The Alumni Interview
Approximately 25% of schools count an alumni interview towards admission, and not only in Miami, college counselors know. When alumni interviews are not required for admission, this experience can benefit students as a valuable source for learning more about a school.
Different schools have different ways of arranging the interviews. Your chance of being asked to attend one really depends on how organized your area’s alumni are and whether the school counts the interview. It also depends on where you live. International students or students who live in remote areas, may need to do an interview over the phone, or skip it all together.
If you’re not working with International College Counselors, the best way to be sure is to call the school yourself and ask the admissions office how the alumni interview process works – and if it counts towards admission. If you’ve already been contacted by an alumni for a mandatory evaluative (one that counts) interview, make sure you prepare, go and follow up with a thank you note.
If your school of choice only offers informational interviews, you may need to be the one to initiate the process. Whether or not you are offered an interview may be more dependent on how organized your local alumni are then whether the school is seriously considering you.
Each year, the first interview assignments are typically sent out to local alumni chapters in early September. Early decision applicants should expect to hear something about their interview by mid-November. Otherwise, the general rule is regular decision applicants may be contacted as late as mid-February.
International College Counselors Tip: Students need to know the alumni interview policy of the colleges about which they are serious. Many universities have limited alumni who will interview, and so interviews are on a first come first basis. So, the earlier you send in your application, the better chance you have of getting an interview.
At International College Counselors, we don’t always recommend the interview for our students. Are you exceptionally shy? Insecure? While an interview can help, it can also hurt an application.
Putting things into perspective, when the alumni interview is used as part of the admissions consideration process, it rarely makes or breaks an application, and far more often than not, it works in the applicant’s favor. When applying to an institution where it is not required, students should use the interview as an opportunity to learn more about the School and the community from the perspective of an alumnus.
If you need interview tips and coaching, International College Counselors can help