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How to Answer the 10 Most Common Interview Questions
By: Gen and Kelly Tanabe

What is your favorite book?

Don't give a book report when you answer this question. What the interviewer really wants to learn is who you are. What you say about the importance of reading the book is indicative of your interests, beliefs, goals, likes and dislikes.

When thinking about which book to choose, ask yourself if your selection made you think differently or compelled you to take a certain action. Ask yourself what specifically made you relate to a particular character. Also don't feel that you have to select a classic. It's fine to say that your favorite book is Charlotte's Web or Green Eggs and Ham. What's important is not your book choice but why it is meaningful to you.

Why did you choose this college?

This is an excellent opportunity to reveal something about yourself through your answer. You don't want to be a tour guide, describing the well-known assets of the college. It is better to explain why the college's features are important to you. Instead of saying that you chose the school because of its research facilities, explain how you plan to make use of the facilities. The more details and specifics you can give, the better. If it is applicable and appropriate, walk the interviewers through the thought process you went through when selecting the college. This will help them understand what is important to you and it will also show them how seriously you considered your choice of a college and the education you hope to attain there.

What is your favorite subject in school and why?

It would be easy just to name a favorite subject and leave it at that. But the interviewer is trying to understand why you like what you like. When answering a question like this, give reasons or examples for your selection. Don't state the obvious. If you are asked why English is your favorite subject, give more than "Because I like it" or "Because I'm good at it."

You can also use a question like this as an opportunity to talk about an achievement or award. If you say that your favorite subject is English, you can speak about a writing competition that you won or the reading marathon that you started. This is a good springboard question that you can expand to bring your impressive achievements into the conversation.

What's a meaningful academic class, project or other experience?

A question like this is a great opportunity to showcase an impressive project or achievement. Be sure to give a lot of detail and explain the significance of the experience. Use your answer to show a little more about you by stating why the project or class was meaningful to you and give examples of incidents that were memorable. If you can, select a subject or project that relates to the scholarship since it will help demonstrate why you deserve to win the award.

About the Author

Gen and Kelly Tanabe
Founders of SuperCollege and authors of 13 books on college planning.

Get Into Any College

By: Gen & Kelly Tanabe
The only how-to book which shows all students how to get into the school of their dreams. Based on the experiences of dozens of successful students and authored by two graduates of Harvard, this book shows you how to ace the application, essay, interview, and standardized tests.

Learn More

How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay

By: Gen & Kelly Tanabe
More than anything else the essay and interview determine whether you will win a scholarship. Ace both with this new book. Includes 30 winning essays, 12 essays that bombed, and 20 sample interview questions and answers.

Learn More