Alumni Interview Tips, Questions, and Thank You Follow-Up

How can you get your foot into the door of a top college that you are interested in?

The answer is simpler than you may think…

Many schools these days are now offering interviews with their alumni.

These alumni interviews allow for something magical…

Getting to intimately know an institution from someone with first-hand experience.

However, the alumni interview is not always entirely well understood.

For starters, questions many families have include:

Does the interview impact admissions?

What questions should a student ask?

How does one properly follow-up after an alumni interview?

All of these questions and more are absolutely legitimate.

Unfortunately, there are very few resources or guides that help students truly master the alumni interview.

Until now.

Let’s begin with the tenets of the interview.


All Alumni Interviews Have Three Questions I Nearly Guarantee Will Be Asked

photo by Shimer College via Wikimedia Commons

Yes, you heard that right!

All alumni interviews come down to three very simple questions.

First, Why Us?

An alumni wants to know what has made you interested in the school they are representing.

Secondly, Why You?

Remember, schools are interviewing & screening sometimes tens of thousands of applicants a year.

What makes you a special candidate for admission into their program?

And Third, Do You Have Questions For Us?

Every alumni interview will come with these questions in one form or another.

It is true that they may not literally say to you “Why You?”

But, they will want to know why you are a good fit for the school they are representing.

Having answers prepared for these three major questions can tremendously boost your chances at acing the alumni interview.


Questions to Ask in an Alumni Interview

Every alumni interview will hold space for questions that can be asked between student and alum.

Keep in mind that these types of interviews tend to be quite informal, very much like coffee dates between two people getting to know each other.

Generally, you want to ask questions about their experience at the school as well as about the school itself.

Some questions you can ask in an alumni interview:

  • What was your experience like at the school?
  • Did you find the school well-integrated into a greater community beyond the school?
  • Was there anything you did not like about your school? (it is okay to ask this question specifically at an alumni interview).
  • What was student life like?
  • How was the bond between you and the faculty at the schools?

Obviously, there are an infinite number of questions you can ask in an alumni interview.


On the next page, we discuss how to follow-up after an alumni interview…

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