How to Take a College Interview – Originally published January 28, 1966
By Mac Dewert
by The Milton Measure on Friday, September 30th, 2011
In a college interview, playing up to your interviewer is most important. You must consider his personality. For example, when first introduced to him, if he looks like the slightly effeminate type, give him a gentle handshake. Don’t say you play football. Give a few girlish giggles. Tell him the greatest influence in your life was reading Emily Dickinson with your mother. On the other hand, if he has an aggressive handshake, don’t tell him you play the harp. Flex the muscles in your neck. Show him a few wrestling holds. Let him know you’re no sissy. Show him your tattoo if you have one.
You must also remember what type of person each college is looking for. For technical colleges, like MIT, tell the interviewer you spent the summer working out the square root of three to 100,000 places. If you’re having an interview for a progressive school, like Swarthmore, be a non-conformist. Wear a “Nixon for President” button. If you’re wearing shoes (they won’t mind if you’re not), make sure they don’t match. Tell him you want to take a year off to look for rare lizards in New Guinea.
For a Harvard interview, make sure you’re wearing your Harvard tie. Show him your crimson socks. Blush crimson. If he’s still not impressed, burst into tears. Remember that they like tradition, and sob about Daddy and the class of ’37. If this fails, threaten him. Tell him Jack Dempsey is your third cousin, once removed. If he remains unmoved, dry your eyes and take out your checkbook. You’ve seen Perry Mason enough to know that money talks. As you’re writing out the check, ask how many zeros there are in a million. Remind him that Harvard needs more indoor tennis courts. If he continues to clean his nails and play with paper clips, there is no longer any point in persisting. Tell him you don’t want his crummy college anyway, and stamp out.
If you have no success in any of your interviews, admit that you’re not college material, admit that your 367 board score in English was pretty low, and sign up early for the Coast Guard. If you have any more questions about the interviews, please write me at Black Hills Lutheran College, Rabbit’s Foot, South Dakota.
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