questions that many interviewers use, along with some expert tips to help you craft memorable and impactful responses.

Discover 25 essential college interview questions and expert tips to ace your admissions process. Master the art of interview success today!

1. Tell me about yourself.

This question offers you a chance to provide a brief overview of who you are, highlighting key aspects of your background, interests, and experiences.

It’s important to strike a balance between being concise and providing enough detail to showcase your personality.

2. What is your home life like?

This question allows interviewers to gain insight into your family dynamics and the role your home life plays in shaping your values and aspirations.

Be genuine and share unique anecdotes that provide a glimpse into your upbringing and the values you hold dear.

3. What would you do differently about high school if you had to do it again?

Reflecting on your high school experience and identifying areas for growth demonstrates maturity and self-awareness.

Focus on meaningful lessons you’ve learned and how they have shaped your personal and academic development.

4. What are your favorite subjects in school?

Highlighting your academic interests not only showcases your passion but also allows interviewers to gauge your intellectual curiosity.

Discuss specific subjects or areas of study that genuinely excite you, and explain why they resonate with you.

5. What do you like to do in your free time?

This question provides a glimpse into your hobbies and extracurricular activities, revealing a well-rounded perspective that extends beyond the classroom.

Emphasize activities that have had a significant impact on your personal growth and highlight any leadership roles or notable achievements.

6. What are some extracurriculars you are passionate about?

Building on the previous question, this query delves deeper into your involvement in extracurricular activities.

Discuss clubs, sports teams, community service, or any other pursuit you’re passionate about, and highlight the skills you’ve developed or the impact you’ve made through these activities.

7. What are your strengths?

This question provides an opportunity to showcase your self-awareness and highlight your strongest attributes.

Choose a few key strengths that align with the values and qualities colleges are looking for, and support your claims with specific examples or anecdotes.

8. What are your weaknesses?

When discussing your weaknesses, focus on areas where you have recognized your limitations and have actively worked towards personal growth.

Emphasize how you’ve sought improvement and provide examples of specific steps you’ve taken to overcome these challenges.

9. What do you do to remedy those weaknesses?

Follow up on the previous question by elaborating on the strategies and actions you’ve taken to address your weaknesses.

Whether it’s seeking mentorship, taking relevant courses, or honing specific skills, demonstrate your commitment to personal growth and continuous improvement.

10. Describe yourself in 1-3 words.

Summarizing your essence in a few words can be a challenging task. Choose adjectives that encapsulate your personality, values, and strengths.

It’s important to support these adjectives with brief explanations or examples to bring them to life.

11. Describe something you have done that displays your character.

This question provides an opportunity to share a personal story that showcases your character and integrity.

Choose an experience that has had a profound impact on you and highlight the qualities or values that were tested or demonstrated through this experience.

12. What does the term leadership mean to you?

Demonstrate your understanding of leadership by providing a thoughtful and personal definition.

Discuss key attributes and values associated with effective leadership and provide examples of instances where you have exhibited leadership qualities.

See also: How To Display Leadership To Your Admission Officers

13. Who has encouraged or inspired you?

Identify individuals who have had a significant impact on your life and explain how their support or inspiration has shaped your values, goals, or aspirations. This could include mentors, family members, teachers, or role models.

14. Be prepared to talk about “supplemental essay” questions:

Colleges often require supplemental essays as part of the application process. Familiarize yourself with these essay prompts and be prepared to discuss them during your interview.

Highlight the uniqueness of your response and articulate how these essay topics resonate with you personally.

  • Your favorite X (author, mentor, person, etc.)
  • An obstacle in your life you’ve overcome.
  • What has influenced you the most in your life?
  • Talk about a time when you had to resolve a conflict.
  • Talk about a time you’ve demonstrated leadership, etc.

15. What are you reading right now? Watching right now? Why do you like it?

Demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and cultural awareness by discussing books, movies, or shows that have captured your interest.

Explain why these works resonate with you personally and how they have influenced your perspective or understanding of the world.

16. Why do you want to study X?

This is your opportunity to explain why you have chosen a particular field of study. Discuss your passion for the subject, any relevant experiences or influences that have shaped your interest, and how pursuing this field aligns with your long-term goals.

17. Why X College?

Research the college thoroughly and identify specific aspects that attract you to their institution. Highlight unique programs, professors, or opportunities that align with your academic and personal interests.

Demonstrate your fit by emphasizing why this college is the ideal environment for your growth and contribution.

18. What stuck out to you during your tour?

If you’ve had the chance to visit the college campus, share your impressions and memorable experiences. Discuss facilities, interactions with current students or faculty, or any other details that left a lasting impact on you. This demonstrates your genuine interest and engagement with the college.

19. What are 2 attributes that make you a good fit for our school?

Display your familiarity with the college’s values, culture, and mission by highlighting two key attributes that align with their ideals.

Provide specific examples or experiences that illustrate these attributes and emphasize how they would contribute to the college community.

20. How do you feel about moving away from home?

Colleges often want to know whether prospective students are prepared for the transition from home life to the college environment.

Be honest about your feelings and demonstrate your adaptability, independence, and readiness to explore new experiences and environments.

21. What are your plans after college?

While it’s not necessary to have a thorough plan for your post-college life, it’s important to showcase your aspirations and ambition.

Discuss the general field or industry you are interested in, and provide a few ideas or possibilities you have in mind, highlighting the reasons behind your choices.

22. If an alien offered to take you on an epic space journey, but you could never see your friends and family on Earth again, would you go?

Sometimes interviewers like to throw weird or unexpected questions at you just for fun.

These questions test your ability to think on your feet and respond to unexpected scenarios. Consider the implications of this hypothetical situation, weighing the potential excitement of an epic space journey against the emotional connections you have with your loved ones. Provide a thoughtful response that reveals your values and priorities.

23. Is there something you are so excited about it keeps you up at night?

Demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm by sharing something that truly excites you. It could be an academic pursuit, a personal project, or a cause you care deeply about. Emphasize how this passion motivates and drives you to pursue excellence.

24. What are some issues you’re passionate about?

Colleges often seek individuals who are actively engaged in social issues and are motivated to make a positive impact. Identify a few issues that are meaningful to you and explain why they resonate with you personally.

Discuss any initiatives, community work, or advocacy you have been involved in.

25. What is something you want to tell us but haven’t gotten a chance to mention?

This open-ended question allows you to share any additional information that you believe is important for the interviewer to know. It could be a unique accomplishment, a distinctive perspective, or anything else that adds depth to your application and character.


Mastering college interviews requires thoughtful preparation and practice. Remember to approach these questions with authenticity and a genuine desire to share your unique story. By showcasing your personality, values, and passions, you will leave a lasting impression on the interviewers and increase your chances of securing a spot at your dream college.

Review these 25 essential questions, reflect on your own experiences, and formulate genuine and captivating responses. Good luck with your college interviews!

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