Tips for a Successful Admissions Interview at LA

by Mia Gage ’20

Yay! You have made the informed (hopefully) decision to visit Lawrence Academy. We’re excited to meet you. For many prospective students, the application is straight-forward and not too stressful, but the interview can generate anxiety. In this post, I hope to relieve some of your stress.

A little background, I am a senior boarding student at Lawrence Academy and am in the process of interviewing at numerous colleges.

Mia Gage ’20

I have found that these interviews are incredibly similar to the interviews held at Lawrence. At LA, interviews are not interrogations, they are conversations. All of our admissions officers have one goal: To get to know you.

They are not scanning a transcript or resume throughout your discussion. No, they simply want to get to know you and find out why you believe Lawrence Academy is a good fit for you.

Be yourself

Perhaps the most predictable tip, but also, in my eyes, the most important. Your interviewer wants to see authenticity and get to know you for who you are. I remember in my interview, I spoke passionately about theatre and softball and the effect they have had on my life, but the majority of our conversation was about the importance of kindness. So simple, but clearly impactful. My message got across because it was true to me, and I was not trying to be what I thought the admissions staff “wanted” me to be. This is key. Lay yourself bare and just have a conversation about your values and what gets you excited to get out of bed in the morning.

Do your research

It is important to do your research on Lawrence Academy before coming to campus. When I say this, I do not mean you should prep for some sort of test; I simply mean that if you know a little about Lawrence Academy prior to your visit. That way, you will be equipped with informed and specific questions for your interviewer. Your visit to Lawrence Academy is not all about you proving yourself to us; it’s also about us proving ourselves to you. Your high school search should be about finding the school that feels like home for you. We hope you find this in Lawrence Academy, but we understand not every single student that tours will feel that resonance. This is why it is important to do your homework about any school to which you apply. I strongly recommend taking a campus tour, for it will help you get a sense of the community as well as answer all specific questions you have about academics, athletics, arts, and so on.

Be confident and acknowledge your accomplishments

During your interview, do not be afraid to “boast” a little bit. If you are exceptionally proud of something you have done, or anything about you, it is okay to want to acknowledge it and point it out in your interview. Your interview is your time to say what you may not say in your application; the conversation goes beyond a transcript. In your interview, you can show a different side of yourself. For example, you may speak about community service, clubs, extracurricular activities, values, etc. It is a nice opportunity to speak to what you are passionate about in a more detailed and fervent way.

Understand that there are no right answers

Lastly, be honest and true to yourself. Do not attempt to say — nor base your answer to a question — on what you think we want to hear. It is very clear when you are, and when you are not, speaking from the heart. We value every person’s voice at Lawrence Academy, and as our mission states, “Lawrence Academy recognizes you for who you are and inspires you to take responsibility for who you want to become.” We recognize every single prospective student for the individual they are, and we want to hear your story; who you are, and who you want to become. These things are unique to each and every one of you, and impossible to make up. Do not try to impress by giving the “right” answer, for it does not exist. Just give your answer. I promise it will be appreciated, and it will go a long way.