What I learned from my first college interview

Wake Forest is one of a few universities and colleges that offer interviews as part of the admissions process. Some interviews are evaluative, while others are informational.

Before going to a college interview, I was curious to how the process works and if it would make or break a college admissions board decision on whether to accept, decline, defer, or put a student on a waitlist.  Not all colleges offer interviews with prospective students, and some colleges that offer interviews don’t require it.

There is a common perception that interviews are meant for a college admissions person to evaluate you, but some interviews for informational purposes giving the student an opportunity to ask questions face to face. Interviews take place at the admissions office on the university’s campus.

I arranged an interview at Wake Forest University online by filling out an online questionnaire about the classes I am currently enrolled in, my SAT scores, intended major, and if I have any relatives who attend or previously attended Wake Forest. Finally, I selected three dates and times that worked for me. Within the next business day, I was emailed a response with what day and time slot I was given.

The questions I was asked at the interview caught me off guard and weren’t questions I would think they would ask. A few of the questions were “What is your favorite book?” and “If you gave a Ted Talk, what would it be about?” Also, there where the expected questions: “How would Wake Forest help you accomplish what you want to achieve?” and “Why are you interested in Wake Forest University?”

The entire interview was divided into three parts. The first part the interviewer asked questions about where I go to school, if my school is diverse, how many AP classes I have taken, my class ranking, and confirming my address and phone number. During the second part, the interviewer asked what activities I am involved in at school, questioned my intellectual curiosity, and asked if anything on my application needs to be explained (such as grades suddenly dropping). The last part was an opportunity for me to ask any questions I may have about the campus and university.

The process was relaxed and very conversational. The interview was an opportunity for me to express my interest in Wake Forest and talk about things that admissions may not know from solely looking at my online application through the common app for admission as a freshmen .

Colleges like NC State and University of North Carolina don’t offer prospective students the opportunity for interviews. Only two North Carolina schools offer interviews: Wake Forest University and University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Some other schools that offer interviews are eight of the Ivy leagues, Northwestern University, Emory University, Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, Trinity College, Vanderbilt University, and Carnegie Mellon University.


  1. Did you apply to WFU as test-optional? If so, were you required to fill out the section of the questionnaire when asked about your SAT scores?


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