Guide to Interviewing
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.
- 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.
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!