Introducing a new form of college admissions interview: the asynchronous interview for college admissions. In this form of interview now being utilized by college admissions representatives at a number of schools, a student is guided through a structured interview process, which they do on their own.
What is an asynchronous interview for college admissions?
“Asynchronous” means that the interviewee does the interview independently at one time, during which the responses are recorded by the device’s webcam, and then they are shared with reviewers at a later time.
In an asynchronous video interview, a student will be asked to respond to questions displayed on the screen or within the prerecorded video. The student then answers the questions while “talking to” the webcam or phone camera. While this is not an established rule, you typically have roughly 30 to 60 seconds to read the question and about two to three minutes to respond.
This counts as an official interview.
How do college admissions asynchronous interviews typically work?
1) You will receive a link to video interview software.
2) You decide when you are ready to start the video interview.
3) The software guides you through the interview step by step. The questions will be displayed on the screen.
4) You answer the questions using the webcam or the camera on your phone, pretending that you’re talking to an interviewer.
Each question allows a certain amount of time to prepare your response and a certain amount of time to actually respond. You can independently pause both the preparation and the response times. When the response time for a question has run out, it will automatically advance to the next question’s preparation time.
What kind of questions may be asked during an asynchronous video interview for college admission?
- General questions will ask you to describe yourself broadly. For example, “Tell me why you are interested in our university,” or “Tell me about yourself.”
- Behavioral questions will ask you to describe previous experiences. For example, “What are your academic weaknesses? How have you addressed them?” or “What is an obstacle you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?”
- Value and goal-oriented questions will ask you to demonstrate your thinking and perspective. For example, “Whom do you most admire?” “Why do you want to go to college?” or “What makes you unique?”
How should I prepare for a college admission video interview?
If the college wants to interview you in this manner, they’ll send you an email with the link to access the video interview. A series of prompts will guide you through the set up.
1) Prepare your responses.
Though it is an online video interview, you should prepare for it as you would for a live interview. You should know your answers to standard questions and be prepared to ask questions (which may be answered later).
Participate in mock interview with someone to practice developing your responses. Practice on your own so you can get used to responding without an interviewer present. Record yourself answering standard interview questions. Then watch your performance, and make you’re satisfied with your eye contact, sound quality, and behavior. During your asynchronous interview, you don’t want to be fidgeting, swiveling in your chair, or making distracting gestures, such as covering parts of your face or playing with your hair. You really want to present a calm, engaged demeanor during the interview. If you need help with interview practice, contact us at International College Counselors. We will help you craft answers to potential questions and excel in your personal presentation.
3) Check the lighting.
Make sure you’re well-lit and the “interviewer” can see you. Avoid having a source of bright light, as from a window or lamp, directly behind you, as this will make your face dark.
4) Choose the right environment.
Find a private, quiet, well-lit space free of potential distractions. Make sure there is nothing in the background that you don’t want the college to see. Eliminate distractions. Put your pet in another room where they can’t be seen or heard. Let your family know when you are doing the interview, so they don’t accidentally interrupt you. If you are using a phone, make sure your ringer is turned off during your interview.
5) Place the camera at eye level.
During an interview, you want to look straight into the camera to make the best connection.
6) Test your internet connection to make sure it’s stable.
7) Read the technical specifications and the interview instructions in advance.
The specifications are important so as to pre-empt any technical problems. The instructions will prepare you for the format and pace of the interview. Sometimes you only get one attempt, so you want to get it right.
8) Dress professionally.
Dress as you would for a real face-to-face interview. Business casual is always a good choice. Don’t wear T-shirts, especially with text or graphics.
9) Provide a complete response to each question asked.
For example, with a behavioral question, share your experience, making sure to discuss the situation, the actions you took, and the outcome of your actions.