How To Prepare For IVY College Interviews?

One thing that all IVY colleges probably have in common is an interview, whether it’s working summers at the ice cream store, enrolling in your ideal institution, or getting the job of your dreams after graduation. It’s likely that you will conduct numerous interviews throughout your life, and for certain students, the college admissions interview serves as their inaugural interview encounter. In light of the high stakes involved, it is understandable that many students feel anxious when thinking about leaving a favorable impression. By knowing what to expect from the interview and what is expected of you, you may minimize your nervousness and ensure that you ace it.

If you’re ready, you shouldn’t be nervous about college interviews. This is the best preparation resource for your Ivy League interview.  

Interviews are a great opportunity for universities to learn more about an applicant personally than they might from an application. You shouldn’t feel as though you’re entering an oral examination or test. A lot of colleges see interviews as informational meetings.  

It can be challenging to know how to get ready for an Ivy League interview if you have never had the experience. Discover all the information you require to prepare for your interview by continuing to read!

An Overview of the College Admission Interview Process

They can answer your queries and tell you more details about the university during a college interview. Throughout the interview, the organization learns more about your past, interests, and possible contributions to the institution.

While many institutions provide optional or suggested interviews, very few actually require them. These are usually small, private, and very prestigious universities like Bates, Occidental, and Columbia. The majority of large public institutions receive so many applications that they are unable to conduct interviews.

Consult the college’s website or contact the admissions office for details on available interviews and how to schedule one. Interviews can occur on campus with an admissions official or off campus near your home, usually with a college alumnus.

Go for it if you get the chance to be interviewed. Utilizing an interview opportunity is beneficial to you as it demonstrates to the school your sincere interest in enrolling. Additionally, showing interest might significantly increase your chances of getting admitted. Lastly, the interview offers the institution an additional opportunity to learn more about you outside of your application.

But, avoid overanalyzing the interview as much as possible. Being prepared, respectful, and focused should increase your chances of approval. During the interview, you can learn more about the school and use that knowledge to decide if it’s a good fit for you or not.

Why Do College Admissions Interviews Take Place?

A college interview is meant to allow you to add some personality to your application. You will also get another opportunity to discuss why you think a particular school is the best fit for you. You may also use it to find out more information about a college, get the inside scoop, and determine whether or not you would fit in well on campus if you’re not sure about it. Your high school accomplishments, your involvement in the community, your college academic pursuits, and anything in between can all be discussed. While interviews are not available at every college, those that do typically use them as an additional recommendation in your application. Put another way, it’s an extra bit of evidence from your application that an admissions officer can use to support you at the committee hearing. While interviews are not available at every college, those that do typically use them as an additional recommendation in your application. Put another way, it’s an extra bit of evidence from your application that an admissions officer can use to support you at the committee hearing.

How Do Interviews for Ivies Look?

The first stage in interview preparation is understanding what to expect. Members of the admissions committee usually don’t conduct them. They are run by former students on behalf of the university. Applicants have a fantastic opportunity to meet a graduate from the institution of their dreams. 

You’ll probably be contacted to set up an interview if one is necessary. You should, however, confirm with your intended college. Certain colleges mandate that you submit an online interview request.

The majority of Ivy League interviews were either over the phone or in person prior to the coronavirus outbreak. Colleges now often use video interviews after the outbreak. 

Applicants may be surprised to learn that college interviews aren’t extremely formal. They are  discussing more than they are asking. Even though they provide feedback to the admissions committee, the interviewer is not involved in making the final decision.

The interview usually lasts 20 to 40 minutes, however it might go longer or shorter depending on the college and the interviewer. The manner of the interview is also greatly influenced by the interviewer.

What use do they have?

Colleges used to be able to confirm the information in your application through interviews. Ivy League universities have started using interviews more recently to tell prospective students more about the school. 

Alumni usually share their college experiences with prospects during interviews. This helps interviewers discover details about the school that they may not have known about.

Interviews are not meant to trick you. Candidates should prepare for the interview in order to share their perspectives and personal narratives in an effective manner. For these interviews, colleges don’t prepare questions in advance.

Interview Weight 

An interview is not mandatory for most candidates for Ivy League universities. You won’t be at a disadvantage if an interviewer isn’t available to speak with you; there are a limited number of interviews available, and they may be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Tips for Interview Preparation for Admissions

Planning beforehand by becoming familiar with a certain school’s interview policy is the first step in any college interview process. Interviews are not taken into consideration in the admissions process by some colleges and universities, while others highly advocate them. Schools may differ in who they interview. While some may invite both prospective applicants who are juniors and seniors in high school, others may only provide interviews to those who are seniors. Before setting up an interview, a college may or may not need to submit a component of the application. Furthermore, when is the cutoff date for interview requests? Will it be an admissions officer, a faculty member, or a current student conducting the interview on campus? Perhaps an alumnus who lives nearby will be your interviewer at a neighborhood coffee shop. Being ready for the type of interview you will be doing and the identity of your interviewer will help you ensure that you connect well and have a meaningful conversation.

Making an outfit selection is an important, although subtle, stage in the interview process, and this kind of preparation can help you with it. The clothing code is more formal when applying for a prestigious scholarship or a competitive academic program (think suits, blazers, dresses, and pantsuits). In other types of interviews, you can dress more casually while still looking polished and professional. A helpful idea is to pack extra clothing in case your interview is scheduled during a hot day and you visit the campus first.

Tips for Getting Ready for an Ivy League Interview

Even though these interviews are more conversational than a full-fledged grilling, it’s still a good idea to be prepared for them in order to increase your confidence. Here’s how to get ready for an Ivy League interview.

Practice, practice, and more practice

The adage “practice makes perfect” is well known. That is also the case with admissions interviews. Sadly, a lot of students don’t even consider practicing in this situation.

Many believe they only have one chance to ace the interview and are unable to practice extensively. But it is undoubtedly untrue! To get ready for the real thing, practice interviews with friends, classmates, teachers, parents, or admissions consultants.

These practice interviews come in quite useful when you want to practice answering specific questions. Asking the person conducting your mock interview to put more pressure on you is a perfectly acceptable tactic. It’s not like the college admissions interview will be stressful, but you want to somehow simulate your anxiety. The more experience you have, the more at ease you’ll be during the actual interview.

Act and dress correctly.

It should go without saying that you should act appropriately during your admissions interview at an elite university. But it raises the question of what is suitable in this situation. Should you wear a dress or a suit when you arrive? Or are jeans and a t-shirt sufficient? To what extent will the meeting be formal? Is it appropriate to address the interviewer as “sir” or “ma’am”? Before the interview, you’ll undoubtedly be asking yourself all of these questions. Let’s respond to them right away to avoid any inconvenience or headaches later.

A college admissions interview can be compared to a work interview, but with a little less formality. A regular t-shirt will also make you stand out like a sore thumb, but a suit and tie or formal dress might be a little too extravagant. It should look great with a decent pair of jeans and a button-up shirt.

It is advisable to use Mr., Mrs., or Ms. when referring to your interviewer. and “yes/no, ma’am/sir.” Of course, you are free to address your interviewer by first name if they agree. However, it is a good idea to begin in a formal manner, as this shows respect.

The majority of interviews happen at restaurants or coffee shops, unless they are conducted virtually. You shouldn’t order a ton of food because the main reason for the meeting is to talk about your possible attendance at the university in question. A little food is OK, but avoid going overboard to avoid coming across as impolite. It’s usually a good idea to mirror your interviewer if you’re unsure of how to proceed. For instance, you should order a drink if that’s what they just ordered. You’re free to accept their order for the entire dinner.

Prepare a list of inquiries for the person conducting the interview. 

Alums can provide you with a wealth of information about your ideal program or school. Be enthusiastic and take advantage of the chance to inquire further about the interviewee’s academic experience. 

Verify that the questions you ask don’t already have an answer available online. Consider your priorities and the outcomes you hope to achieve during your college career when you develop interview questions.

Approach it with sincerity.

Talking to someone who attended the school of your dreams might be exhilarating; don’t be hesitant to express this during the interview. Be yourself beyond all else! Maintain a polite, upbeat, and conversational tone of voice.

For example, when the interviewer asks you about your favorite movie, don’t feel obligated to impress them with a well-regarded picture that isn’t really your favorite. What makes you unique from the herd is frequently your interests, pastimes, and eccentricities.

Specifics of the School’s Research 

Universities, particularly the Ivies, are aware that applicants apply to several schools. They still want to be sure, though, that you really want to enroll at their school. 

Researching schools will help you think of additional questions to ask the interviewer and provide concrete instances of why you would be thrilled to go.

Find out more about the program you’re applying to, the school’s history, mission, and offerings (clubs and opportunities).

Pay attention to the way you present yourself. 

Remember to be punctual, organized, and mindful of your posture. In any meeting, these are always crucial. But since Ivy League college interviews are increasingly performed remotely, applicants might need to modify their preparation.

The dos and don’ts of admissions interviews


Arrive promptly, if not a few minutes early. Factor in time for walking, parking, traffic, and check-in.

Throughout the interview, maintain eye contact with your interviewer and shake hands firmly, despite any butterflies in your stomach.

Just be who you are. Act sincerely. Don’t present yourself how you believe the college wants you to; instead, be authentic.

Consider dialogue instead of questioning. Come prepared to share ideas and information because a college interview will feel much more like a conversation. The same will be done by your interviewer.

Prepare a speech discussing your extracurricular and academic activities as well as the college-related interests you hope to pursue and your rationale. In high school, which subject is your favorite? You want to study what? If you are enthusiastic about a field, express it. If you’re unsure, discuss your excitement for performing research. Give an account of your community activities. What notable achievements have you made, and what leadership responsibilities have you held?

Prepare to talk about the qualities you are hoping to find in a college when you arrive. What was their college introduction? Look into the institution and respond with information relevant to your plans.

If you’re unsure, discuss your excitement for performing research. Give an account of your community’s activities. What notable achievements have you made, and what leadership responsibilities have you held?

Prepare to talk about the qualities you are hoping to find in a college when you arrive. What was their college introduction? Look into the institution and respond with information relevant to your plans.

A clear indication that you are considering attending the college should come through in your inquiry. This shows how engaged you are with the organization and how much you value it. The subjects of the questions may include specific classes and instructors, first-year resources, research and internship possibilities, housing, campus culture, and specific groups and organizations. It would be fine to ask about the interviewee’s particular experiences.

Remind yourself to smile and breathe. This may be enjoyable!

Right away, following the interview, write a thank-you note. Thoughtful emails are OK, but admissions officers are more likely to remember (and value) handwritten messages or cards.


Chew on some gum or pop a tiny piece of candy. It impedes articulation and is unprofessional.

Pick up your mobile phone. Indeed, be sure to turn it off entirely. Better still, before you go into the interview room, give your parents your phone.

Make a note of your responses. You run the danger of not sounding authentic, and you will come across as forced. Rather, formulate a rough notion of how you want to respond to a question and then allow your responses to emerge organically as you talk. There will be less tension and greater relaxation in a casual conversation.

Saying “I don’t know” is among the worst responses. Please ask for clarification if you are unsure about how to respond to a question. It’s also important that you always feel at ease, pausing to consider your response before responding. Provide an answer instead of saying, “I don’t know.”

If you feel sick, don’t hesitate to cancel. The admissions office won’t believe you’re acting carelessly. On the contrary, it shows that you’re a responsible person because you didn’t make anyone else ill.

Forget to maintain contact. Feel free to keep in touch with your interviewer after sending a word of appreciation. As you proceed with your college education, you may have unanswered questions. The admissions staff is always happy to hear from you!

Interview for the Ivy League

Are you still unsure about how to be ready for an Ivy League interview? To find the answers you seek, continue reading!

What takes place if I’m not selected for an interview? 

Interviews are not necessary at every college. Most merely lack the necessary number of alumni to complete the task. The applicants are not punished in these situations.

Do interviews with Ivy matter? 

Interviews are a great way to find out more about the university you’re interested in and to present yourself as the best candidate. It is always in your best interest to attend an alumni interview if you are invited or have the option to request one! 

What Should I Pack for an Ivy League Interview? 

You should build questions for the Ivy League interviewer, create a list of commonly asked interview questions, and become familiar with the program and institution before the interview.

Do all applicants get interviews at Ivy League schools? 

Because there aren’t enough alumni interviewers, Ivy League institutions are unable to promise that every applicant will be given the opportunity to interview. In the event that you are not selected for an interview, you will not suffer any consequences in the admissions process.

Do interviews need to get into Ivies? 

For the most part, most Ivy League programs do not require interviews.

Since this is a real adult with real responsibilities and your words can affect your prospects of getting into college, interviews can often be extremely daunting. Thus, the most crucial piece of advice we can give is to just stop and breathe. Most of the people conducting your interviews, particularly those with students and alumni, are doing so voluntarily and want to see you succeed. They are passionate about their school and are looking for other students who are similarly enthused.

Therefore, all it takes to ace your interview is to be your best self. The interview will go well if you take it slow, focus on your breathing, and keep your cool. We genuinely hope that reading this essay will help you reach that level of calm, and we wish you luck on your next interviews!

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