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.

For the 2020–21 admission cycle, admission counselors and senior ambassadors will conduct interviews online. Interviews are currently limited to current high school seniors and transfer students.

How do I set up an interview?

You can set up an online interview here! Interviews are offered seven days a week at times meant to accommodate as many time zones as possible. If you don’t see a time that works for you, you’re welcome to reach out to the admission office to schedule a time. Though it’s not necessary to complete your interview before you submit your application, we do encourage students to interview by the date listed for their chosen application round.

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.