Interview Preparation Guide: How to Make a Great Impression

Are you getting ready for an important college interview? The preparations you make beforehand can greatly impact your overall experience and ultimately determine your success.

In this article, we will explore some key steps to help you prepare for your interview and make a lasting impression. From choosing the right location to handling challenging situations, we’ve got you covered!

Choosing the Right Location

Selecting the perfect location for an interview is crucial for a smooth and successful meeting. Both the interviewee and interviewer’s overall experience can be greatly impacted by the choice of place, so it’s important to make a thoughtful decision.

1. Comfort and Confidence

Feeling comfortable and confident is essential during an interview. Consider choosing a location where you feel at ease and have previously excelled. Being in a familiar environment can help alleviate anxiety and allow you to focus on presenting your best self.

2. Convenience

Convenience plays a significant role in selecting a meeting spot. Ensure that the location is easily accessible for both you and the interviewer. Opt for a central location with good public transportation options or sufficient parking. Arriving promptly without unnecessary stress sets a positive tone for the interview.

Timeliness and Dress Code

Arriving on time is vital as it demonstrates professionalism and reliability. To ensure punctuality, plan to arrive at least 10 minutes earlier than necessary. This buffer time accounts for any unforeseen delays such as traffic or unexpected detours.

Regarding attire, while you don’t need to wear a suit or formal attire, it’s important to present yourself in a polished manner. Choose neat, casual attire that shows respect for the setting and the people you’ll be meeting. Avoid ripped jeans, overly casual t-shirts, or hoodies.

Also, if you’re coming directly from another commitment or activity, take a moment to assess your appearance. Make sure your outfit is still presentable and free from any visible stains, wrinkles, or dishevelment. A quick mirror check can make a world of difference in how you’re perceived.

Making a Lasting First Impression

Creating a positive impression during the initial moments of an interview sets the tone for the rest of the conversation. Follow these tips to make a lasting impact:

1. Firm Handshake and Confident Introduction

Offer a firm handshake and introduce yourself with confidence. This simple gesture shows assertiveness and friendliness, leaving a favorable impression.

2. Engage in Small Talk

Engaging in some small talk before diving into the interview can establish rapport and give you insights into the interviewer’s preferences and expectations. Use this opportunity to tailor your responses later in the interview. Find common ground and connect on a personal level by sharing relevant experiences or interests.

3. Stay Authentic and True to Yourself

Authenticity is key. Don’t try to mold yourself into someone you’re not to please the interviewer. Focus on showcasing your skills, experiences, and accomplishments in a way that highlights your passion and commitment. Being true to yourself enhances your chances of finding the right college fit.

Addressing Discrimination Responsibly

Encountering discrimination during an interview can be distressing. It’s important to maintain composure and address the situation responsibly. Here’s what you can do:

1. Prioritize Your Well-being

During the interview, prioritize your well-being and mental health. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you deserve respect and fairness throughout the interview process. Stay focused and professional, despite any discriminatory behavior displayed by the interviewer.

2. Document the Incident

Once the interview is over, take proactive steps to address the situation. Document the details of the discriminatory behavior, including the date, time, and specific incident that occurred. Gather any evidence or supporting materials, such as emails, that can substantiate your claims.

3. Report the Incident

Report the incident to the appropriate authorities at the college you’re applying to. Approach the matter calmly and objectively. Clearly communicate your experience, providing specific examples of the discriminatory behavior you encountered. Honesty and transparency throughout the process will help ensure appropriate action is taken.

By reporting the incident, you not only advocate for yourself but also contribute to a culture of inclusivity and fairness. Your actions can create awareness and bring about positive change within the college. Remember, you have the power to influence a better future.


Preparing for an interview requires careful consideration of various factors, from choosing the right location to handling challenging situations. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped and ready to showcase your best self during the interview.

Good luck, and may your interview be a successful step towards your future endeavors!

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