admissions

10 college interview mistakes

10 College Interview Mistakes Students Should Be Aware Of

10 Common College Interview Mistakes

A college interview can definitely help you make a good impression and avoiding these common college interview mistakes can help you ace your interview. The college interview is a great place to put a face and personality to your application. 

An interview is beneficial to both parties involved. Students can use the interview to gather valuable information about prospective schools, ask questions and show their personalities. Universities use the interview process to find out more about a student, especially the kind of information that isn’t easily found in transcripts and applications.

With these points in mind, let’s look at the 10 common college interview mistakes to keep in mind

1. Showing up late

Showing up late for a college interview
  • Be it any interview, showing up late is not good etiquette.
  • One, because it disrespects the interviewer because he/she is taking their time out to do this interview.
  • Second, it has a high probability of affecting your chances because showing up late creates a bad first impression.
  • Instead, plan your time out, arrive a good 20 minutes earlier, settle down, get adjusted to the conditions, and take the interview with a calm and relaxed mindset. 
  • Or if it’s a virtual interview, put away your distractions, set the ambience as per your comfort and give yourself a good pep talk before the interview starts.

2. Underdressing

Underdressing for a college interview

Here’s a truth to start this point: there’s no universal/default “interview outfit”. But dressing well and appropriately can help you stay on top of these three reasons:

  • Sloppy dressers have a high chance of immediate rejection.
  • A bad visual first impression deeply influences a person’s decision-making and in the case of underdressing, things won’t be in your favour.
    Read this Forbes article to know how to dress for interview success.
  • Inappropriate dressing projects a person with low attention to detail and less self-worth. And as per this article, how we dress influences how we perform.

3. Being Rude to the Interviewer

Being rude to the interviewer

What can be considered rude behaviour in an interview? Here are a few examples:

  • Chewing gum while attending the interview
  • Bringing your mobile to the interview
  • Using swear words

Instead, treat the interviewer the way you would like to be treated; with respect, politeness and professionalism.

4. Lying Or Being Disingenuous

Lying to the interviewer

These are two important things to keep in mind:

  • Never lie
    A lie today might get you the job but it will surely come back to haunt you in the future.

  • Never be someone else
    This is a golden rule applicable to any interview. Never try being someone you are not. The interviewer can see right through it.
Instead, be truthful and be authentic.

5. Not researching the college

Not enough research about the school or college
  • Here’s a popular college interview question: “Why do you want to attend this college/school?”
  • If you have done your research right, you would be able to talk about the school and answer this question quite easily. The problem arises when you haven’t put in the time to research the school.
  • Research the school not just from its website but also from its social media platforms to get an even better understanding of what’s happening within the system. This definitely gives you a certain edge over other applicants.

6. Not researching the Interviewer

Not just the school but researching the interviewer too is essential. It’s one way to really make an impact during your interview.

What to keep in mind while researching your interviewer?

  • Their interview style
    You can get this information if they or someone else has written about the same on the internet.
  • LinkedIn
    LinkedIn would be a good place to start your research. Look at their academic background as well as their experience so far. This can help you come up with potential questions to ask.
  • Mutual connections/friends
    Friends in common can be a good way to start the conversation and potentially make the interviewer remember you better.

7. Preparing a Canned Speech

Avoid delivering a canned speech during a college interview
  • Do not memorize a speech before coming to the interview.
  • Prepare a pitch that defines who you are and what you want to do, understand the flow and weave a story out of it. This way, you wouldn’t have to memorize in the first place, because when asked about it, you can think of the story, the elements, the flow and be your genuine self.

8. Not Practicing enough

  • You should never overlook practice, regardless of how confident you are in your abilities.
  • Great thought leaders, speakers are who they are today because of the amount of hard work they put in behind the scenes (and experience plays a part too).
  • Make sure you practice with someone and in front of a mirror to nail down the answers, be convincing enough in your responses.
  • Maintain a good posture with a genuine smile on your face. Body language is as important as your verbal communication.
  • This will give you confidence and make you sound more natural.

9. Too many filler words

Avoid using Filler words in a college interview
  • This could be seen as an extension of the previous point but this deserves a special mention because this is quite common among students. Filler words come naturally to many of us and a few examples could be, “like”, “basically”, “you know” etc.
  • Check out this article to reduce the usage of filler words.
  • Here’s a bonus tip:
    While practising, practice consciously. What this means is you are aware of every word you speak and every action you take. This self-awareness can help you not just in interviews but also in many other important aspects of your life.

10. Failing to send thank you

Not sending a thank you note
  • Don’t forget to send an email thanking the interviewer for their time.
  • Adding to the thank you note, you can quote something the interviewer said that was memorable and instructive which shows that you paid attention to what they were speaking.
  • An example of the same:
    “I really loved how you have emphasized the university’s top-notch facilities and it has made me want to study at the place even more. Thank you for that!”
  • All these tiny details do matter and could end up giving you that certain edge over others.

Final words about the college interview:

Prepare yourself for the frequently asked interview questions before attending the interview. Do your research well and have a clear goal in place. During the interview, take your time and find ways to relax and calm your butterflies. Keep these college interview mistakes in mind, follow these 9 tips to nail your next college interview.

How Can GradRight Help?

While getting into college isn’t easy, there are ways to make better and informed decisions especially while choosing and applying to universities that best suit your criteria.

To tackle this problem, GradRight is has launched another platform called SelectRight, an AI-based data-driven platform that enables you to select, shortlist and apply to the right universities that are best suited for you.

SelectRight comes with unique features and to top that, there are alumni you can connect with, mentors and experts to guide you with your college admissions including your college interviews!

Click on SelectRight below to get started!

How To Shortlist Universities For Masters Abroad!

How To Shortlist Universities For Masters Abroad!

How To Shortlist Universities For Masters Abroad!

The decision to study abroad is a very important and defining step in your higher education journey. During this process, you might come across many admission myths, so beware! One of the most important steps is to select and shortlist universities. College applications take a lot of time and that’s why it is very important for students to carefully plan and choose the right university(s), course and even the country. The most common way of shortlisting universities is to look at rankings.

But it’s important to look beyond rankings. That’s why, in this blog, we tell you how to do exactly that so you make the right decision while you shortlist universities.

1. Location Of The University

  • The country you choose to study in is an important factor to consider and to be researched on thoroughly. Consider factors like safety, GDP growth, the overall environment of the country, etc.
  • Keep this in mind and take a serious note before selecting the location.

2. Course Of Your Choice & Interest

  • One of the most crucial decisions while shortlisting a university would be to select and research the course of your choice and interest. 
  • You need to consider your own interests, your previous educational background and previous performance so that you can compare the ranking of your chosen universities with your chosen stream.

3. Tuition Fees & Living Expenses

  • When you shortlist universities, you need to consider the school’s tuition fees and living expenses. 
  • Paying fees to your educational institution is the first expense you must plan ahead of time. If you plan and save for them, you’ll be able to save a lot of money. 
  • Paying extra money for tuition and accommodation costs is very expensive. But it is one of the things you need to bear in mind when shortlisting universities for your studies abroad. 
  • The tuition fees for most courses in Europe and America are affordable. This is because these places are competitive and you might have to pay extra for better amenities and facilities.

4. Return On Investment On The Course

  • Universities make money by producing graduates who can earn the highest incomes. 
  • Hence, that’s why it’s crucial to understand the return on investment for the course you are looking at, and the country you are going to study in. 
  • In our opinion, you have to pay more attention to the return on investment and not the name and reputation of the university. 
  • Before you choose the universities, do ensure that the courses will help you with the objective of your higher studies.
  • The course you choose must offer your more than what you require.

5. Alumni Success

  • A big indicator of whether or not you should apply to a university is what their alumni have gone on to achieve. 
  • A few good indicators to look out for:
    High employment rate.
    If the alumni have gone on to working for or starting a Fortune 500.
    The alumni were accepted for graduate or doctoral study at a truly prestigious college or university.
    They went on to do great work in their community or region 
  • All these are great indicators that that college can help you achieve success well after your classroom days are over.

6. On-Campus Placements & Career Opportunities

  • The career opportunities in the universities chosen are also important to consider. If a student chooses the right course of study, a career is almost guaranteed. 
  • Moreover, a student must not only pick the university where the relevant courses of study are offered, but also must look at the respective careers offered in that particular university.

7. Financial Aid & Scholarships For International Students

  • Several studies have shown that a student’s decision to study abroad is influenced greatly by financial aid and scholarships for students. 
  • Students often have to think of financial aid while choosing a Masters degree outside the country. Your potential university might offer financial assistance to your tuition fees but most importantly, the amount is important. 
  • A good research method will be to simply visit the university’s website and do your own research.

8. Weather Conditions & Campus Environment

  • One of the biggest misconceptions that people have when it comes to shortlisting the right university is that it has to be in a certain geographical region or it has to be near home. This is one of the reasons why students end up choosing the wrong universities.
  • A campus tour can be a game-changer The campus tour should not be taken lightly. It’s the only way to get a realistic idea of how it feels to be in that environment.

Shortlisting the right university(s), keeping all these factors in mind, might seem a bit daunting but it’s also the important step that has the potential to determine your future life. Thankfully, there are ways to make better and informed decisions especially while choosing and applying to universities that best suit your criteria.

To tackle this problem, GradRight has launched another platform called SelectRight, an AI-based data-driven platform that enables you to select, shortlist and apply to the right universities that are best suited for you.

Click on SelectRight below to get started!

College Admission Myths For Study Abroad Students

7 College Admission Myths For Study Abroad Students

7 College Admission Myths For Study Abroad Students

College Admission Myths For Study Abroad Students

There’s no denying that the college admissions process is complicated. And, with so much hype surrounding this crucial period, it’s difficult to tell what’s true and what’s not. There can be a lot of misinformation floating around, and rumours can die hard. Extracurricular activities: how important are they? And, if one has a GPA of over 3.5, how important are test scores? Let’s debunk 7 of these college admission myths.

Myth: Colleges are looking for applicants with the best scores.

Truth: Colleges look at other factors like extracurricular activities, teacher recommendations, honors, and awards.

A top score does not automatically translate into a top college. Most students don’t realize that score ranges vary by admissions body, so the highest range is not the best one. But, scores don’t do the entire job, either. Colleges also look at other factors each of which have a significant impact on admissions. Many low-scoring students with high test scores who have a lot of extracurriculars may still not be admitted. So, it’s about a combination of everything. 

Myth: Colleges want well-rounded students.

Truth: Colleges want a well-rounded class.

According to this Forbes article, “colleges put together their entering class as a mosaic: a few great scholars for each academic department; a handful of athletes; some musicians, dancers, and theatre stars; a few for racial and economic diversity; some potential club leaders, etc. Colleges want a kid who is devoted to – and excels at – something. The word they most often use is passion.”

Myth: You need to have an impressive list of extracurricular activities.

Truth: Serious commitment in one area definitely outweighs superficial participation in several others.

Quality outweighs quantity when it comes to extracurricular activities. Colleges want to see passion and commitment.  One or two activities to which you’ve dedicated yourself and where you’ve achieved a leadership position is far more impressive than a huge list of activities where you’ve just floated around.

As the saying goes, “Jack of all trades, master of none!

Myth: You should only ask for a recommendation from a professor who gave you an A.

Truth: Choose someone who knows you well, with whom you have a great relationship, and who can speak well to your attributes.

It’s better to consider a professor who can help admissions officers get to know a different side of you and better understand who you are. Students should really be looking for recommendations from professors and mentors who know them really well and can give rich context to their work ethic, character, persistence and growth.

Myth: Essays shouldn't be creative.

Truth: Essays only need to be authentic.

An essay’s most important quality is that it should feel authentic. Think of your essay as an opportunity to reveal your true voice and to highlight who you really are. You need to make the case for why you care about something and what you’re doing about it but be careful about revealing things that would make the reader feel a sense of caution about you like sharing a past drug issue etc.

Myth: "Well-known" colleges are too expensive!

Truth: Well-known colleges are often less costly than second-tier or even state colleges.

While universities like Harvard, Yale and Princeton have high tuition fees, they also have healthy endowments and strong commitments to helping students afford their colleges.  Students who attend these, and many other top colleges, find that they receive more financial aid and graduate with little or no student debt. Additionally, there are different scholarships available to both local as well as for international students. Make sure you understand the different types of scholarships that can help you lower your overall cost of education.

However, if you are looking for an education loan, look no further. GradRight’s revolutionary loan bidding platform, FundRight will ensure you get the cheapest rates in the market with a lot of savings (savings upto 23L). Interested? Get started here.

Myth: Admission officers never check social media accounts.

Truth: Don't bet on it.

We know what you’re thinking but some colleges do have admission teams solely devoted to checking your social media pages. They check to make sure that they are absolutely clean of anything inappropriate.

As a rule of thumb, if your parents would be embarrassed by your post, make sure it comes down.

It might be overwhelming to get to know about these college admission myths and their corresponding truths but that’s a process every student before you would have gone through as well. And while getting into college isn’t easy, there are ways to make better and informed decisions especially while choosing and applying to universities that best suit your criteria.

To tackle this problem, GradRight has launched another platform called SelectRight, an AI-based data-driven platform that enables you to select, shortlist and apply to the right universities that are best suited for you.

Click on SelectRight below to get started!