5 College Interviews Gone Horribly Wrong

December 07, 2015

Take these stories as warnings of what not to do in a college interview. From shirtless interviews to getting caught in a lie, here are 5 anecdotes to kick off our #MyAdmitStory series.

Sell Me On The School

“I asked the student ‘What interests you about this university?’ His response was, ‘Well, my guidance counselor told me to add some more schools to my list and he suggested this one. I don’t really know much about it, but what you have told me sounds really interesting.’ His honesty is commendable yet his lack of preparation for the interview is a serious concern.”

- Jill G., college coach and alumni interviewer

Shirtless Eye Contact

“We had an international applicant submit their Kira video responses with no shirt on. He didn’t say a word the whole time. He just stared at the camera until his recording time was complete. Our team will never forget that.”

- Mary, admissions officer

The Distracted Squirrel Detractor

“I was walking out of in person interview with the applicant. He’d been great. We were talking normally about the weather or something but in middle of our conversation, he was suddenly distracted by these squirrels in the quad. Really distracted. At one point he stopped mid-sentence and started yelling at the squirrels. Angry, red-faced yelling.”

- John, alumni interviewer

Double Trouble

“I had a phone interview with an international candidate a few years ago. I called them and we had a great interview. Immediately after, my colleague told me the exact candidate I was (supposed to be) talking to had called into the admissions office while I was on the phone, and had an interview with another staff member. We had two sets of identical notes for the same applicant, and didn’t know which was real.”

- Laura, alumni interviewer

The Undead Father

“We admitted a student who wrote his essay on the death of his father. It moved our entire admissions team to tears. Later on in the semester I was speaking with the student and he began talking about how he went skiing with his father over the weekend.”

- Mike, student affairs

Some names have been changed at the request of the submitter.

Kira Academic is a video admissions platform that allows admissions teams to assess students’ written and communication skills. The “worst interview” anecdotes they contributed to this list were compiled from their clients, including Yale, Rotman, University of Cambridge, Kellogg School of Management, University of Toronto Engineering, Western Engineering, Bentley University, Foster School of Business, and more. If you’re interested in applying to any of these schools, make sure to search AdmitSee’s database of accepted application files, including essays, stats, and advice. You’ll see where you stand and how you can get into your dream school.



Browse Successful Application Files

jpm13
Rochester ‘20


Accepted to Rochester, Rutgers, Fordham, College of NJ, Drexel

Hey! I'm a freshman at University of Rochester Class of 2020 interested in double majoring in Biology and Spanish, eventually applying to med school. I'm passionate about studying science, doing research and learning new languages.
StanfordBaeAre…
Stanford ‘20


Accepted to Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCSD, UCLA, UC Davis

I am a Frosh at Stanford studying studying engineering (computer science or other types) with a (possible) minor in the humanities. Go Trees!!!
tifstar1997
Cornell ‘19


Accepted to Cornell, CMU, Northwestern, JHU, UCSD, UCSB, UC Irvine

Cornell Engineering '19
ApplyingAsAnIn…
GA Tech ‘19


Accepted to , Illinois Tech, RIT, Clarkson, Stevens, GA Tech, Case, UMich, Illinois, Colorado, Rochester

Georgia Tech Class of 2019. Studying Computer Science. Working for Google in Summer 2016

New Posts

Dartmouth College 2018-2019 Supplemental Essay Prompts
Dartmouth College 2018-2019 Supplemental Essay Prompts
September 17, 2018

Drafted your personal statement and ready to get started on your supplemental essays? Here are the supplemental essay prompts for Dartmouth College.Dartmouth College requires two additional pieces of writing on top of the Common...

What You Need to Know about Athletic Scholarships
What You Need to Know about Athletic Scholarships
September 14, 2018

For many families, the only way to afford a college education is for their student to receive some financial aid. An athletic scholarship is one way that can help lower the price. Here’s what...

Still Figuring Out What School to Apply To?
Still Figuring Out What School to Apply To?
September 12, 2018

The school year is already in full swing. What if you’re a senior who hasn’t yet decided on a final college list? Don’t panic. Let’s get started. If you’re a...

Freshman Year: My First Weeks at Cornell University
Freshman Year: My First Weeks at Cornell University
September 03, 2018

As many of your are settling into your first weeks at college, we thought we’d ask our College Admits how their first weeks at college were. Here’s a reflection from JerBear, a Cornell...

Load More Posts