Everything You Need to Know About Alumni Interviews

Your application is submitted and now you’ve got your feet up, relaxing until you get your final decision. (I’m kidding – we all know there’s pretty much nothing relaxing about senior year. At least, not until after you’ve been accepted.) Then, you receive a request for an alumni interview, and you’ve got a new challenge. What exactly does an alumni interview entail? How much weight does it carry? And, most importantly, how the heck do you prepare?

WHO conducts alumni interviews? WHO gets alumni interviews?

Alumni interviews are conducted by, as you might have guessed, alumni volunteers from the school you’re applying to! Many private schools offer alumni interviews. Of course, not all applicants will have the opportunity to interview, simply because there are more applicants than there are volunteers.

Please note: If you are offered an alumni interview, take it! If you say decline the alumni interview, the volunteer will let the school know, and this may be a bad look for your application.

WHAT does an alumni interview consist of?

Even though you’ve likely poured your heart out in your application, the alumni interviewer has access to none of that. In fact, they pretty much only know your name, contact info, and, sometimes, the major or school you’re applying to. In other words, you may spend a lot of time rehashing the things you included in your application, so brush up on it! Once your interview is over, your interviewer will write up a mini “report” on you to send back to the school, so it’s all about making a great impression.

WHEN will you have your alumni interview?

There’s a common misconception that, like a job hunt, if you’re offered an interview that means you made it to the next “round” of the application process. Sadly, that’s not the case (or maybe happily, if you weren’t able to get one!). Alumni interviews are simply set up and conducted once the school has received your application.

WHERE will you have your alumni interview?

Your alumni interviews should always take place in a public place! A local coffee shop or library are great options. Some volunteers even conduct their interviews at your high school.

WHY are alumni interviews conducted?

It’s hard to get to truly know an applicant through their application alone. Schools recruit alumni volunteers to conduct these interviews so they can learn more about the student, as well as get an idea of how they might fit into their school. Additionally, these interviews give applicants a chance to connect with alumni and learn more about their potential future school. It’s a two-way learning opportunity!

HOW can you prepare for your alumni interview?

Reread your application, reflect on your campus visit (if you took one), and go through these helpful questions. Remember why you applied to that particular school, what you’d like to accomplish there, and what your future goals are. Reflect on your experiences in high school that make you a strong applicant. If your alumni interviewer asks you to bring a resume, don’t forget to bring it!

Alumni interviews can be nerve-wracking, but just remember that the person interviewing you was once in your shoes. Prepare as best you can, relax, and be yourself. You’ll do great!

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