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What NOT to Say in a University Admission Interview?

The article gives you the tips on how you should attend a University admission interview.

Mahesh Ramani

Do not dilly-dally with your answers during the admissions interview — be polite and direct in your answers. The key to a successful interview is to appear calm and unruffled throughout the process.

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It is your big-day! The admissions-interview to join your preferred course and institution! Get, set and be ready for an important event wherein all your education and work-experience, if any, will play a crucial role in the admissions-interview. Here are a few pointers to help you get ready for the interview.

Face-to-Face Interview:

With most major institutions in the USA, UK and Australia having a small regional office in India; interviews are conducted in these offices; interviews may also be conducted in the offices of the ‘student-placement company’s’ office.  
The challenges of a face-to-face interview; be it a job, a visa or an admission-interview are always different. Some interviewers are nice and easy-going who put students into the comfort zone with their pleasant nature. Then there are the serious-type interviewers who refuse to smile and the student immediately feels ill at ease. 

The Ten Commandments:

  • Do not be late - no excuses for shoddiness and not being punctual.
  • Do not forget to bring all necessary documents.
  • Do not wear jeans, loafers and tees - dress smart - be attired for the interview - you are not auditioning for American Idol. 
  • Do not wear heavy make-up and jewellery.    
  • Do not go to the interview with thick stubble on your cheeks or with hair like a hippie - ‘well-groomed’ is the order of the day!
  • Do not speak rudely to the interviewer.
  • Do not dilly-dally with your answers - be polite and direct in your answers; look at the interviewer directly in his/her eyes and answer with care.
  • Do not shout or argue. If you are not able to understand a question ask the interviewer to repeat the question gently.
  • Do not lie - be honest in your answers and do not exaggerate.
  • Do not forget to thank the interviewer. ‘Thanks, Sorry and Please’ still help us!
  • Do not forget to review your essays or SOPs since they the interviewer might ask you sudden questions. So be prepared to answer when the time comes. 
  • Do not fret when the interview throws 'what if' type questions at you. Be confident and think carefully before answering such questions.
  • Most importantly, never ask questions on what would be the pay scale or job opportunities post study. These questions might reflect that your ultimate aim is not knowledge but money.

Online Interview:

  • There might be a scenario wherein your admission interview is conducted online via Skype. The interview may be held at a consultant’s office or from the confines of your home. 
  • Do not miss the time and keep your interviewer waiting half-way down the world; thoroughly unprofessional and don’t blame network failure either. If the interview is at a consultant’s office you do not have to worry about this aspect.
  • Be prompt; dress sharp, ensure that you have back-up power in the event that the interview is from your computer at home. 
  • Be ready to keep your certificates at hand - the interviewer may ask your specific score in a subject / qualifying exam. 

Some more Tips:

Just focus on the interview; remember it is just an interview and you will be talking to a human being not a robot. The interviewer will ask you questions on why you chose their institution and why you opted for the specific course and what you ambitions are! These are the usual questions that are asked - be confident, calm and answer the questions in a calm manner. The chief point is to appear calm and unruffled; remember that you have crossed quite a few hurdles to reach this stage. There might be a thousand other students whose application got rejected because they did not meet the eligibility requirements. So you are part of a privileged group who made it to the admissions interview round! Be honest and frank in your answers and if you have any questions pertaining to your course or admissions-process; do not hesitate to ask them to your interviewer.
We hope you found this article useful, and you will take extra care to be ready for your admissions interview. All the very best!!!
Do share your admissions-interview experiences with us at - the best written entries will be featured on the website.
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