notebook interview


For the most part, the regular decision deadlines have passed. Now, it’s time to think about the final aspect of your application: the alumni or current student interview.

 A lot of the very selective and ‘elite’ schools use alumni interviews as part of their application review process but alumni interviews are not only limited to the Ivy League and schools like Stanford, MIT, UChicago etc. There’s somewhat of a myth floating around that alumni interviews aren’t worth much and don’t help your application. That is not true. A former Harvard interviewer helped me prep for my interviews and he said that interviews are actually an important part of the application process. Yes, it is a way to keep alumni connected to their alma mater but interviews help determine fit and personality and can do a lot in terms of admit or deny. An excellent interview can very well be the thing that puts your application in the admit pile and a horrible interview can have a detrimental effect on your application. Well, you might be thinking ‘If the interview can hurt my application, why would I want one?’ The interview will only hurt your application if you don’t prep for it, and that doesn’t mean hiring an overpriced coach but doing your research and coming prepared. So without further ado, here’s how to have a stellar college interview:


Most schools do alumni interviews by invitation only so in that case, if you’re offered an interview, you’re pretty much obliged to take it. However, if you’re applying to a school like UChicago that does optional interviews, take it. When the interview is optional, having vs. not having one is a good way to measure interest in the school. If you really want to get in, you’ll do everything possible to show the admissions office why the should accept you. The interview is one way to do that. Again, interviews asses fit and personality and it adds another dimension to your application; it shows that you’re human, more so than your essays and a ton more than your transcript and test scores.


This means actually spending time going over possible questions and coming up with ideas. Going to an interview unprepared is the worst thing you can possibly do unless you are 1000% sure you can wing it successfully. 

  • Take the time at least a week before the interview and gather a list of possible questions. Go on google and look up possible college interview questions. Set up a google doc and paste as many as you can until you start seeing duplicates. It will look scary at first because there can be upwards of 30 questions but fear not, it’s much easier than it seems.
  • Once you’ve compiled a list of possible questions, start preparing answers for them. This doesn’t mean having a detailed response for each one and memorizing it. That looks super fake and no one will take you seriously. Instead, look over the questions and see which ones kind of overlap and break them up into groups. After you’ve done that, find an anecdote or story from your life that can help answer those questions. For example, if you have community service or volunteering questions, tie it in to that story you have about the organization you volunteer at. People remember stories, not vague statements and you’ll be helping your interviewer out by giving them a funny or interesting story to write about in their evaluation. Who’s your interviewer more likely to remember and write a favorable review, that one kid who listed all their accomplishments and sounded fake or you who told them a funny story about your first debate tournament and how you got over your fear of public speaking. You’ll sound down to earth, relatable, and friendly which is what you want to go for.
    • An important question is the ‘Why School X’ question. This is an important one and you need to be prepared. Have some concrete reasons why and show your interest. Be dedicated and passionate and it will show.
    • Anecdotes will also help you prepare for unusual questions that you might not expect such as the one I got for UChicago: “If you were a desert, what desert would you be?”. Use the anecdote to shape your answer to the question.
  • Have a list of questions to ask your interviewer about the school. These should be more than just basic, found on the school’s website, I didn’t do my research questions. Ask questions you can’t find online and that only someone who went to the school could tell you.
  • After you’ve got your anecdotes and stories done, have your parents, siblings, friends, or teachers ask you mock interview questions and see how you do. Remember, the goal is not to have everything memorized but to have a bank of stories you can draw on to inspire your responses. 


A small but trivial part of the interview process is how you communicate with your interviewer before and after the interview.

  • Before: Respond politely to the initial interview offer but show your enthusiasm for the school. You might even give a little background about yourself to the interviewer so they’ll know a little bit about you before the actual thing. Set a date, time, and place, and stick with it. Don’t reschedule unless it’s an emergency. It looks like your not serious and unprepared if you switch the date two days before the interview. If you need clarifications about anything, don’t be afraid to ask.
  • After: Hopefully you had a great interview but even if you didn’t, send the interviewer a thank you card or email that thanks them for spending time with you and telling you more about the school. It would be good if you could indicate a specific thing you talked about with the interviewer because it will remind them as well and give them something to write about on the evaluation. Remember, any interview is a good interview as long as you did your part correctly. Sometimes the interviewer doesn’t click with the interviewee and that’s fine. As long as you were polite and talked about yourself, it shouldn’t negatively affect you. EDIT: Here’s a post about writing the thank you email.


Mentality is a big one because it dictates your behavior during the interview. You don’t want to go in scared or hesitant because the interviewer can sense it and it might not be favorable. It’s ok to be a bit nervous but not overly so, or at least if you are, don’t show it. Think about it this way, if the interviewer had to pick only one of the people he or she interviewed to get in to the school, they would pick you. Go in with that mentality and you’ll own the interview. You have to be certain of the above statement when leaving the interview. 


Some points about the interview itself. The goal of the interview is an informal way for you to learn more about the school and for the school to learn more about you.

  • Dress appropriately. This means business casual. No tennis shoes, any jeans that aren’t black, no over the top make up, no too short skirts/dresses, no super tall heels etc. But at the same time, don’t be overly formal. No tuxedos, gowns, or other extravagant clothing. A skirt with a nice shirt and flats/heels would work for girls and dress pants with a button up shirt would work for guys.
  • Be punctual: A good rule of thumb is to plan to arrive 15 minutes before the interview starts. This will give you a buffer so if you get lost, there’s traffic or an accident, or something else happens, you’ll still have sufficient time to get there and not be late. I would also suggest to scout out the interview location before the interview. See where it is and how long it will take you to get there so you aren’t scrambling on the day of. If you really are late, send your interviewer an email or text to let them know.
  • Bring a resume: Some interviewers are prohibited by the college from looking at resumes but bring one anyway. It will help remind you of your talking points and if the interviewer does look at resumes, it will make it easier for them to ask questions and it will help them write the review after the interview.
  • Make eye contact and don’t fidget too much: Get rid of your nerves and jitters and be calm and prepared.
  • If you don’t know how to answer a question, don’t panic: Take a few seconds and use an anecdote. Once you start telling the story, it will give you time to think and answer the question properly. It’s ok if you miss a question or two because the interviewer will be expecting it and you’re human after all. Just don’t miss all of them.
  • If you’re asked an opinion question, try not to be offensive or overly opinionated: You don’t know your interviewer’s views on certain situations and you don’t want to accidentally offend them. Be polite and express your opinions without acting superior or trying to impose your opinions on them. Don’t make up stuff if you have no idea what they’re talking about. It could backfire on you.
  • Don’t live inside your head. Don’t spend too much time thinking and stare off into space. Articulate your thoughts in a clear and concise manner.
  • Don’t try to be someone you’re not.
  • Don’t zone off, no matter how boring your interviewer is.
  • It’s not recommended to bring a notebook to the interview to take notes. Remember, it’s informal.
  • Don’t worry about the length of the interview.
  • Turn off your cell phone.
  • If the interviewer offers to buy you a drink or snack, don’t say no but don’t go extravagant. Get something small and something that won’t make a mess.
  • Don’t put on too much perfume or cologne.

With that being said, don’t worry too much. You’ll do great! Go and ace that college interview! My ask is open if you have any questions.

ladyindra  asked:

Love your blog! As for a dare, since this is a frequent thing my companions seem to do in my sanctuary; dare to "bother" Sole in the bathroom 😂

Thanks for the ask! I’m not sure if that’s what you meant by bother; but here you go! ❤ (if it’s not what you meant, please please please try to be more specific!)

Companions are dared to bother Sole when they are using the bathroom

Cait: She giggle in an evil way and starts picking the bathroom lock, and laughs more when Sole starts panicking and yelling at her to stop.

Codsworth: He goes outside the door and starts cracking dad jokes: “A ham sandwich walks into a bar and orders a beer. Bartender says, ‘Sorry we don’t serve food here.’”

Curie: She starts explaining to Sole the whole urinary system and digestive system with all the unwanted details

Danse: He knocked on the door, and when Sole said it’s occupied, he kept knocking without a word.

Deacon: “Hey Boss! Don’t forget to push!”

Dogmeat: He starts scratching on the door and barking.

Hancock: He leans in the bathroom window and watches them “Oh don’t worry about me… just watching.”

Macready: He sits outside the door and starts making up a toilet song with “the wanderer” melody.

Nick: “Hey kid, want help? No? Well, I’ll be right outside if you do!”

Piper: “Hey Sole! How about an interview?!” She takes out a pen and a notebook, ready to actually interview Sole.

Preston: He goes outside the door and says: “Once you are done, I got word of a settlement…”

Strong: He knocks the door down and tells Sole to hurry up.

X6-88: He goes close to the door and simple says: “Don’t forget to wipe properly Ma’am/Sir”

Maxson: He bangs on the door and demands for Sole to come out. He was pretending, but it made Sole panic.

Gage: “Not to alarm you, boss; but a couple of Deathclaws are closing in on Sanctuary right now…”

Ada: “I’m sorry; But you forgot the toilet paper” She sneaked paper through the window.


Pages from my photography journal. All the pictures were taken and edited on my Samsung S4. I just thought I should start logging them somewhere. I actually took this notebook to my interviews last year in order to show my interests in photography and they really liked that. Just goes back to my point on how interviewers just want to see you and your creativity and so little things like this are actually really helpful to have as part of your portfolio!

“Thirty-five years ago I was a staff writer for the New Yorker, and I was working on a biography of Oliver Sacks. I had about fifteen notebooks full of interviews. We were meeting for dinner two or three nights per week. But at some point he asked if I could leave out the fact that he was gay. And I couldn’t do it. His sexuality tied him up in knots. And I thought those knots helped explain why he became such an amazing neurologist. So I agreed to stop writing, but we remained good friends. Shortly before he died last year, he called me and asked me to finish the book. So I’m trying to figure out where to begin. Thirty years ago I was going 100 mph in an aircraft carrier, and I was asked to stop on a dime. Now I’ve got to figure out how to start it back up.”

The drafting pencil lines took me maybe 20 minutes to do, but that single pen eye took me nearly twice as long as the whole initial draft did. 

For the Record (#45)

I hope everyone’s having a great weekend! In today’s For the Record, I’m pleased to introduce Alin Iwana ( wiltedwroses ) who usually goes by White Rose, as she loves white roses so much and whenever she went to the florist she would buy a bouquet. She is 18 years old and studying in a University in Malaysia. She is a big fan of the Twilight Saga Series and is also a nature lover, as she lives near to beautiful gardens and parks. She kindly took the time to talk about her journaling process:

1. How long have you been journaling?

I have been journaling for 5 years. In primary years I used to have 4 books full of quotes and poems as I love to write them when I’m emotional. I still keep them as I love them so much. When I was 14 I started to buy and keep cute and vintage notebooks, and I start writing a lot.

Keep reading

Eight riffs on the image:

1. The image is always a mirror. Sometimes we see ourselves in it, and sometimes we don’t.

2. Images are the wheels of the poem.

3. The image, like the water drop, contains its own world, and flashes its own colors.

4. The image is always spiritual, as it is beyond us, and analogous and seditious.

5. The image is what connects us to What’s-Out-There.

6. If the “line” is what separates us from the beasts, then the “image” is what keeps us apart.

7. The image is how we say it when we’re too embarrassed to say it.

8. An image went out for a walk and met itself when it got there.

Charles Wright, from “Halflife: A Commonplace Notebook,” Halflife: Improvisations and Interviews, 1977-87 (University of Michigan Press, 1988)

Wednesday 24th December - 3:33 PM : 

So after procrastinating for a couple of days, I am back on track. This is me preparing for my 3rd University Interview. This is my most complex one so far, but it is very interesting to prepare for as I get to explore the subject that I am so interested in! 

As for the change in scenery, Im sat in my dads study at his desk. There is something about sitting in a big leather chair at a very big desk that motivates me so much to work. 

I think that work spaces are so important. Its imperative to try and keep them un-cluttered, as then it is easier to concentrate. I can’t say much though as when I’m home for the holidays I’m normally working on the floor or on my bed, so this is a nice change for me. 

Got to get back to it as I till have to write a 500 word philosophy on teaching, and prepare my presentation of a useful resource that could be used in a primary school classroom. 

Wish me luck! 

This Day in 1D History - April 11


  • Harry has his next round of TXF auditions and gets approved to sing for the judges in July!



  • the boys doodle on Vervegirl notebooks (video posted)
  • Sunrise interview, feat. Niall trying Vegemite 
  • “why don’t you come down and give us a cuddle?” (aka the Today Show interview)
  • Liam sneakily sets up a date with Zayn while chatting with Telegraph
  • hot yoga instructor Louis breaks out the moves with awkward young divorcee Liam on Nova FM interview (several clips)


  • Harry shows off his counting skills


  • OUCH
  • Louis stops for fans
  • Louis is TOO CUTE at Club Liv in Manc