What to Expect During an Interview

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Interviews are a great way for a college to get to know you, off paper, and for you to meet someone with a connection to the college. Last year, more than 1,000 students chose to add their voice to the admissions process through interviews, and had the opportunity to learn more about their mutual fit with Sarah Lawrence.

Whether you’re connecting over Skype or in-person, Sarah Lawrence College considers each interview equally. Interviews are currently limited to rising and current high school seniors and transfer students. 

How do I set up an interview?

There are three ways to interview with Sarah Lawrence:

  1. On-campus with a current student
    This is a similar process to signing up for a campus visit—simply click here to register. Interview times are coordinated with the info sessions and tours, but if you’ve already been to campus, it’s not necessary to do both. On-campus interviews are open to all high school seniors and transfer students, regardless of whether you’ve started an application on Common App.

  2. Via Skype with a current student
    Once you’ve started an application on Common App, you’ll receive an e-mail invitation to schedule a Skype interview with a current student. You can also sign up through your portal! All you need for a Skype interview is a free Skype account and an Internet connection.

  3. In your hometown with an admission counselor
    During counselors’ fall travel, they may conduct interviews in your area. As long as you’re signed up on our mailing list, you should receive an e-mail to let you know when and where interviews are happening. These interviews are open to current high school seniors and transfer students.

Why are interviews optional?

A couple of reasons: the application to Sarah Lawrence mirrors our progressive educational philosophy, where students are very much in the driver’s seat. We trust you to identify which optional components of the application are the best fit for telling your story—we know that some students will do that best through an interview, others through essays, and still others through art portfolios.

Another reason interviews are optional is simple supply and demand—there are only so many interviewers available. This means that, in the unlikely event we aren’t able to set up an on-campus or in-person off-campus interview, we can almost always accommodate your interview request via Skype.

So… should I interview?

If the idea of connecting with someone to share your interests, learn about their experiences, and ask questions about a college is appealing, an interview is definitely something to consider! If you feel your story is best shared through writing, art, performance, or something else entirely, then it’s completely okay to use your time to focus on those pieces instead (though we certainly welcome you to interview and submit an optional creative and performing arts supplement).

Will an interview help me get in? Can an interview hurt me in the application process?

In a holistic admissions process, there’s no one thing that “gets you in,” and there’s largely no one thing that keeps you out. When an interviewer submits a brief write-up of your conversation, it will be considered as part of your application as a whole, not the defining feature. Signing up for an interview, like submitting any of the other optional application components, does indicate a serious interest in Sarah Lawrence though, and that is something admission counselors can notice.

How should I prepare?

You’re already on this webpage, so you’re off to a great start! Keep poking around the website, take note of what piques your interest, and jot down a few questions. Your interviewer will likely ask you something along the lines of “Why Sarah Lawrence?” so it can be worthwhile to consider that in a little more depth—plus it’s great prep if you decide to answer the supplement question that asks about fit and SLC.

You do not need to bring anything with you beyond your questions; the admission counselor will have your resume and transcripts as parts of your application.

What should I wear?

There’s no prescribed dress code—it’s certainly not a formal affair, but we’d encourage you to wear what makes you feel confident!

Will I have time to ask questions?

Absolutely! Regardless of whether your interviewer is an admission counselor or a current student, they’ll make sure to leave time for your questions. You can ask about everything from academic programs to internships, to those logistical practicalities your mom has been asking you about (is there vegan food in the dining hall? Is it really that easy to get to campus?). Your interviewer is there as a resource for you, even after the interview is over, so make sure to follow up if you have any lingering questions.