Conducting virtual interviews or off-campus interviews in your area is a great way to promote Union and to speak one-on-one with prospective students about the value of a Union education.
If you are new to interviewing or would like a refresher, you may want to view this video.
As an alumni interviewer, you play an important role. Any contact you have with students may affect their opinions about Union. Showing enthusiasm for the College and creating a comfortable environment ensures they will have a favorable impression. To set the stage for an outstanding interview, you need to find a place where you will not be interrupted for 45-60 minutes. After greeting the student, if parents are present, please tell them that once the interview with the student is finished, you will invite them to join the conversation.
- To give the student a favorable impression of Union.
- To get an overall impression of the student, including their interests and passions.
- To help the student recognize why Union might be a good match for them.
Interview Dos and Don'ts:
- Make the student feel comfortable as quickly as possible – be open, positive and encouraging.
- Remember that students are often nervous in interviews, so don't hesitate to ask general questions about academic, extracurricular, and hobby interests in order to 'break the ice'.
- Try to make the interview a conversation rather than a question and answer session.
- Give the student the opportunity to explain any unusual circumstances which may have affected his/her academic performance.
- Try to ask the student a question or two which will really push them to think before they answer.
- Have fun – this is your chance to bring your Union story to life; laugh, smile, enjoy.
- Ask students what other colleges they have visited, are considering or will apply to. Rather, ask what they like about Union.
- Overpower the student with information about your experience at Union, but do share brief accounts of your experience when appropriate throughout the conversation.
- Worry about grades and test scores... it's most important to learn about the student's course of study, extracurricular involvement and interests. However, it's OK if a student offers his/her GPA, test results, transcript, and/or resume (please send these materials to the Admissions Office).
- Ask questions about a student's/family's financial situation. If it is clear that financial aid will be an issue, encourage the student and/or parents to contact our Financial Aid Office at (518)388-6123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Comment on the likelihood of the student being admitted.
- Attempt to answer questions for which you don't know the answer. Instead, send the question to Susie Hanks at email@example.com.
Suggested questions to ask:
College search process
- How did you hear about Union?
- What are the unique aspects of your school: strongest departments, strongest sports teams, arts or music programs, etc.?
- What would you change about your high school?
- What courses are you taking? What courses did you take last year?
- What courses are you taking senior year?
- Which courses have you found most enjoyable? Why?
- Which courses have you found most challenging? Why?
- Do you have a favorite book? Tell me about it.
- Do you have a favorite teacher? Why?
- What would a teacher write about you in a recommendation?
- What would your best friend say about you?
- What motivates you to do well in school?
- How would you like to be remembered by your high school?
Please note that family can sometimes be a sensitive issue and not all families look alike. If you ask a family-related question and the student does not seem comfortable, please respect the student's feelings and pursue another topic of conversation.
- Tell me about your family.
- Who in the student's family is most inspirational to him/her? Why?
- What has the student learned from his/her family? What has the student's family learned from him/her?
Please try to gauge where you see them contributing on Union's campus. Do they have leadership potential? Would they be involved in performing groups? Athletics? Etc.
- How do you spend your time outside of class? What activities are you involved in?
- What activity is most important to you? Why?
- What hobbies do you have?
- What did you do this summer?
- What activities do you want to continue or start in college?
- What would you ask/tell the President (or another notable figure) if you were given an hour alone with him/her?
- If you were handed $100 million, how would you want to spend it?
- Do you have any heroes/heroines? Why are they important?
- What is your proudest moment?
Concluding the interview
- Is there is anything else you would like to discuss? What questions do you have for me about Union?
Please provide the student with your phone number and/or email address, and encourage follow-up questions if they arise. Thank the student for coming and for his/her interest in Union, and ask accompanying parents if they have questions before departing.
- Provide specific examples about the student to make your points.
- Give overall impressions.
- How do you see this student contributing to Union's campus? How might they benefit from the opportunities at Union?
- Please complete the evaluation form soon after the interview to avoid forgetting information. If you have misplaced the link for your interview write-up please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.