By Kema Christian-Taylor
Imagine this scenario: you get to the end of an amazing college interview -- your dream college interview, to be exact -- and your interviewer asks you if you have any questions. You could shake your head with a polite, “No, you’ve answered everything!” But that response won't leave a lasting impression.
Why ask questions? You’ve already shown your interest in the school by going through the arduous application process. But imagine if you walked into an interview and weren't asked any questions? Besides being really awkward, you would get the impression that the school didn’t really care much about you as a prospective student. So in the same way that the interviewer is trying to figure out if you’re a good fit for their school, you should ask the questions that allow you to see how well you’d fit in. Your interviewer has a wealth of personal knowledge -- why not use it? After all, what better way to convey your enthusiasm for that open spot in the class of 2017?
Before you read on for HC’s pick of post-interview questions, here are a few dos and don’ts for interviewing your interviewer:
Do show that you’ve taken something from the conversation. Something to the effect of, “You mentioned there are ways to start a club outside of the school. Have you ever done this? How easy or difficult is that process?” This will show off your listening skills and your interest in the school.
Don’t bombard the interviewer with questions. You want to be enthusiastic, not aggressive. About two to three questions should be your goal.
Do ask questions even after a bad interview. Asking good questions after a bad interview can give you the rebound boost you need, and prove to your interviewer that you’re determined and serious about the school. You should also ask post-interview questions for a school you don’t think you’re interesting in attending. You never know what special programs or student benefits could make you change your mind.
Don’t ask questions just to impress your interviewer. If you’re obsessing about the recent cuts in squash funding when your resume has lacrosse written all over it, then your interviewer is going to see right through you. Chill out. Ask the questions that interest you and show off your interests.
Do prepare a list of questions prior to your interview.
Don’t ask questions that you can find on the school website, especially if they're incredibly specific questions about a certain department or program your interviewer might not know how to answer.
Do Google your interviewer ahead of time. It’s a good way to check their age -- if they’re younger, they can give you a better idea of what student life is like and ask what types of careers have been available to their peers post-graduation -- and to see if they actually went to the school you're interviewing for.