Intro to Interviewing (International)

The interview should capture a sense of the candidate’s talents, engagement and fit with Dickinson. The conversation should be friendly, challenging and last between 30 and 45 minutes. The interview must be conducted in English.

Arranging the Interview

When you receive a request to help with an interview, please respond promptly to let the DAVS team know your availability. When you accept an interview request, please contact the student right away even if the interview will be delayed. (If you receive no response after three attempts at emailing/calling, please email DAVS.) When you confirm an interview date, email that date to DAVS. A few important details to consider:

  • 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. 

Example of an Email Outreach for Volunteers
I am a Dickinson admissions volunteer and will be your interviewer. I look forward to meeting you. I am available for a Skype appointment this Thursday between 4 and 5 p.m. or Monday in the afternoon. Would either of these dates and times be convenient for you?

Conducting the Interview

Please feel free to take notes. Emphasize Dickinson’s strengths, what was special for you and/or your child, and share your personal experiences. Make sure to leave time for the student’s questions. 

  • Avoid asking what other colleges the student is considering or make negative comparisons to other colleges.
  • If you are asked a question you’re unable to answer, include it in your interview write up and/or refer the student to the international-admissions team (
  • Do not comment on the student’s chance for admission.

Recommended Questions

Ask questions you would want to be asked if you were interviewing. If a difficult/sensitive issue should arise, be serious and compassionate without dwelling on the issue.

  • How did you become interested in studying abroad/in the U.S.? How do you feel you will meet the challenges of studying in a different country?
  • How has your experience in high school—both inside and outside of the classroom—influenced/shaped you to be the person you are today?
  • What characteristics define you as a person?
  • Of what accomplishment(s) is the student most proud?
  • Once graduated from college, what would you like to say 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 be right for you?
  • Describe a time you took on a leadership role and/or had to motivate others?
  • Is there anything that we have not talked about that you think I need to know about you?

If the Student is a “No Show”

After waiting for 10 minutes, call the student’s cellphone and text the student. If no response, leave the venue/log off and report the situation to DAVS immediately.

After the Interview

Evaluations should be completed as soon as possible—within one week of the interview—and prior to the application deadline. Please refer to Evaluating the Interview. 

Thank you!