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

griffindaly
Tulane ‘20


Accepted to Tulane, UC Berkeley, Cincinnati, UPenn

Hi y'all! I'm an incoming freshmen at Tulane University in New Orleans, where I'll be studying Architecture, with a coordinate major in International Development and a minor in Urban Studies. Hope I can help with this #difficult process!
mark_pino
UPenn ‘20


Accepted to UPenn

Hello! I'm a Freshman at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. I plan on concentrating in finance, marketing and social impact. In high school I was active in LGBTQ advocacy and music. I can help with any questions you have about admissions
uhoh29
JHU ‘19


Accepted to JHU, Cornell, Northeastern, Fordham, UMD, Wisconsin, Temple

Junior Woodrow Wilson Research Fellow at Johns Hopkins majoring in English and Writing Seminars
b_rod
Harvard ‘20


Accepted to Harvard, Yale, MIT, Columbia, UVA

Lover of physics, math, and chess. Football player and bass player. California born and raised.

New Posts

High School Juniors Part 3: Talk to Your HS Counselor
High School Juniors Part 3: Talk to Your HS Counselor
February 19, 2018

The role of your high school counselor plays in your college application process can vary, but counselors are an incredible resource during what can be a stressful, anxiety-inducing time. Some students may be really close...

The Coalition Essay Prompts 2018-2019
The Coalition Essay Prompts 2018-2019
February 15, 2018

With another application season behind us, it’s time to get ready for the next. Here are the 2018-2019 Coalition Application Essay Prompts.The Coalition Application Essay Prompts 2018-20191. Tell a story from your life,...

Top 20 U.S. Public Universities 2018: Features & Advice
Top 20 U.S. Public Universities 2018: Features & Advice
February 07, 2018

With Ivy Leagues and Liberal Arts Colleges, private universities typically dominate the college search conversations. But, you would be missing out if you didn’t also consider these public universities offering top tier programs!Public...

Engineering Summer Programs for High School Students
Engineering Summer Programs for High School Students
February 05, 2018

Engineering is one of the most popular majors students apply to, but other than AP Physics and AP Calculus, how can high school students discover this interest? Excelling in your high school’s science and...

AdmitSee 2017: Year In Review
AdmitSee 2017: Year In Review
February 02, 2018

With another year and application season behind us, we’re excited to share with you all the milestones and achievements we hit in 2017 thanks to you guys!We couldn’t have done it without the...

Load More Posts