College admission interviews really do play a helpful supporting role in applications to schools that offer them.
If a college offers applicants the option to interview – either on-campus or off-campus, or through an alumni interview – students should view it as yet another opportunity to provide the college with more information about themselves. While colleges do not base their decisions solely on the interview, they do like to see consistency with the written application. For example, if a student is described in their recommendations as someone who is ‘outgoing,’ ‘personable,’ etcetera, and in the interview, the student is reticent and introspective, then colleges are going to wonder how much of the application is accurate.
This is not to say that students should be overly gregarious during the interview – but they should make sure that the story that they are telling, through body language, description of their accomplishments, and goals, etcetera, is the same story that is being told in their application. The bottom line is with any interview – on-campus or off – the three things to remember are: be prepared, be relaxed, and most important, be yourself.