Potential Interview Questions

Interviewing students provides an opportunity to accomplish two things:

1) Tell applicants the value of LU

2) Learn more about the applicant which helps our admissions office get a better assessment of fit.

Open-ended questions such as “Tell me more about that…” rather than closed-ended questions (questions that lead to a simple yes/no response) create a space for conversation.

Strategic Messaging

To ensure consistent messaging on and off campus, three themes to reinforce include:

  • A rigorous and challenging academic experience
  • A welcoming and supportive community
  • Preparation to succeed in a rapidly changing world
Questions about academic and extracurricular life
  • Students who enjoy learning, demonstrate drive and are engaged in activities outside of the classroom become some of our most successful Lawrentians.
  • Tell me about the course you are taking – is there one course or subject that you are particularly excited about?
  • Describe a project, paper, lab, etc. that you are especially proud of when you completed it. What was that process like to complete it?
  • What do you like to do or what keeps you busy during your spare time?
  • How did your interest in LU develop?
  • What are you considering studying in college? What inspired that?
Questions about hard-to-define topics
  • Tell me about yourself
  • What would you do with a free day?
  • What would you like your college experience to be like?
  • What have you been waiting for me to ask?
Question addressing resilience (an important quality in successful Lawrentians)

The ability to solve problems alone is fine, but we also want to see how or whether they seek help in solving problems

  • Tell me about a time you had to bounce back from a failure or setback.
    Follow up questions
  • How did you feel about it?
  • What did you do?
  • How did you do it?
  • What would you re-do or change?

Questions & Topics to Avoid

  • 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?”