Editor’s Note: Today we asked one of the Admissions counselor, Mark Butt, to discuss the on-campus interview at Johns Hopkins University. Mark, along with another counselor, Amy Brokl, run our Admissions Representatives program, also known as our student interviewers. Here is some insight on what to expect if you come to the Homewood campus and Mason Hall to have a prospective student interview.
The interview is a way for prospective applicants to really show their personality to the admissions committee. Here at Johns Hopkins, we have on-campus interviews, which are an elective part of our admissions process. Students may schedule on-campus interviews from February of their junior year until February of their senior year. A limited number of appointments is available each weekday at 11:00 a.m., noon, 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. and may be scheduled up to three days in advance, though two weeks advance notice is recommended.
The purpose of an admissions interview at Johns Hopkins is for us to get to know you a little bit, for you to let us know of any unique situations that may have occurred in your high school experience, and also for you to provide us with information that will not be captured within the papers of the application. In that sense, our interviews are much more informational (for prospective students) than evaluative (for the admissions committee). However, the admissions committee does receive a write-up about the interviewing student if he or she chooses to apply.
Once the interview has been confirmed by the admissions office, the student and family arrives on campus to Mason Hall, where they are kindly greeted by our staff and the oversized Johns Hopkins signature, which is a cast-iron replica of his original signature. Students then fill out an on-campus interview sheet. This sheet lets us know the student has arrived and then it waits at the reception desk for an Admissions Representative to pick -up. It asks you some general information which allows your interview write-up to be matched with your application. You also have the opportunity to pick up materials on our wall—all of which can be helpful in determining if Hopkins is just right for you!
Admissions Representatives (ARs) are a group of current Johns Hopkins juniors and seniors. These students must apply and be selected to join our wonderful on-campus interview team. The students also have the opportunity to obtain leadership roles in the Admissions Representative group, which is a great opportunity for students here on campus. Our Admissions Representatives are completely volunteer and they do it because they love Hopkins and they want a say in the process—and this is their chance. It’s a wonderful opportunity so if you are admitted to Hopkins and want to conduct interviews, you can apply at the end of your sophomore year!
At the time of your interview, the AR will come down and introduce him/herself to the student and family. They will then take you upstairs to one of our available interview rooms. On the way up the stairs, be sure to take a look at the pictures along the wall as they give a great sense of history of Hopkins—I adore these pictures. The interviews take anywhere from 20-40 minutes. Afterwards, if you choose to apply, the AR’s written interview evaluation will be added to your application file and will be read by the admissions committee.
Here are some sample questions we could ask in your interview:
- Tell me about your high school.
- What’s your favorite class?
- How do you spend your free time?
- What are you looking for in your college experience?
-Do you have any book recommendations?
I think interviews are helpful for students to really get to know Hopkins and find out if this place is the place for them. It’s often very challenging to find an opportunity to sit down and talk with a current student and this opportunity provides students with that.
Students, families, and guidance counselors often ask me if I have any tips. If I could offer any tips to students who are anticipating a college interview, it would be the following:
- Do a little research about the school and find out what makes it unique.
- Bring a list of questions with you to ask the student interviewer. Get what you came for—make sure you know what you are looking for and ask questions to get the information you need to make the search process effective.
- No need for a shirt and tie; our interviews are casual—just don’t wear another college T-shirt!
- Shake hands and say thank you at the end.
Johns Hopkins University has so much to offer and can provide endless opportunities and the students here are the best resource we have, so come prepared to get your questions answered. If you ask the right questions you’ll be able to find out what is here at Hopkins that is just for you—and may make the school the perfect fit for you. I hope this has been helpful and that it provides a little bit of insight into our on-campus interview operation. We look forward to seeing you on campus soon!