The college interview provides a first-hand opportunity to meet with an admissions officer on a college campus or with a campus alumnus near your home. From the admissions perspective, the interview is seen against the background of the entire application and can either confirm or contradict the student profile that is presented in the rest of the application.
Only a few selective schools require interviews; most having replaced them with group information sessions. Those that do require interviews tend to be the very competitive colleges. For some colleges the interview is strictly informational, whereas for others it is used in making admission decisions. If a college requires an interview, they will provide an opportunity for you to meet with an alumnus who lives in our area. They will notify you after you send in your "intent to apply" or your application.
Even if an interview is not required, you may be able to arrange an interview if you; Feel that your application needs a personal explanation of your academic strengths; want an opportunity to convince them that you are a good fit; or want to confirm for yourself that the college is right for you. If it is an option, an interview is strongly recommended by competitive colleges, to demonstrate your interest. The most competitive schools are looking for intellectual curiosity and something unique about you. In an interview they want to see - preparation, maturity, self-confidence, enthusiasm, honesty, and sincerity; and hear - clear and thoughtful questions and answers.
If you are planning an on-campus interview, schedule it when school is in session to get the best sense of what the school is like. Contact the colleges that interest you as early as spring of junior year to determine the best dates to visit, and to make an appointment for an interview (you’ll need to provided at least 6 weeks’ notice).
Practice your interview technique in a role-play, with friends and family, then at colleges far down on your list. The goal is to be prepared, but not so thoroughly prepared that the interview appears canned. Do enough preparation to boost your confidence, then go forth and be yourself. And if you feel that your interview did not go well? Don’t despair. Rarely are admission chances ruined as a result of an awkward or uncomfortable interview.