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    First Impressions Count

    Seven tips for surviving college interviews.

    Colleges may require you to speak with an admissions counselor or an alumnus. Sound scary? Don't worry. Just follow these tips for a smooth interview.

    1. Be ready.

    Your interviewer will probably call to schedule a time to meet. Don't sweat it. Just be prepared to suggest a time that's convenient for you. Your interviewer will be impressed by how organized you are!

    2. Look good.

    If you're meeting your interviewer face to face, your attire will be important. Unless your interviewer tells you otherwise, wear business attire. And don't be afraid to ask your interviewer what's appropriate to wear.

    3. Be on time.

    Interviewers want to see that you value their time. And by being prompt, you're also showing that you're excited about the opportunity to attend their college.

    4. Be yourself.

    Your interviewer wants to know about you—what makes you unique and what qualities you can bring to the school. Don't say what you think they want to hear. Just relax and be yourself.

    5. Carry on a conversation.

    A conversation is a two-way street between you and your interviewer. Answer the questions, but also ask some questions of your own.

    6. Be prepared.

    This is absolutely the most important aspect of a successful interview. So the more you know about your college of choice, the better off you'll be. Prepare to answer these possible questions: What sets you apart from other applicants? What types of activities are you interested in? What are your goals, and how will this school help you accomplish them?

    7. Ask questions.

    Your interviewer can be a great source of information. Ask what he or she loved and hated about college, and what the interviewer would change and why. Your interviewer will be impressed by your well-thought-out questions.