How To Prepare For a College Admissions Interview

Of all the factors in the college admissions process, few seem as subjective or elusive as the interview. Do these even happen any more? Amy and Mike invited author Richard Montauk to explain how to prepare for a college admissions interview.

What are five things you will learn in this episode?

  1. How common are college interviews, and which schools most rely on them?
  2. Who usually conducts college interviews?
  3. Do interviews have a substantial impact upon admission decisions?
  4. What advice do you have for how applicants can prepare to perform their best in their interviews?
  5. What are the biggest—or most common—mistakes applicants make regarding interviews?


Richard Montauk has been consulting to applicants to college, professional school (especially law and business school), and other graduate programs since 1991. Richard received a BA in literature from Brown University, an MA in government from Harvard, an MS in finance, and a JD from Stanford Law School. Pursuant to a graduate fellowship, he also studied at the London School of Economics and the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (University of London).

While an undergraduate at Brown University, Richard was also the head coach of the women’s varsity track & field team. After graduating from Stanford Law School, he worked as a corporate lawyer for Latham & Watkins in Los Angeles, then as a corporate strategy consultant for Bain & Co. in London, before devoting himself full-time to admissions consulting. Since 1991, he has consulted to candidates for the world’s top universities, for both undergraduate and graduate programs.

A member of the National Association of Fellowship Advisors, he has also periodically served as a judge for Venture for America’s fellowship.
Richard is the author of a series of best-selling guides, all published by Prentice Hall: How to Get Into the Top Colleges (with Krista Klein), How to Get Into the Top MBA Programs, and How to Get Into the Top Law Schools. More recently, he’s authored College Interviews: The Definitive Guide, Getting into Brown, Getting into Dartmouth and has completed the first in a series of books designed to help college students pay for college, Waiting Tables for Very Good Money.

His writing has appeared in multiple career and education journals, including the Wall Street Journal’s Career Journal, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Which MBA?, The Postgrad Guide, Executive Education Casebook, and MBA Career Guide. His articles for university fellowship advisors are to be found in Roads Less Travelled (and Other Perspectives on Nationally Competitive Scholarships) and All In: Expanding Access through Nationally Competitive Awards. Richard has also served as Contributing Editor for two annual international publications, The Global MBA Guide and LLM Guide, both published by Hobsons.

Find Richard and his many works at


College Interviews: Practice Questions & Strategies




Tests and the Rest is THE college admissions industry podcast. Explore all of our episodes on the show page.


Mike Bergin is the president of Chariot Learning and founder of TestBright. Amy Seeley is the president of Seeley Test Pros. If you’re interested in working with Mike and/or Amy for test preparation, training, or consulting, feel free to get in touch through our contact page. We’d love to hear from you!

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