As an alumni volunteer, you personal touch has the potential to make a positive impact on student's impression of Lawrence.The resources provided on this page are to help you conduct your interviews confidently and effectively.
We will treat our prospective students - and those who influence them - in a way that makes them feel, regardless of the outcome, that nobody treated them better than Lawrence University.
- Office of Admissions Mission
The resources on this page are an online version of the interview guide. Click here to download the PDF.
Why Do Interviews Matter?
Recruiting students who are well-matched for Lawrence
This conversation allows applicants to show Lawrence the kind of person they are beyond the paper part of their application and serves as a powerful way for students to connect personally – through you – to Lawrence. It's about finding the right fit.
2. Remind the candidate about the goal of this interview-to learn more about the candidate and explore how their talents and aspirations fit with LU.
3. Ask your first question.
4. Let the conversation flow.
5. Listen attentively and ask appropriate follow-up questions.
6. Provide time for the candidate to ask questions.
7. Conclude on a positive note.
Alumni Frequently Asked Questions
Interviews typically cover academics, extracurricular activities and personal qualities—the stuff that goes beyond the facts we get from a student’s application, test scores, transcripts and lists of activities. The interview should provide insight into the student’s intellectual curiosity and passion, motivation, commitment, leadership, character, initiative, integrity and maturity.
- Do not ask whether Lawrence is the candidate’s first choice or where else the candidate is applying. (If an applicant volunteers this information, that is fine, but it is not necessary to include it in the report. Consider asking the applicant, “What is important to you in a college?” instead.)
- Do not make disparaging comments about any secondary or post-secondary institutions.
- Do not create any impression or expectation, positive or negative, about the applicant’s probability of admission.
- Avoid the personal (i.e., human resources no-no) questions such as, “Do you have a significant other?”
- Convey your enthusiasm and professionalism.
- Use appropriate language and ask pertinent questions.
- Ask open-ended questions to promote conversation.
- Maintain respectful eye contact (without staring).
- Remember the power of silence in an interview after you ask a question. It’s a great space to allow candidates ample time to think, respond and expand.
- Recognize the importance that your affirmative non-verbal and verbal cues have in continuing to make the candidate comfortable.
- Make sure you are conveying accurate information about Lawrence. Keep yourself as informed and updated as possible.
- Take notes that will help inform your interview report.
The Admissions Committee reviews applications with the goal of admitting people who will take full advantage of the Lawrence experience and graduate and go on to be successful Lawrentians.
Our most successful students are:
- Intellectually engaged
- Aware of the nature of a liberal arts college
Lawrence receives many more qualified applicants than can be admitted, so Lawrence must turn down many candidates who would be excellent students. Admissions counselors spend a great deal of time reading every component of each candidate’s application.
- Excitement about learning
- Serious interest in learning—not just in receiving good grades
- Independence of thought
- Willingness to take intellectual risks, to stretch in terms of course choices.
- Intellectual curiosity: A capacity for intellectual reflection and an interest in ideas.
- Is the student taking rigorous courses just to make a transcript look good to colleges, or for the love of learning? Listen to how the student talks about the academic experience and reponses to questions such as “How did you choose to take AP calculus this year?” and “What are you most looking forward to in college?” Students who answer that last one with “getting away from my parents” pale in comparison to those who talk about how excited they are to dive into the college’s curriculum because there are so many interesting courses to take.
- Engagement with the world and with others—a demonstrated commitment to the common good
- Creativity—both academic and extracurricular: How does the student exhibit originality of thought and/or activities?
- Unique interests and talents to share with others.
- Diversity—in thought, perspective, geography, ethnicity and/or socioeconomic class.
- Demonstrated or potential leadership
We can not make any assurances of admissions. You can say something encouraging like, “I really think you would love Lawrence, and I hope you receive good news from the admissions office.”
Interviews are not required, but they are encouraged especially for students who have not had a chance to visit campus.
Associate Director of Admissions
Alumni Admissions Engagement Office Coordinator
If you haven't formally signed up to be an Alumni Ambassador, please do so HERE. This is necessary so we can give you access to the technology we use to connect you with prospective students.