What can I expect in an interview?

If you are (or will be at summer’s end) a senior visiting campus, or you chance upon a wandering Admission Officer during our travel in the fall, here is what you can expect should you find yourself scheduled for an interview. You can anticipate a friendly face engaging you in a congenial conversation about you, what you love, and why you love it. After 20-40 minutes of one-on-one dialogue, your family are invited to join the conversation (if they are with you)  to get any questions they have resolved. It may be more formal than a Saturday night out on the town, but is certainly not meant to be a high stress environment. Relax! In fact, most interviews are comprised of students and families asking us just as many questions about Whitman as we have about them. Are you merely the summation of your GPA, test scores, and activities? Just like you’ll want to know more than the statistics the college guides give about us, we likewise love to get a slice of that “something more” that you’ll bring to Whitman’s campus!

These interviews are highly recommended because they can be a sort of “safety net,” an additional chance for you to illustrate your unique story in splendorous array. But they are not required, so we won’t heft a ‘poor’ interview against you as the sole reason to deny you admission. I can’t remember a single applicant that the Admission Committee denied because of poor posture, strange attire, or a lack of eye contact during an admission interview. What I do recall are the many applicants who forgot to highlight their deepest passions or list their many activities in their applications. Their interviews provided greater perspective on how they conceived of themselves and what drove them. That’s what we want! Let us see you for who you really are. That’s it – it really is that simple: be yourself.


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