Thursday, February 20, 2014

Guest Post :: Victoria

I had a great chance to pair up with Victoria for a very useful guest post! Here is Victoria's about college interviews! Be on the look out on her blog for the next week for my guest post about dorm room decorating! I love this post, Victoria has the best advice! Read on.


Today I'm partnering up with Abigail to talk to you all about college. Since both of us are high school seniors, we figured that we'd try and tackle two of the most daunting parts of the entire process: interviews and dorms. Abigail is taking on dorms, and I'm taking interviews.

My first college interview was this past summer. It was awful. I was a nervous wreck, and I felt like I did a terrible job relaying to my interviewer who I was or what characteristics about my life I wanted to make sure she knew. You best believe that when it came time for another interview (with a different school) I was ready.

I came better-dressed, I had done research on the institution, and written it down in a notebook that I brought to the interview so that I could ask questions and write down my own answers.

I got into this college (I didn't end up applying to the other one), so I considered this a successful interview. So, here are some tips I've come up with to help you all out with your interviews.

1. Look the Part
Go to the college's admissions page - on their website and on Twitter or Instagram. Take a look at what their admissions counselors are wearing if you can. If they're dressed in business casual, wear a nice pair of pants, a modest top, and boots. If you see most of their counselors wearing dresses or skirts, find a cute day dress and add some accessories to personalize it. The key to interview attire is modesty. You want to impress your interviewer with your accomplishments and personality, not your body.
For example, here I am wearing a white button-down shirt, a scarf, hunter green cords and boots (not pictured). My friend, Susanna, is wearing a sweater and a striped tee with dark-wash jeans and riding boots.
Here, I'm wearing a dress from Anthropologie (similar) and sandals, and my friend Ellen is wearing a modest day dress as well.

In terms of makeup, it should be simple, fresh, and natural-looking. I would recommend sticking to a version of your everyday makeup (see mine here!). An extra coat of mascara or a modest swipe of eyeliner would be great additions.

2. Learn
Do your research. Just sit down at your computer and spend 15 minutes on the university's website, and see what you can find. Look up the department you think you might be interested in. For example, I'm interested in history, education, and communications. Go to the department pages and see if they have any cool programs offered or if there's any recent news on these departments. When your interviewer asks you what you want to major in, and you can answer with facts about those specific programs, they will be blown away because you have done your homework. Also, if you are interested in any other student organizations, such as athletics, Greek life, etc. be sure to mention that you plan to participate in those! Schools want people who will contribute to their campus, and they won't know if that's you unless you tell them!

3. Listen Up
Listen to your interviewer. You are having a formal conversation with them. Because they likely work in the office of admissions, they know pretty much everything there is to know about that particular school. If you were confused about a certain program, or if you just have a general question, ask them. Their job is to be in the know about anything and everything about the school, so politely ask them questions, and don't zone out when they start giving the general college information -  you may already know the student population and when the school was founded, but they will notice if you are politely attentive.

4. Calm Down
Interviews can be very nerve-wracking. They can easily become high-pressure situations, especially if the school you are interviewing for is very competitive. However, if you psych yourself out and you are constantly rambling, you will not best represent yourself. Before they call your name, remind yourself of all of the good things about you. You are interviewing for college. That in itself is an accomplishment. You are clearly intelligent, and because you are simply present at the interview you have ambition and drive to be successful. Take a couple deep breaths, try to sip on some water, and if you need to pace in the waiting room, just do it if it will make you feel better.

At the end of the day, the interviewer is just a person too. They have families and goals, just like you. They have made mistakes, they have been in your shoes.

I hope this has been helpful for you all! I hope you'll also go check out Abigail's post on my blog.
Have a great day!

xx, Victoria

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