In today’s episode of “College Admissions Real Talk”, Dr. Legatt talks about putting pizzazz in your interview.

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VO: Welcome to College Admissions Real Talk with Dr. Aviva Legatt, a podcast for students seeking to get admitted to top-tier colleges. Each episode will feature an important tip for your college admission success, delivered with candor and love. If you’ve ever wanted to take a peek inside the mind of a college admissions officer, this is your chance. Have a question? Text Dr. Legatt at 610-222-5762. So, what’s your dream school? 

AL: Welcome to College Admissions Real Talk. This is Dr. Aviva Legatt, founder and Elite Admissions Expert at Ivy Insight. Today, we are going to be discussing how to answer interview questions with pizzazz. The college interview is an opportunity to make a fresh impression on the admissions committee. The alumni interviewer, who you’ll be meeting with, does not have access to your application and has no idea who you are other than your name and what high school you attend. This is why you need to come to your interview and be ready to ooze pizzazz. What do I mean by pizzazz? Pizzazz stands for personality, knowledgeability, and confidence. Let’s go through all three of these and how you can get pizzazz-y! 1. Personality. Being able to show your personality comes down to your preparation for the interview. You can’t be yourself and relax into the conversation if you don’t study up beforehand. When you study-up, it means that you’re reading about common interview questions and preparing two to three points for each response. Showing your personality means being prepared but it doesn’t mean being scripted. Do not attempt to memorize what you want to say before you get to the interview. Rather make these responses bullet points that you can riff off of in the moment as you are conversing with the interviewer. That’s how you show your personality. 2. Knowledgeability. Knowledgeability means that you know yourself, including what you wrote in the application and that you know a lot about the college that you’re interviewing for. You can remind yourself of some of your best high school stories by revisiting the application you submitted and by going over your resume. You also have to be knowledgeable, REALLY knowledgeable, about the college. This means devoting time to reviewing the university’s website, social media, and publications. This will help you to speak effectively and convincingly about why this college is the best fit for you. Don’t assume that Duke is the same university as Princeton or that Yale is the same as Columbia. You need to know the specific programs and resources that make sense for your goals, and have a convincing argument for why the college most appeals to you. Hint: prestige is the wrong answer. If you’re not sure where to go in terms of specific programs and resources, start with the admissions offices website or the university strategic plan. These documents will give you a sense of what priorities are most important to the university right now. 3. Confidence. Confidence comes with preparation. There is nothing that you need to be nervous about as you’re going to this interview. Remember, the interview is not a police interrogation. It’s a two-way conversation about you, the alumni’s experience at the university, and the university itself. The alumni is representing the college just as you are representing your candidacy. Remember, you should be evaluating the university just as much as the university is evaluating you. On a personal note, I want to share with you about my interview with Barnard College. It was so scary. I had to go in person to New York. I marched up to the admissions office. I had done well on previous interviews, but this one felt different. I just felt like the interviewer was judging me the whole time. I got really bad vibes from her, and I got vibes the school was not going to work for me at all. I didn’t like what I felt in that interview and ultimately decided to withdraw my application from Barnard College. Remember, you have a choice here to when you’re on the interview bring your pizzazz. If the college doesn’t give it right back, give them the boot.

VO: College Admissions Real Talk is hosted by Aviva Legatt, edited by Stephanie Carlin, and produced by Incontrera Consulting. I’m Caroline Stokes and this has been your daily boost of college admissions insight. Have a question? Text Dr. Legatt at 610-222- 5762. For more information on Dr. Legatt and Ivy Insight visit www.ivyinsight.com. And you can pick up Dr. Legatt’s book, “Get Real and Get In”, at major retail outlets across the world. Insight out.