Undergraduate Admission Blog

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November 10, 2015

6 Things to Expect in an Admission Interview


1. An admission counselor, alumni, student, or faculty member

Depending on the institution, there are several individuals with whom you may interview. At USC, we have all of the above except alumni interviewers. Figure out what kind of interview you will have beforehand, so that you can prepare appropriate questions.

2. An interviewer who is waiting to meet you

Be sure to arrive at your interview location before the scheduled time so you aren’t sweaty and stressed out right before the interview. It’s best to give yourself extra time so you can be relaxed and start the interview in a calm demeanor. If you are interviewing on campus, Los Angeles is notorious for traffic, so give yourself extra time. Tl;dr: Be on time!

3. An interviewer who is dressed professionally (you should be too…or not. It depends on the school)

Business casual attire is perfectly fine for an interview at USC. For the men, khakis and a polo or button down shirt looks great. The ladies can opt for a nice dress or skirt/blouse combo (Steer clear from athletic or street clothes). However, your attire should match the school for which you’re applying and the situation. If you are ever unsure, don’t hesitate to ask.

4. An interviewer who may or may not ask for your resume

Some interviewers like to see your resume and others do not. If you are on the fence, it never hurts to bring one just in case. If you do not bring a resume, you should be familiar with your involvement and activities, which leads me to point #5.

5. Questions about yourself

We get it, it’s quite awkward to talk about yourself and how great you are, but that’s part of what an interview is. You should be able to articulate your interests, passions, and involvement. Don’t just list the things you do, we want to know why you do them, how you got started, and maybe some interesting stories you’ve experienced along the way.

6. Questions about why you want to attend our college

So why do you want to be a part of our freshman class? This question seems easy enough, right? Like anything else, make sure to do your research and actually know why you are interested in attending our institution. Showing us that you have prepared makes us happy admission counselors.


  1. Christie Wong says:

    Thank you so much for the tips! They are greatly appreciated.

  2. Anthony Merriweather says:

    Will definitely be reviewing these six recommendations. Thank you so much, Brian!

  3. Ryan Ulrich says:

    Thank you for the insight. I was on the fence about suit or khakis and was happy to see the answer here.

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