Are you curious about college interview prep? Many students wonder if it is necessary and if they should invest in a professional to help with the process. Our short answer is yes, to both questions. In this blog, we will tell you why that is, and we also go over everything you need to know about college admissions interviews and professional college interview prep services. So keep reading if you want to know how college admissions prep can significantly improve your chances of getting into the right college. 

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Article Contents
9 min read

What are college interviews & how important are they? Why you should prepare for college interviews What is a college interview prep service and how does it help applicants? Top reasons why BeMo is the best choice for college interview prep help Conclusion FAQs

What are college interviews & how important are they?

College admissions interviews are the last step in many colleges’ admissions process. They are essentially a conversation between you, the applicant, and a representative of the admissions committee. Sometimes, that’s an actual member of the admissions board, and other times it is an alumnus or an upperclassman. Regardless of who is interviewing you, their aim is to gauge your character, professional comportment, and personality to try to find out if you’d be a good fit for their school.

College interviews are important because they are mutually beneficial. They allow the school to find out more about who you are as a person. Most top colleges have a holistic admissions process, meaning that your personality, interests, and attitude actually matter to them. Interviews give them a chance to gauge these things a bit further and ensure that you are who you said you were in your common app essay and other application components. Furthermore, college interviews give you, the applicant, another chance to show the admissions board that you are more than just a number and more than just good grades. During a conversation with the school representative, you get a chance to show off your personality, highlight your strengths and address any weaknesses in a positive manner.

How common are college interviews?

Not all schools offer college interviews. It is however common practice in top-ranked colleges that are highly selective. Like Stanford University, and Columbia University for example. Very few colleges actually interview all of their undergraduate applicants, mainly because of the number of applications that they receive. In other words, not all students who’ve applied to a school that has interviews will be invited for one. That said, if you are invited for an interview, it is important that you accept and bring your A-game. You want to show up to the interview as your best self, ready to sell yourself, and convince the interviewer that you deserve a spot in their school.

Some schools require interviews or give students the option of interviewing. On the other hand, some schools do not require an interview at all, or they might choose to interview only select applicants. It all depends on the school’s admission policy. It is important that you verify this information when you are preparing your application to the school so that you can start preparing for the interview ahead of time. If you are called for an interview, we highly recommend accepting the invitation and putting your best foot forward. If your chosen school offers the option of requesting an interview, you should definitely take advantage of this opportunity to tell the admissions board a bit more about you. You should also know that if you’re not chosen for an interview, you are not being penalized and you could still get an offer of admission. It usually means that the admissions board isn’t able to interview all candidates and they feel that they have enough information in your other application components.

Unclear how the overall college application works? This video should clear things up:

How do college interviews work?

This process can vary from one school to another, but applicants can usually find out about the interview process of a school on their admissions website before applying. The school will tell you if they conduct alumni interviews or if applicants meet with a panel of admission board members. It will also tell you if the interview will be in person or if they conduct video interviews. Lately, more colleges are opting for the video interview format, so we recommend getting familiar with this format. Remember that video call does not mean informal. This is still an academic interview, so you want to put your best foot forward.

You should expect your college interview to last 30 to 60 minutes and to include a variety of question types. These three are the most common types: 


Why you should prepare for college interviews

Preparing for a college interview is imperative! You need to remember that even though an interview is essentially a conversation between you and the school you applied to, you are being evaluated during that conversation. The interviewer is trying to get to know you, but they are also trying to find out if you fit the bill. Colleges are looking for students who are likely to succeed in their program, who fit in with their values, and who can contribute something to their college community.

You can be a perfect fit for a school, but you simply do not know how to communicate that to the interviewer. That is why it's important to prepare by reviewing common college admissions interview questions and structuring your answers in advance. This reduces the chances of you getting caught off guard during the interview, but it also gives you a chance to ensure you are highlighting all of your strengths and relevant skills in your answers. If you decide to wing it, you may forget something important or run out of time before you get a chance to bring it up.

What is a college interview prep service and how does it help applicants?

There are a few things that you can do to prepare for college interviews on your own, but if you truly want to make a good impression and impress the interviewer, we recommend investing in a professional college interview prep service. 

What is professional college interview prep? 

A college interview prep service is a form of interview coaching. It is usually a part of college admissions consulting, but good consultants also offer this service separately. We, here at BeMo, certainly do. The aim of college interview prep is to give you the tools and strategies that you need to ace your interview and get into MIT, Harvard, or any other top school that you've got your eye on. Are you wondering how college interview prep makes that happen? We talk about it in the next section, so keep reading. 

How does professional college interview prep help applicants? 

Poor interview performance is a common reason why otherwise qualified applicants get rejected from colleges. A bad interview can easily overshadow the perfect educational background and extracurricular achievements. Similarly, a strong performance during an interview can go a long way in compensating for weak points in your application. For example, if you are hoping to get into college with a low GPA, acing the interview can go a long way towards helping you achieve that.  

Would you like to see a quick overview of the main points from the next section? Take a look at this infographic:

During college interview prep, college advisors help students with the following: 

Identifying strengths and weaknesses: Interviews are about selling yourself. You want to highlight your accomplishments and skills to show the admissions board what you can contribute to their campus. You also want them to know that you are able to self-reflect, identify your weaknesses and work on them. This is not an easy thing to do, and that's why tackling the strengths and weaknesses interview question can be tricky. College advisors not only help you figure out how to answer that question but they also guide you through the process of identifying the general strengths that you want to highlight during the interview. 

Identifying relevant information: One of the many mistakes that students make during interviews is trying to tell the interviewer what they think they want to hear. This usually means that they either leave out information that they think could be irrelevant or they include things that sound good but are not pertinent to the admissions process. The consultants who guide students through college interview prep have not only done this multiple times, but they also have a lot of information about what colleges are actually looking for.  

Working with a professional takes a lot of the trial and error and guesswork out of the mix. They can use their expert knowledge to help you identify the relevant aspects of your background and application, thus helping you ensure that your answers will be concise and impactful. 

Structuring strong answers: Often, when students decide to wing it, their answers during interviews are not as compelling as they could be. One of the things that a good college interview prep consultant will do is give you strategies to help you structure your answers in the most compelling way possible. They can show you how to include concrete examples in your answers so that you are showing, rather than just telling the interviewer about your skills and abilities.  

It is impossible to know exactly which questions will come up during your interview, but because they've been around the block once or twice, they know which questions are popular and what concepts you will likely be asked about in different forms. For example, suppose you're in a different country and planning to move for college. In that case, they can help you review international student interview questions specifically and help you figure out how to answer them. 

Interview etiquette: For many college applicants, college interviews may be the first—or one of the first—experiences they have in a professional interview setting. That's why good professional college interview prep services include mock interviews during which you get to practice and get comfortable with this type of setting. Consultants can then point out what you did right and what you did wrong, and then they will give you the tools to improve your performance. 

For example, a consultant might notice that you are phrasing your answers in a way that doesn't sound confident, or they might notice that your posture changes when a question catches you off guard. These are things that are difficult for you to pick up on when you are preparing for your interview alone or with a friend. Furthermore, instead of spending hours researching ways to remedy these issues, a consultant can provide you with personalized expert feedback right away to help you improve. 

Top reasons why BeMo is the best choice for college interview prep help

If you're reading this article, you are most likely committed to improving your interview performance and getting into the right college or university. If you decide that you want to get some professional help in preparing for your interviews, then you want to make sure that you are working with someone who can actually make a difference.

Here at BeMo, our experts are all practicing professionals who are highly knowledgeable and trained specifically for admissions. Including practicing professionals from top schools who have been on the other side of the admissions process. In other words, we hire people who know what they're doing, and that's why fewer than 5% of applicants who want to work with us actually get employed here at BeMo! In addition to the knowledge that they bring, these experts in their fields are also rigorously trained and tested to make sure they understand the admissions process inside and out, including admissions interviews.

Our consultants take all of that information and use it to guide students and provide them with the tools they need to not only ace their college interviews but also do well in interviews later on in their academic and professional careers. We offer our students unlimited preparation, meaning that we work with you until our experts feel that you are ready.

We can tell you all about how we think BeMo Academic Consulting is worth it, but you don't have to take our word for it because our students actually say it better than we do. We encourage you to take a look at our success stories and the independent reviews that our students have left in the past. Their feedback points out that our services work, and our students love working with us!


In this increasingly competitive admissions landscape, your performance during college interviews matters more than ever. It is therefore important that you prepare adequately. You can certainly do things to prepare on your own, but if you want to maximize your chances of doing well, working with expert college interview prep consultants could very well be the secret to your success.


1. What are college interviews?

Essentially, they are a conversation between an applicant and a representative of the school they’ve applied to. Usually, a member of the admissions committee or a volunteer alumnus.

2. How common are college interviews?

Not all colleges conduct interviews, but it is common practice for highly ranked universities that are very competitive.

3. Why do colleges and universities have interviews?

Interviews give colleges a chance to get to know the person behind the application in a way that grades and an essay can’t. During an interview, they can get a feel for your personality, professionalism, and character.

4. How important are college interviews?

Colleges and universities conduct interviews to learn more about applicants. What they learn during the interview will impact the final decision that they will make, so it’s important to make a good impression and provide strong responses that will convince your interviewers that you belong at their college or university.

5. Are optional college interviews truly optional?

Colleges do not penalize applicants who are not interviewed unless interviews are a mandatory part of their admissions process for all students. That said, if you are applying to a school that gives you the option to request an interview, we highly recommend that you do so because a great interview can strengthen your application.

6. How do you prepare for a college interview?

You can prepare for a college interview by reviewing common questions, structuring your answers in advance, and conducting mock interviews. You should also consider investing in an interview prep service to maximize your chances of success.

7. Who can help me prepare for my college interview?

You can work with a college advisor or college admissions consultant to prepare for your interview. These admissions specialists provide interview prep services that can significantly impact your performance during an interview.

8. Does interview coaching actually work?

Yes, it does. Interview coaching or interview prep can help you come up with more compelling answers, reduce the likelihood of you getting caught off-guard during the interview, and it can also make you feel more confident during the actual interview.

9. What questions do they ask in college interviews?

Applicants should expect a variety of questions during college interviews. Interviewers typically ask about the students’ goals, interests, personalities, and reasons for choosing the school and program that they’ve applied to.

10. What makes a good interview prep service?

A good college prep service is offered by qualified consultants, who have a proven track record in helping students achieve their goals.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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