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 start by watching this mock in-person interview.
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 email@example.com.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.