Guide to Interviewing

The Interview

You and the student will meet for the interview in a public space.  Interviews usually take 30-40 minutes, with a few minutes after reserved for time with parents.

The following suggested interview outline is designed to cover a number of relevant topics with logical transition from one to the next. You will find a natural flow to your conversation.

GREET THE STUDENT

  • Introduce yourself.
  • Explain your connection to Bates – year of graduation, volunteer involvement.
  • If there is a family member present, politely make it clear that the interview is with the student only.

CONVERSATION STARTERS – help the student overcome any pre-interview jitters.

  • Where is the student from?
  • How was the trip to the interview? How is their day or school year going?
  • Explain that the student should feel comfortable asking and answering questions.

TALK ABOUT THE STUDENT’S HIGH SCHOOL / CURRENT COLLEGE

  • Where are you going to school now? What’s it like?
  • What does your school do well?
  • If there were one thing you could change about your high school, what would it be?
  • (If a private school or college / university) – How did you choose that school?

TALK ABOUT THE STUDENT’S FAVORITE COURSES / SUBJECTS

  • Tell me about your favorite courses or subjects…
  • What sparked your interest in those areas?
  • Are these areas you hope to pursue in college?
  • Which teachers have you connected with in high school and why? What elements make a great teacher for you?
  • Please do not ask students about their specific grades.

TALK ABOUT THE STUDENT’S FAVORITE EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

  • What keeps you busy in addition to your classes?
  • Why is ______ your favorite activity?
  • What activities would you like to continue in college? Any new activities?
  • Tell me about your friends. Which of your friends do you most admire and why?

ASK ABOUT THE FUTURE

  • How do you hope college will be different from high school?
  • In creating your college list, what are key characteristics you are seeking in an institution?
  • Given your expectations, why is Bates on your list/of interest?
  • How do you see yourself engaging with Bates?
  • What exactly do you hope to gain from your overall Bates experience?
  • What can I tell you about Bates?
  • Please do not ask the student where else they have applied.

ASK THE CANDIDATE IF S/HE HAS ANY QUESTIONS

  • This is particularly important if the candidate has not asked any questions by this point.
  • Note the thoughtfulness of the student’s questions.

WRAP-UP

  • Is there anything you would like to talk about that I neglected to ask? This gives the student an opportunity to share something of importance that has not been covered.

CHECK WITH THE PARENT / GUARDIAN / SIBLING

  • If the student was accompanied to the interview, ask if the parent / guardian / sibling has any questions (remember, the student is interviewed alone.)

OFFER FURTHER ASSISTANCE, COMMUNICATION

  • If you wish, reiterate your name and contact information in case s/he has further questions.
  • The student may also call the Admission Office at (207) 786-6000.

The Report

We would like you to comment on the following:

  • The student’s enthusiasm for Bates
  • His / her activities and interests (academic and extracurricular)
  • Leadership potential
  • Other qualities – such as sense of humor, sense of self, seriousness of purpose, maturity, energy, personality
  • Enthusiasm for life and for things beyond self
  • How do you see the student contributing to the Bates community?

You do not need to recount the entire question-and-answer sequence. The ideal report is no more than a few paragraphs. Your impressions, opinions and evaluation are extremely valuable. Be honest and concise!