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Study Abroad Interview Checklist

Preparing for the admission interview for an international university or college can be very challenging as the interviewers are looking for well-rounded aspirants and not only academic excellence.The key concern of the committee members is the adaptability quotient of the student and whether he or she be an asset to the institution. Thus, simply rote learning answers will not be enough. 

Preparing for the admission interview for an international university or college can be very challenging as the interviewers are looking for well-rounded aspirants and not only academic excellence.The key concern of the committee members is the adaptability quotient of the student and whetherhe or she be an asset to the institution. Thus simply rote learning answers will not be enough. You need to also work on your etiquette, confidence level, information on your resume and its veracity and how convincing are you in your approach towards the program. Here are 10 important tips that will help you ace the interview:

1. Do your research.Do your homework and stand your ground.You will be asked questions on your background, both educational and personal. Be well versed with your application, letters of recommendation, essay(s) and/or SOP. You should be able to answer the questions without thinking twice. Corroborate your answers with examples as not only will this help you articulate your point better but will also reflect on your skills and experience.

2. Rehearse!Practice makes you perfect. Practice your answers in front of a mirror or ask your family members to help you with this. Write down all the possible questions you can think of along with their answers, and rehearse multiple times. By practising in front of a mirror, parents, or friends, you get to know what makes you look vulnerable so you can work assiduously on your weak areas.

3. Be on time.Time and tide waitfor none. This is a big step in your life and you do not want to be late for it. Reach the venue 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time. You do not want your interviewer to have a negative impression about your time management skills. Keep your outfit, shoes and resume ready the night before the interview.

4. Dress well.First impression is the last impression. Theinterviewer makes an opinion about you as soon as you step in the room. Your shoes and dress embody your personality. Your clothes should be formal attire unless you are instructed for a specific dress code. Dress to impress the committee members.Read the instructions carefully as far as the dress code is concerned.

5. Exercise proper etiquette.Talent will get you through door, but character will keep you in the room.Be engaged and have a positive conversation throughout the interview. Be polite to the interviewing staff. Do not be over friendly and casual. Greet the interviewer at the start and thank them before leaving the room. Keep your mobile phone on switch off mode or airplane mode throughout the interview process. Carry copies of your CV/resume just in case your interviewer wants to keep them.

6. Strike the appropriate tone.Think positive and be positive. During the interview,hold a mature, friendly, engaged and positive tone with the interviewer. Do not give any negative comments and answers. It is okay to take a minute and answer the question correctly rather than make a quick negative reply. Show your enthusiasm about the program and the college through perceptive and sincere answers that best showcase your experiences and personality.

7. Be yourself.Be the best version of you. Share your real experience and stories whichhave had positive influenceson your life. Create a list of such experiences prior to the meeting so that you can use them effectively during the interview. Do not cook up stories as interviewers are an experienced lot and can sense even theslightest hint of phoniness. Put your best and true self forward.

8. Pay attention to your body language.You body communicates more than what you speak. Do not contradict yourself. It is critical how you present yourself. Your responses should be complemented by the way you communicate through your body. Sit upright and do not lean or sit leisurely. Do not make a lot of hand movements. Your hands should be placed at your thighs. Do not cross your legs. Always wear a smile. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer to show confidence and build trust.All this will convey that you are interested in the conversation and are passionate about the program and college.

9. Have questions for the interviewer.Knowledge is having the right answer. Intelligence is asking the right question. Usually at the end of the interview, the interviewer gives you a chance to ask any question you have in mind. Although this is optional, you can make a great impression by asking a well-thought question. This way the committee feels that you have researched about the program and college and are seriously passionate about both.

10. Don’t forget to send your thank-you note!Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It is a basic courtesy and is important to build a rapport with the interviewers. Please note that the formal-thank you message should reach the interviewers within 24 hours.You should write a separate thank-you note to each of the interviewers and mention the pertinent components of your conversation. Ensure you echo sincere appreciation and reiterate your passion and commitment for the program and school.

The interview is a critical final step in the application process. This is when you really have the chance to “wow” your interviewer. So do your research, come in well prepared and be ready to make a lasting first impression! Good Luck!