An Interview on Interviews

Interviews are a chance to get to know the human side of your application. We read hundreds of essays, transcripts, and letters of recommendation throughout the year. These materials can tell us in a lot in terms of each student’s academic achievement thus far, but we know that’s not the whole picture. Sometimes the individual personality and aspirations of each applicant can be lost in the shuffle if we can’t get them on campus, or at least on the phone, to chat a little bit more about what interests them about St. John’s.

There is no right way to conduct an interview, and I thought it might be helpful to chat with probably our busiest interviewer throughout the year, Amanda Stevens, to record some of her thoughts on how to handle certain questions that she commonly asks during her conversations with students.

Here are some highlights from the interview to explore:

Why you’re interested in St. John’s College

“I usually am asking this question just to assess a student’s familiarity with the college. What I’m hoping is that a student is able to really demonstrate an understanding of the college and the academic program here…it’s definitely helpful to research the college ahead of time. You can start on the website, or in the emails we send out. Take some time to understand what attracted you to us”.

What do you do in your free time?

“Some students think that they have to have a certain number of extracurriculars or things that they do outside of class, and in reality, it’s completely fine to be devoted for one or two different projects…tell me something about yourself that I cannot get (elsewhere) in your application”.

What are you academic strengths and weaknesses? 

“It is totally okay to have certain subjects that you enjoy studying more than others…I’m curious about learning about the things you enjoy studying and where your intellectual passions lie”.

Why do you want to go to college?

“This is an opportunity to talk about specific educational and academic interests…it’s a great chance to demonstrate that you’ve considered what your future goals are…even if you’re undecided on a future career…it’s a great chance to consider what your future goals are”.

At a school like St. John’s, we do our best to get to know each individual applicant that comes through, so that we are best able to advocate for them throughout the admissions process. If you’d like to schedule a conversation with your admissions counselor, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Please take a listen to the audio clip below to here Amanda’s complete thoughts on some of these questions!

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