Excellent Questions To Ask During An Interview

Common Factors of Great Questions

  • They are open ended questions that get the interviewer to open up; they get the interviewer to answer your question in sentences and not one or two word answers.
  • They make the interviewer think; this makes the interviewer think the interviewee is intelligent.
  • They are rarely asked questions. Interviewers get bored by the same questions over and over again at school fairs and in “one on one” and group interviews.
  • They really help the interviewee to get to know the school because the interviewer reveals things about the school that are important to the student who is being interviewed.
  • They are questions for which answers are not easily found on a website or in a view book.
  • They give the student or parent being interviewed insights into the culture of the school.

40 Excellent Interview Questions for a college admission interview.

  1. Why did you choose to work at this college/university?
  2. What changes do you anticipate happening in this college/university over the next five years?
  3. If you could only change two things about this college/university, what would you change?
  4. Describe the type of student that you are looking for at your college/university?
  5. Describe the type of student who does not tend to do well at your college/university?
  6. What are the reasons that the students who have chosen to leave your school have left in the last three years?
  7. What are the things that faculty, staff and administrators would like to see changed to make this college or university an even better place to work at?
  8. When students and parents select your school over your competition, what are the main reasons they list for explaining why they selected you?
  9. When students and parents select other schools over you, what are the main reasons they list for explaining why they selected your competition?
  10. What is the vision of the President for this college/university?
  11. Is there a strategic plan in place, and if so, what are the main priorities in the strategic plan. Note: most schools have their Board craft a strategic plan that maps out where the school is trying to go over the next 5-10 years. Sometimes the Strategic Plan in on their website. You can impress the heck out of most admissions interviewers if you ask some specific open ended questions about the strategic plan if you have read the strategic plan.
  12. What has been your experience, positive or negative about with students from my local area that have come to your school in the past five years?
  13. What is the philosophy and what are the priorities of your Athletic Director when it comes to your sports program?
  14. What changes do you anticipate in either your visual arts department or your performing arts department within the next three years?
  15. What changes did your school make with the downturn in the economy from 2007-2013?
  16. What role do clearly demonstrated talents outside of the classroom factor into the decisions that your admissions committee makes?
  17. What colleges/universities do you regard as being the most similar to you and what is it about these schools that make you feel you have a lot in common with them?
  18. How would you describe the reputation of your college/university in the local area?
  19. If you had to describe your college/university’s greatest strength in one word, what word would you select and why would you select that word?
  20. Describe any initiatives your college/university has in place to diminish class divisions between the wealthy student and the student who receives a lot of financial aid?
  21. Which academic department at your school do you feel is the strongest one and what is it about that department that made you select them?
  22. What methods does your school use to recruit a diverse and talented faculty?
  23. What are the main reasons why the students that have been asked to leave your college/university in the last few years were asked to leave?
  24. What is your biggest concern for your college/university over the next five years?
  25. How is your college/university different today than it was ten years ago?
  26. If I end up being accepted and I enroll at your college/university, what advice do you have for me?
  27. Parents: What opportunities exist here for parents to get involved in helping this college/University?
  28. Parents: What are the main areas where you are looking for parent volunteers to partner with you in helping your school?
  29. What changes in your academic curriculum are under consideration by your Department Heads, Academic deans, President or Board?
  30. What is the philosophy and approach of your foreign language department to teaching a second language to teenagers?
  31. How do your teachers implement critical thinking skills into your courses?
  32. If you do not have a particular club that I am interested in, what is the process I would need to go through to start a new club at your school?
  33. How is the use of technology implemented into your teaching?
  34. How is community service integrated into your curriculum?
  35. How does your advisor system work at your school?
  36. What makes your career services department different from that of your competition?
  37. How would your alumni say that your school has changed their lives?
  38. It is always impressive when a student researches and notes something very specifically about a school that is of interest to them and they ask the admissions counselor about it. For example: “I notice that your Future Leaders club has grown from four students in 209 to 34 students in 2014, can you tell me what it is about this club that has made it so popular? This approach can be used for dozens of areas of school life.”
  39. What are a few things about the admission process that most candidates do not understand?
  40. I have been very involved in ____________(activity in high school, what are some of the ways I could continue to stay involved in this activity if I end up matriculating here?

A few tidbits of advice about interview questions

  • Closed end questions are sometimes very appropriate; just don’t limit yourself to these Q’s.
  • Be sure to have 3-5 good questions to ask if the interviewer says, “Do you have any questions”?  The number of questions you ask depends on the length of the interview.
  • Nothing is wrong with writing down your questions and bringing your written out questions to the interview. If you do this, just be sure to have eye contact when asking your questions.
  • This list of Q’s is not exhaustive; there are dozens of good question; these are some examples