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Study Abroad Interview Checklist

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Do your research:
Try to gather as much information as possible about the university and program you are interested in. Keep every pertinent detail about at your fingertips. Emphasize on these areas: curriculum, syllabus, academic contributions, milestone theories, associated branches of study, common concepts, relevance with career, and myths/misconceptions about the course/program (if any). Some of the sample questions could be:

  • Why you want to pursue the program/course?
  • What makes you the perfect fit for the course?
  • In what way will this course shape your academic plans?
  • How will the course help you with your future?
  • Why do you want to study this course in this institution?

Practice makes perfect:
After you have researched, collated relevant material and studied in detail, make a list of probable questions. It will be a good idea to write complete answers for a few questions. Once you are spontaneous with your written responses, start jotting down key points that you will focus on. Since it will be an oral interview, you need to direct your preparation to meet the needs of face to face interaction.

Be yourself:
A common impulse in an unpredictable situation is to panic, but remember you are well prepared to answer all questions. Moreover, who doesn’t like to talk about their dreams and aspirations! This is your chance to open up about your plans. The interviewer would like to know all about it. Sound enthusiastic, honest, informed and provide insightful answers. Keep your tone friendly and be spontaneous in your interaction. However, do not rush to answer without understanding the questions properly.

Dress for the occasion:
“Wearing the correct dress for any occasion is a matter of good manners” (Loretta Young). Do not be casual about how you dress up for the interview. This is an important aspect that will speak of your taste and personality, hence reflect on your character. The expected dress code is business formal wear for both men and women as when going for a job interview.

Adopt appropriate body language:
As the interview is also an appraisal of your personality, do pay attention to your body language. Your body language will communicate your confidence, positive attitude and sincerity. Establish the right note with a firm handshake, or initial formalities like when you walk inside and take your seat. While talking, maintain eye contact and try to avoid hand movement. Throughout adopt an erect posture that shows your interest and concentration.

Don’t forget basic etiquette:
Use your salutations generously at the interview centre. After the interview is over, thank the official; also do not forget to thank other executives or attendants who you approached for information, guidance or details. At such an important venue and occasion, the smallest sign of questionable conduct will not go unnoticed. Be careful of your behavior and present yourself with dignity.

With a positive mindset and systematic method of preparation, you will certainly crack the interview. Good luck!

(This article is written by Vibha Kagzi, Founder and Chief Education Officer,

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