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Interviews- Who Knew?

Updated: Aug 13, 2023


man shaking another man's hand

Our job at CPC is to understand every tool available to help students show colleges that they have the skills to be successful. Unfortunately, for many students, some of the details are hidden in the small print of websites. We find that interviews can be one of the casualties of not paying attention to details.


Did you know there are several types of interviews? See below-

  • Invitation Only - Some selective schools will offer interviews by invitation only. For these schools, such as Yale, MIT, Princeton, Dartmouth, Duke, Georgetown, Penn, and Emory, we recommend submitting regular decision applications a month before the deadline to ensure interview slots don't fill. For Georgetown University, complete their initial Georgetown Application form, it only takes 10-15 minutes and students can complete this form before Labor Day to initiate the alumni interview.

  • Program of Study - Schools might only require interviews for certain programs of study.

    • DePaul University - Theater and Music Majors

    • Drexel University - Custom Designed Majors

    • Boston University - Accelerated Medical Program

    • Butler University - Jordan College of Art and Design

  • Video Introductions - Columbia University and Brown University offer video introductions vs. the traditional interview. Students need to monitor their application portal to make sure they submit their videos before the deadline.

  • Test-Optional Applications - If a student is applying test-optional and interviews are offered, we highly recommend students schedule an interview. Schools such as Lake Forest College and Fairfield University highly recommend test-optional candidate interviews.

  • Optional but Recommended - Many schools offer optional interviews but look favorably on a student taking the initiative to self-schedule a meeting. Don't wait for the school to contact you. Your job is to show demonstrated interest by seeking out the scheduling calendar on the school website and making the appointment.

  • Schedule Early - Some schools will run out of alumni resources to host interviews so we recommend students know if a school requires an application submitted first. If that is the case, then apply early to grab an interview spot. Our CPC recommended deadlines for interview access for Regular Decision applications include

    • Tufts University - 11/4 deadline to request ED interview; 1/9 deadline to request RD interview

    • Duke University - interviews are on a first-come-first-serve basis so we suggest getting the regular decision application in early.

    • The University of Pennsylvania - RD interviews are available December through February on a first-come; first-serve basis, so apply earlier than the RD deadline

    • Pitzer College - December 9th deadline to register for RD applicants

    • Non-Evaluative - Even if a school doesn't include interview content as part of your application review, scheduling an interview can go a long way toward understanding if the school is a good fit. The University of Richmond is an example of a school that offers optional, non-evaluative interviews.

List of Schools - The lists below provide information on the relative level of importance of interviews as reported in a school's common data set. Spoiler alert, except for The College of William and Mary, don't expect that interviews are available for state schools.


Once an interview is landed, then the next step is to prepare. CPC can help your student prepare. Contact us for more information.

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