Top Ten Tips We Wish Applicants Knew About Admissons Interviews
1. We Just Want to Get to Know You
The phrase "admissions interview" can make high school students break into an immediate sweat. Our interviews are not intended to make you nervous or afraid — we just want to have a conversation with you and get to know you better.
2. Your Interviewer Has Been in Your Shoes
All of our interviews are conducted by Schreyer Scholar Alumni who have been in your shoes. They know all about applying to colleges and how nerve-racking that can be. They are very nice people and want to help, so enjoy getting to know them. And don't be afraid to ask them questions about their Penn State and Schreyer experience — they love talking about themselves too!
3. Our Interview is Optional
Our interview is truly optional. If you choose to have one, enjoy meeting one of our graduates and the opportunity to talk more about your application. But, if you can't interview, don't worry — it's not going to be held against you!
4. Keep Time in Mind
The interviews usually last about a half hour. Keep that in mind as you answer questions: don't take 10 minutes to answer the first question or you may not have time to answer the other questions.
5. Face-to-Face and Online are Both Fine
Interviews can be held either face-to-face or online…and it does not matter which way you do it. We do have a lot of alumni around the world, but they are not in every location where our applicants live. Don't panic if you can only do an online interview — relax, enjoy the conversation, and find out more about where that Schreyer graduate lives.
6. Life Happens
If something goes wrong the day of your interview: you get sick, your car breaks down, or your dog ate your homework…please don't worry. Just contact your interviewers as soon as you can and let them know you can't make it. They will understand and try to reschedule, if possible. We understand that life just happens sometimes.
7. Practice Won't Make Perfect
You can't really "practice" for your interview. It's just a conversation, like those you have every day, where you can talk about your activities, your work and what you do for fun. All we ask is that you be yourself: be honest and sincere, and you will do just fine.
8. Be Early and Plan Ahead
If you have to drive to your interview location, just give yourself enough time to get there, find a parking spot, make a trip to the bathroom, etc. Minimize your stress before the interview so the actual interview will be more fun.
9. Don't Worry About What to Wear
Don't worry about what to wear to the interview. We aren't judging you by what you look like or what you have on. We know you are busy high school students and if you have to come to your interview directly from basketball practice or your job at the restaurant, we get it!
10. We Want to Talk to You
If your parents insist on coming with you to the interview, it's okay — sometimes they just can't help themselves. They will not be able to sit in on the interview with you — they will need to find something else to do; so if you really need something, ask them to pick it up for you during your interview — they may be in just the right mood to do whatever they can to help you!