(6) I would never ask a question like "What makes you different/more outstanding than other applicants," but you should think about the answer. As an overall approach to the interview, you should think about what makes you special (whether it's your accomplishments, your interests, or your personality), and make sure I leave the interview understanding your specialness. The applicants were sets of twins (so the interviewer couldn't make judgements about looks). Usually toward the end of the interview, they will ask if you have any questions for them. This is one of the questions that will make you glad you have your application in front of you and that you reviewed it before the interview. If the thing that first brought the school to your attention is shallow (e.g. Don't be put off by this – go with the flow. Either way, don't go overboard with it - you're only looking for a couple things they might be interested in talking about. Yep. You want to show depth and passion but focusing on those seems cold and mercenary. Anticipate this question. When I was applying to colleges, I scheduled interviews for safety schools before interviews for matches/reaches, so that by the time I got to the matches/reaches I would perform better. People on Reddit shared the toughest questions they've ever had to answer in an interview, from "Can you tell me a joke?" My take on this is: (1) I don't care much about what you wear (jeans are fine) or how firm your handshake is. The College Essay Guy Blog has tons of resources to make applying to college easy. Basically, give me a quick rehash of your resume, expound on a couple key points that you think I should be keying in on, and (this is most important) be enthusiastic. Interview tomorrow. I do not recommend eating anything (unless it's specifically a dinner or lunch interview) because that can be awkward and get in the way of conversation. After all, if there's one subject you truly know something about, it's yourself. And it should be one of the easiest questions to answer — because you can anticipate and prepare for it — but, just as commonly, it’s one of the most anxiety-provoking and confusing questions. Many of you will be scheduling alumni interviews in the coming months. It's fairly transparent when students ask questions because they're trying to make an impression versus because they actually want to know. Penn specifically requests that you DON'T so that the conversation is more natural. They were scripted how to answer the "tell me about yourself" question. Whatever else you do to prepare, you will also want to go to the college's website and read what it says about how they conduct interviews. They are in a position of power (after a manner of speaking), so it's doubly awkward if they accept your offer. By Jeff Gillis. Don't give basic info about where you're from, what you do in school, or anything too directly related to your application. ED deadline is Nov 1st (already completed). A student should read up on the literature of the college to which he or she is interviewing. Tips to Answer “Tell me something that is not on your resume” Interview Question: When you are asked “tell us something that is not on your resume”, then the first thing that comes to your mind is –” now what else do you want to hear from me? One twin mentioned only positive things first, and then some negatives at the end. Tell me about a time you struggled or failed at something. Skype, Google Hangout, etc). Some colleges extend offers for interviews to applicants while others require the applicant to request one or sign up to initiate the process. That's both true and it isn't. After all, who knows you better than…You? It’s such a simple phrase, but you have no idea what the interviewer wants to hear. The applicants were sets of twins (so the interviewer couldn't make judgements about looks). Keep in mind that it's fine to take some time to think before responding. A lot of students, I would say to them, it could be very easy if I said do you, you know, tell me a little bit … Note that some colleges actually request that you NOT bring a resume or other application materials because they want the interview to be a natural and personal conversation (e.g. Don't wear jeans and a t-shirt or a business suit. I like to work hard but I also like to make time on the weekends to be with family and be active...bullshit like that. Answer by telling them relevant information about you as it pertains to the job you are being hired for. Since admission to any one college is very nearly a zero sum game, any edge you don't gain is functionally equivalent to taking a penalty or disadvantage. Your hobby, something you enjoy to do, anything interesting you done lately. Finally, if you're interested in an interview prep package, mock interview, or other help, PM me or find me at www.bettercollegeapps.com. “Tell me about yourself,” is one of the most frequently asked questions in an interview. 8. You could fairly assume that this will be a mix of positives and negatives. Everybody should be comfortable talking about themselves, and I don't want you stressing out so early in the interview. Ultimately the story should conclude by explaining how you came to be applying for this job. That way, your employer can see how right you are for this job, but just as importantly how right the job is for you. I always mention how balance is a good thing. I signed up for an alumni interview about 3 weeks ago but no one has contacted me yet. Read some reviews on ratemyprofessors.com to see what people say about the teaching. 7. I may ask why you want to attend, or what you want to major in, but I'm more interested in your thought process and your interests than in your specific reasons. Often you will find out who your interviewer is beforehand. But since other applicants will do them and get an advantage from it, you're indirectly putting yourself at a disadvantage. Start out strong. Same thing with these kinds of interview questions. If you don’t feel like you have anything really punchy and bold, you can be more personal with your response by talking about how passionate you are for something or why it's so important to you. Get answers to questions like: what to expect at a college interview, interview questions and answers, what to wear for a college interview, do interviews help college admissions, and more. Some job interview questions go far beyond the expected, "Why do you want to work here?" You can offer if you want, but they will probably refuse. This open-ended invitation often kicks off an interview, so make sure you’re prepared with a smart, short response. Sure, you won't be directly penalized if you don't do those. I do think some of this advice is more appropriate for MBA interviews than undergrad interviews (for example, very few schools give interviewers your essays or a list of your achievements). Aside from bringing the right things, coming prepared to your interview really boils down to knowing two things: yourself and the college you’re applying to. If you do submit a thank you note, I will feel free to quote from it in my report, so make sure what you say is on point. But like letters of recommendation, the vast majority will simply say that the student had a nice personality, seemed very accomplished and bright, and would be a pretty good fit for the school. Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. All business. But don't just talk about how great the school is. And every year they will accept many students who didn't interview. At a minimum you should go through lists like these and think through what your answers will be. A few will be very negative and will result in a deferral or rejection. Even introverts tend to have good experiences with these. The challenge, however, is that knowing yourself and articulating your identity in a … Indeed, the interviewer might simply say: “Tell me something about yourself.” These types of personal questions are often the most difficult to answer because you want to be able to share the positive aspects of your personality and your achievements without sounding like you are bragging. By taking that opportunity, you stand out from the applicants who didn't. Most people relax after the first few questions. Prepare a “preview” of your accomplishments, achievements, interests and strengths, your “talking points”, the foundation for your campaign to get the offer. What are the best ways to answer the question: Tell me about yourself? That's a skill, and especially doing it in a verbal way. Yup. As such, it's ok and even preferred for the interview to be fun. Thanks for your cooperation and enjoy the discussion! For alumni interviews, this is mostly on the non-academic side. Quick video on how to answer the interview question, tell me about yourself? If you're a quality applicant (which most are), all of that will help you. And you probably shouldn't take a huff of your all purpose glue stick either. Another great reason to do interviews: they train you to do better in future interviews! Beginning at the end of this month I'll start doing interviews at various colleges (mostly LACs). They don't care that you lived in New York. Penn recommends wearing the sort of clothes you might wear to give a presentation at school while Stanford suggests you just wear what you normally wear to school. They may ask if you want anything to drink or eat. Don't "think about it first.". Then use the S-T-A-R approach to make the answer a STAR: talk about a Situation or Task (S-T), the Action you took (A) and the Results achieved (R). Use the lists of questions below or look up more online and have a friend or family member pretend to interview you. It's can also be a good idea to go deeper by talking about why you have the interests you have or how you see your interests playing out later in life. Instead, try to connect. What makes you different/more outstanding than other applicants? But for some strange reason, nearly every interviewer can agree that giving a good answer to the question “Tell Me About Yourself” during a job interview can be one of the toughest and most stressful things to do. You can’t sell yourself effectively without first understanding your audience and making your job interview answers about what they need. Get the show on the road. they are not trying to make it hard for you and everyone who does interviews knows how hard it is. Then interview all the others like that. 9. But for many candidates it can be tricky—either they're too modest in their response or they don't highlight those strengths that most closely match the job requirements. I can also see how well prepared you are with this question to, and I can gauge the rest of the interview based off of it. The easiest way to do this is to use an example from your background and experience. Most interviewers are using this question as a "warm-up" question to have time to arrange their questions, read again your CV, test your communication skills. Your answer should make the interviewer interested in going deeper, so don't respond like it's a boring documentary. There are so many from Penn because they have a lot of information posted and their instructions to interviewers are detailed and publicly available. At CollegeVine, we’re passionate about making college guidance accessible to all. Be fast on your feet. For instance you might not want to say "In my free time my friends and I go out bar hoping” that could be a red flag that you are going to call in sick on me when you over do it some night. It's ok to mention unimpressive things like Fortnite or fantasy football, but don't dwell on those. When I signed up, the form did state that it's not always possible to set-up an interview but I live in an area that has lots of alumni. Connect with some current students or other alumni to learn more (both love talking to prospective students about their school). (EDIT: Many of these may no longer be functioning), Penn Principles of Good Practice: https://www.alumni.upenn.edu/s/1587/gid2/16/interior.aspx?sid=1587&gid=2&pgid=1147&sitebuilder=1&contentbuilder=1, Penn Sample Interview Questions: https://www.alumni.upenn.edu/s/1587/gid2/16/interior.aspx?sid=1587&gid=2&pgid=8156&sitebuilder=1&contentbuilder=1, https://www.alumni.upenn.edu/s/1587/gid2/16/interior.aspx?sid=1587&gid=2&sitebuilder=1&pgid=13330, Penn Mock Interviews: https://www.alumni.upenn.edu/s/1587/gid2/16/interior.aspx?sid=1587&gid=2&pgid=8155, Penn Instructions for Interviewers: https://www.alumni.upenn.edu/s/1587/gid2/16/interior.aspx?sid=1587&gid=2&sitebuilder=1&pgid=13274#panel5, Stanford Interview Site: https://admission.stanford.edu/apply/freshman/interviews.html, Business Insider Article on Harvard Interviews: https://www.businessinsider.com/ex-harvard-interviewer-shares-the-questions-she-typically-asked-in-the-interview-2016-10. Be sure to review our blog on how to prepare for your med school interviewfor the best strategies a… Make sure you have contact info to send a follow up thank you email later that day or the next day. It demonstrates interest in the college and gives you a chance to show your personality. It gives admissions another data point to review, and most interviews are positive. Now that we’ve covered the key steps to answering, “tell me about yourself,” let’s look at some full answer examples to this interview question. Answer wrong, and the interviewer thinks, next! Yet, job seekers will go into an interview without knowing anything about the company, the person they’re speaking with, and even the industry. Colleges say it won't hurt you because they aren't going to dock your scores or ratings for not interviewing. You probably won't actually take any notes, but it makes you look invested and engaged. One question. Your answer should include some things that couldn't be said by just anyone. I would reach out now just to ask. However the college does it, be courteous and timely in responding - the pre-interview communication should be treated as part of the interview itself because first impressions are very important. Talk about how even though that's what first caught your eye, you were encouraged and affirmed by the additional research you've done. At some colleges they can also be arranged digitally (e.g. "Tell me about yourself." Alumni know what the college's culture and student body are like and they are generally well-equipped to make these assessments. Prepare a list of questions about the interviewer's experience at the school and other personal details too. Whenever I ask this question I do it as a little bit of a warm up question, and also as a way to get you to relax. It can be very helpful to do your own "mock interview" before the real thing. 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