Intro to Interviewing


The evaluative interview should capture a sense of the candidate’s talents, engagement and fit with Dickinson. The conversation should be friendly and challenging.

Arranging the Interview

  • Contact the student immediately to arrange a mutually convenient date and time.
  • Interviews must be conducted in a professional or public setting, which is accessible, convenient and safe. Some examples would be your office during regular business hours, a coffee shop, bookstore or the student’s school.
  • Do not conduct the interview in a home or in an establishment where alcohol is served or consumed.
  • Exchange cellphone numbers prior to the interview. Also, communicate to the student how he/she will be able to identify you.
  • Interviews and evaluations should be completed as soon as possible and within three weeks of the request and by the application deadline.
  • Interviews typically last between 45 to 60 minutes.
  • When you confirm an interview date, let DAVS know.
  • If the student does not respond within 48 hours, reach out two more times alternating between email and phone. After the third attempt, please let us know so we may reach out to the student.

Example of an Email Outreach for Volunteers

Dear (Student’s name),

 I am a Dickinson College (alumnus/parent) and a member of the Dickinson Admissions Volunteer Society (DAVS). I conduct student interviews for the Admissions Office and have been asked to schedule an interview with you. I am available this Thursday between 4 and 5 p.m. or Monday in the afternoon. I would suggest that we meet at the Starbucks in Tenafly if that is convenient.

Please respond confirming which time you prefer or suggesting other times if the ones above do not suit your schedule. I anticipate your prompt response and look forward to meeting you.

Conducting the Interview

Please feel free to take notes and share personal experiences. If you cannot answer a question, let us know and/or refer the student to their regional counselor. Here are some recommended questions:

  • Tell me about your high school. What do you like about it?
  • How has your experience in high school—both inside and outside the classroom—influenced/shaped you to be the person you are today?
  • What characteristics define you as a person?
  • How will you be remembered at your school?
  • How do you see yourself engaging the world as a Dickinson student?
  • Once graduated from college, what would you say that you got out of that experience?
  • What type of a college are you focusing on (public/private, small/large, urban/rural)?
  • Are you interested in a particular major or career field? Who/what inspired that interest?
  • What have you learned of Dickinson that suggests it would support the kind of experience you are seeking?
  • Is there anything that we have not talked about that you think I need to know about you?

Know Before You Go

  • Emphasize Dickinson’s strengths and what was special for you and/or your child’s Dickinson experience.
  • Do not ask what other colleges the student is considering.
  • Do not make negative comparisons to other colleges.
  • Do not comment on the student’s chance for admission.
  • Present information about Dickinson accurately and in a positive manner. This does not mean you should avoid information that is not entirely positive. Students appreciate honest answers to difficult questions.
  • Do not ask any question that you would not want to be asked. If a difficult/sensitive issue should arise, be serious and compassionate while not dwelling on the issue.
  • Leave time for the student’s questions.
  • Offer the email address of the student’s regional counselor and encourage the student to connect with both you and that person with questions or informational needs.

If the Student is a “No Show”

  • After waiting for 10 minutes, call the student’s cellphone and text the student.
  • After waiting another 5 minutes, repeat the call and text.
  • If no response, leave the venue and report the situation to DAVS immediately.