As you get ready to apply to college and gear up for campus visits and college interviews, it's important to prepare not only for the questions you may be asked, but also the questions you want to ask of the interviewer. Before you visit the college or university campuses you are interested in, request an interview with a recruiter or an admissions counselor. This interview may give you an advantage when it comes time for admissions decisions, and it will also give you the opportunity to make sure the school is right for you. Remember, the interview is just as much an opportunity for you to assess the school's fit for you as it is for the admissions counselor to see if you are right for the school. That said, keep in mind that the questions you choose to ask do reflect the thought and research you have put in, so you should avoid asking any questions that can easily be answered by the college's website or brochures. So, what should you ask? Let's take a look at ten things you should consider asking in your college interview.
1. What are some of the best ways your students get involved in forming a community on campus?
This question may be more specific about how you might go about starting a new club or organization centered around an interest of yours, or may stay broad to give you a good idea of how you can become active in student life on campus.
2. What types of internship and research opportunities are available for my major?
This question will help you get an idea of what the school offers in terms of practical experience for your area of study, and demonstrates that you are thinking seriously about your future as a student at their college or university.
3. What kinds of study abroad programs are available for my major?
This question lets the interviewer know that you are thinking of all the available academic opportunities possible, even beyond the traditional campus experience. Keep in mind that even if you don't know what you want to major in yet, you can choose a few possible areas and gear your questions around those.
4. What kind of relationship does this college have with the surrounding community?
This type of question will help you understand whether there are opportunities for student involvement beyond traditional campus life, such as volunteer and employment opportunities.
5. What are the student housing options and how are rooms and roommates chosen?
Unless this information is explicitly outlined in the college's promotional material, you should get a feel for what percentage of freshman live on campus versus off campus, as well as how likely you are to be placed in a dorm of your choice with a roommate of your choice.
6. What kind of freshman orientation activities take place?
This question will help you see how much the college or university invests in making the freshman class feel welcome, oriented, and at home when they arrive on campus.
7. What kinds of advising services are available to freshman at your college?
This question should help you get information about whether you can obtain advising for choosing a major, choosing classes, orienting yourself to the campus and campus life, as well as advising and counseling for more personal issues should they arise.
8. What types of career planning services are offered for your students?
This important question should give you an idea of how much emphasis the school places on helping to ensure the employability and success of its graduating class.
9. What is the average class size for freshman courses in my major?
This question will help you understand the ratio of students to professors or teaching assistants, which may be an indicator of how likely you are to get individual attention from your professors if needed (the higher the number of students to each professor, the less likely they are to have time for all individual student requests, in some cases).
10. What can you tell me about your student health services?
One aspect of student life that many incoming freshman tend to overlook is the student health services offered at their college or university. Be sure to ask this question to understand how the school handles treatment and care for students if they get sick while in school.
Whatever questions you choose to ask, come prepared with thoughtful and sincere inquiries that reflect the research you've done about the school and your genuine intentions to apply if the school is a good match for you.