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The Complete Guide to College Admissions Interview (Class of 2026)

As many of you have submitted your college applications for the 2021-2022 college admissions season, it’s important to update your calendar and check your inbox regularly for interview invitations.

 

You probably already know which schools on your list offer admissions interviews and whether the interview helps you demonstrate your interest in attending those colleges. To help you keep track of all the deadlines, interview formats, and requirements, we’ve compiled a list of popular schools where interviews are required or strongly recommended, as well as universities that value demonstrated interests as part of their admissions.

 

To Interview, or Not to Interview?

For 22 years, Insight Education is committed to helping high school students and families to navigate the college admissions process, and that includes understanding your concerns and providing a tailored strategy for you. Often, students will ask us if interviews are necessary. The answer depends on three factors:

 

  (1) Does the college highly recommend admissions interviews? 
  (2) Does the admissions office include demonstrated interest as part of their evaluation?
  (3) Your major and whether you’re applying test-optional

 

In most cases, we strongly recommend our students to interview with colleges if they have the chance. The reason goes beyond adding positive data in their college application; good interview skills will be useful (and essential) in their careers, too. Starting junior year, our students get a chance to schedule mock interview sessions with Insight counselors (for either their summer program application or practice for their admissions interview). In their senior year, Insight students will also have the opportunity to join workshops teaching interview techniques and etiquettes.

 

Need help to evaluate your college admissions strategies? Want to receive useful feedback from experienced college admissions counselors? Contact us today to schedule your personalized college planning session.

 

Start preparing for interviews early! The latest trend we are noticing is an accelerated timeline between when the application is received and when an admissions interview is scheduled. Don’t wait until the invitation is in your inbox to start your interview preparation. Even if the purpose of the interview is informational, you can still impress the alumni or admissions officer when you are well-prepared and feel confident! In addition, the interview gives you a chance to assess if the school will be the right fit for you or what resources will be available to you ahead of time! 

Preparing for your college admissions interview? Check out How to Answer College Interview Questions (In the Way Your Interviewer Wants!)

 

 

2021-2022 College Admissions Season –
College Admissions Interview for Class of 2026

Here is a list of popular colleges that require or strongly recommend interviews. Each school’s name is a hyperlink to their admissions interview page. This is by no means a comprehensive list. Please contact us for more information.

Last Updated: November 16, 2021

Colleges that offer Interviews

Interview Importance

Demonstrated Interest

Interview Purpose/Format
& Timelines

Allegheny College Recommended Important Informational/On-campus
American Academy of Art Required  –  Evaluative
Bard College at Simon’s Rock Required Considered Evaluative/In-person
Bates College Optional Important Informational/Online
Berea College Required Considered Evaluative/On-campus
Bowdoin College Recommended Not considered

Evaluative

Optional 2-min video

Alumni interviews are available Sept 1

Brown University Recommend Not considered Evaluative/Video
Bryn Mawr College Highly recommended (Required for homeschooled and early admissions) Not considered

Evaluative

On-campus/Online

Deadline: ED I (Nov. 15)
ED II/Reg (Jan. 15)

Carnegie Mellon University No interview for 2021-2022 Not considered

No interviews for 2021-2022

Christopher Newport University Highly recommended (Required for scholarship and Honors Program) Important

Evaluative

On-campus/Online

Interviews are available from June 1 – March 1.
Deadline: ED I (Nov. 15)
EA & scholarships (Dec. 15)
Reg (Feb 15)

Claremont McKenna College Highly recommended (Required for homeschooled Considered

Evaluative

Optional video/Online

Interviews are available from May through Mid-December.
Deadline: ED I (Mid-Nov)

Clark University Highly recommended  Considered

Evaluative

On-campus/Online

Colgate University Recommended Not considered

Informational/Online

College of the Atlantic Recommended Considered Informational/Online
College of the Holy Cross Highly recommended Considered

Informational

Online/In-Person

Interviews are available from June 1 – Dec 10

Colorado College Highly recommended Considered

Informational/Online

Must fill out a preliminary application or submit the Common App before you can request an interview

Columbia University Recommended Not considered

Evaluative/Online

Deadline: ED (Nov 15)
Reg (Jan 15)

Connecticut College Optional Considered

Evaluative/Online

Cornell University Recommended (Required for architecture program; Recommended for Dept of Art or Urban and Regional Studies) Not considered

Evaluative/Online

Request the interview through the student portal on application status page
Architecture program deadline: ED (Nov 1) and Reg (Jan 2)

Dartmouth College  Recommended Considered

Evaluative/Online

Interview by invitation only after you’ve submitted your application

DePauw University Highly recommended (Required for homeschooled) Considered

Evaluative

On-campus/Online

Drew University Highly recommended (Required for BA/MD program) Considered

Informational

On-campus/Online

Duke University Optional Considered

Evaluative/Online

Interview by invitation after you’ve submitted your application

Elmira College Highly recommended Important

Evaluative

Call the Office of Admissions to schedule

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering Required for Candidates’ Week participants Very important

Evaluative/Online

By invitation only (takes place Feb 25 – Mar 6, 2022)

Georgetown University Required Not considered

Evaluative

In-Person

Students are in charge of contacting the alumni to set up interviews after the students have submitted the application

Gettysburg College Highly recommended Considered Evaluative/Online
Grinnell College Highly recommended Considered

Evaluative

On-campus/Online/In-person

Grover City College Highly recommended Very important

Evaluative

On-campus/Online

Deadline:
ED I (Nov 1)
ED II (Dec 1)
Reg I (Jan 20)
Reg II (Mar 20)

Hamilton College Recommended Considered

Evaluative

On-campus/Online

Deadline: ED 1 (Nov 15)
ED 2 (Jan 15)
Reg (Jan 25)

Hamline University Highly recommended Considered Evaluative
Harvard Recommended Not considered

Evaluative/Online

Interview by invitation after you’ve submitted your application

Harvey Mudd College Highly recommended Not considered

Evaluative/Online

Interviews are available starting May of your Junior year and should be completed before the application deadline

Haverford College Recommended Considered

Evaluative/Online

Hillsdale College Highly recommended (especially for those wishing to be considered for scholarship) Very important Evaluative
Hobart and William Smith Colleges Highly recommended Considered Evaluative/Online
Iona College Optional Important Evaluative
Johns Hopkins  No interviews for 2021-2022 Not considered No interviews for 2021-2022
Juilliard School Required as part of audition callback process Important Evaluative
Juniata College Highly recommended Not considered Evaluative
Knox College Highly recommended Considered

Evaluative

Online/On-Campus/In-Person

Lake Forest College Highly recommended (Required for those applying without test scores) Considered

Evaluative

On-campus/Online

Meredith College Required for homeschooled students Important Evaluative
Middlebury College Optional Considered

Evaluative/Online

Alumni interview by invitation after you’ve submitted your application. For ED I applicants, interviews typically happen in November (January for ED II and Regular Decision)

Mills College Highly recommended Not considered Evaluative/Online
MIT Highly recommended Not considered

Evaluative/Online

Interview by invitation after you’ve submitted your application

Moravian College Highly recommended Important

Evaluative

Email the admissions office to schedule

Mount Holyoke College Highly recommended (Required for Frances Perkins applicants) Considered

Evaluative

Deadline:
ED 1 (Nov 15)
ED 2 (Dec 10)
Reg (Feb 4)

Muhlenberg College Highly recommend, especially for those wishing to be considered for merit scholarships (Required for academic partnership applicants) Considered Evaluative/Online
Northwestern University Optional Considered

Evaluative/Online

Alumni interviews are by invitation after you’ve submitted your application

Occidental College Highly recommended Considered

Evaluative

Schedule your interview before the application deadlines

Point Loma Nazarene University Highly recommended Considered

Evaluative

On-Campus/Online

Schedule 1-month before the application deadline

Princeton University Recommended Not considered

Evaluative/Online

Alumni interviews are by invitation after you’ve submitted your application

Reed College Optional Considered

Informational

On-campus/Online

Deadline: ED I (Dec 1)
EA (Dec 10)
ED II (Dec 31)
Reg (Feb 1)

Rice University Recommended Considered

Evaluative/Online

Deadline: ED (Nov 30)
Regular (Dec 3)

Sacred Heart University

Highly recommended (Required for ED applicants) Very Important Evaluative/Online
Saint Johns College Highly recommended (Required for homeschooled or international applicants without test scores) Important

Evaluative

Online/In-Person

Saint Louis University Recommended Considered

Evaluative/On-campus

Contact the admissions office to schedule your on-campus interview

Saint Marys College Recommended Considered

Evaluative/On-campus

Sewanee: The University of the South Highly recommended Considered Evaluative
Simmons University Highly recommended Not considered Evaluative
Southwestern University Highly recommended (Required for those applying without test scores and special programs) Considered

Evaluative

On-campus/In-person/Online

Stanford University Optional (only offered in selected geographies) Not considered

Evaluative/Online

Alumni interviews are by invitation after you’ve submitted your application

St. Lawrence University Highly recommended Considered

Evaluative

On-campus/Online

Stevens Institute of Technology Highly recommended (especially for applicants in the accelerated pre-medicine program) Considered

Evaluative

Online/On-campus

Interview must be completed by student’s application deadline

Swarthmore College Optional Not considered

Evaluative/Online

Students can request an alumni interview at the start of Fall of their senior year

Trinity College Recommended Important

Evaluative

Online/In-Person

Students can make interview request as early as February of their Junior year

Tufts University Optional Considered

Evaluative/Online

Deadline to request: 
ED I (Nov 6)
ED II (Jan 9)
Reg (Jan 9)

Union College Recommended Considered

Evaluative/Online

Deadline:
ED I, EA, Leadership in Medicine (Nov 15)
EDII, Reg, 3+3 Accelerated Law (Jan 31)

University of California (UCs) Only available for some Regents and Honors Programs Not considered

Evaluative

Invitation only available for some Regents and Honors Programs applicants

 University of Michigan (Engineering) Optional (only for Engineering applicants) Not considered

Informational/Online

Alumni interview by invitation after you’ve submitted your application. Do NOT contact the admissions office.

University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) Recommended Not considered

Evaluative/Online

Alumni interviews are by invitation after you’ve submitted your application

University of Rochester Highly recommended for merit scholarships consideration Considered

Evaluative

In-person/Online

Deadline:
ED I (Nov 30)
ED II (Jan 5)

University of Southern California (USC) For selected scholarships applicants Not considered

Evaluative

By invitation only for selected students applied by Dec 1 for the Trustee/Presidential/Deans Scholarships

Vassar College Optional Not considered

Informational

Deadline to request:
ED I (Nov 15)
ED II (Jan 7)
Reg (Jan 7)

Wake Forest University Recommended Considered

Evaluative

Online/Video

Deadline to request an interview is Nov 17 and the deadline to submit a 2-3 min video is Jan 5.

Washington and Lee University Highly recommended Considered

Evaluative/Online

Available from May 1 (of junior year) to January 31 (of senior year)

Washington University in St. Louis (Wustl) Optional Considered Informational/Online
Wesleyan University Recommended Not considered

Evaluative/Online

Available starting Sept 7 to Feb 28, 2022.

Yale College Recommended Not considered

Evaluative/Online

Alumni interviews are by invitation after you’ve submitted your application

Yeshiva University Required Considered Evaluative/Online

 

Terminology explained:

  • Interview Importance is ranked from Required, Highly Recommended, Recommended, to Optional. If you see a school that highly recommends admissions interviews and also considers demonstrated interest, you should sign up and prepare for the college admissions interview when the school extends an invitation. 
  • Demonstrated Interest starts to play a role in some college admissions evaluation processes. In this table, demonstrated interest is ranked from Very Important, Important, Considered, to Not Considered. To learn more about demonstrated interest and what you can do to show it, check out our article on ” All You Need to Know about Demonstrated Interest.”
  • Typically, the college admissions interviews serve two Purposes: evaluative or informational. An evaluative interview helps college admissions officers decide if you will be a good fit for their school, whereas an informative interview is typically conducted by current students or alumni and aims to provide you with more information on their schools. Despite the purpose, you should always be prepared with concise answers and great questions before entering an interview. Wondering what an informational interview is? Check out our article on “The Art of Informational Interviews.”
  • Interview Format used to be mostly in-person, either on campus or in a nearby coffee shop. However, the pandemic has accelerated the adaption of online interviews or video portfolios.

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  • I just wanted to thank you again for your help during the college admission process. My family and I have been scrambling to figure out the process for years, and especially coming from an immigrant family and being the first in my family to go to college in the US, there was a lot of […]

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