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Informational Interview Questions (Student)

Student leaders are great role-models as well as information sources because their present is your immediate future.  They stood in your shoes not too long ago and love helping students who could potentially follow in their foot-steps.

Hopefully, the directors of undergraduate student involvement and professors put you in contact with the college’s best and brightest leaders who share your interests or major.  If not, every university has an office of student involvement that publishes a list of active student organizations where you’ll find the contact information for student leaders and/or faculty advisors.  Many times, these lists are available online (USC example). Other times you may have to call the office to request the information.

♦ = must ask question

Student Leaders

Starter Questions

• What is your major?
Why did you choose your current college?
What other colleges did you apply to? Why?
• How do you feel about your experience?
What do you love about your college? Like least?
What do you wish more students knew about the college?
• Why did you to get involved with your current student organization?
What have you gained from your involvement?
• How did you rise to your current position?
• How active are your members? Faculty advisors?

Community:

How would you characterize the majority of students who attend your university?
How would you characterize the majority of students who attend the school of ____?
How would you characterize the college’s best students?
Does the student body have school spirit?
• From what economic background are the majority of students?
• Is there any particular orientation towards religion on campus?  What is the impact on student life?
• How diverse is the campus?
What is the campus like?
• Is there a central gathering place for students?
Where are good places for students to live (both on and around campus)?
• How do college athletics contribute to the social life of the campus? What happens on football or basketball weekends?

Academics:

• What reputation does the department of ____ have?
• How large are the class sizes?
Is the teaching innovative, discussion- and project-oriented, or is it mostly lecture-oriented?
Do you think that students are generally enthusiastic about their classes? Do people talk about their courses and professors outside of class?
• How much help outside of the classroom do you get from professors?
How well do you feel the college is preparing you for your career?

Leadership and Involvement:

What kinds of student involvement opportunities exist on campus?
• Who are the dominant groups on campus?
• What kind of events did they organize on campus last year?
Does the college support student organizations? How? (funding, awards, retreats)
Does the college support leadership development? How? (programs, classes, retreats)
• What kinds of resources and facilities does the student center have?
• Has the student government made any real contribution to the college?

Student Organizations:

• What student organizations are you involved in? Why?
• What have you benefitted most from your involvement?
♦ What the people in your chapter (or club) like? What are people who are in your same organization but at different campuses like?
• What are your most favorite parts of your involvement? What are your least favorite parts?
♦ What makes the chapter (or club) at organization at your campus unique from the chapters (or clubs) at other campuses?
• If you were the president, what are some things you’d change or do differently?  (Cloaked way of asking what the weaknesses are)

Significant Opportunities:

Are there any special events, traditions, programs, or festivals the campus hosts every year?
• Did any political, social, or academic issues concern students last year? How did the administration react? What was the resolution?

Fun and Recreation:

On weekends, do most students go home or hang around on campus? What is the impact on student life?
• What do most students do for fun?
• What is there to do in the surrounding community?
• What facilities does the campus recreation center have?
• What intramural sports are available?

Deal Makers or Breakers:

What’s the weather like and how does it effect life on campus? Ask specifically about the frequency of any severe weather patterns (e.g. extreme temperature, rain, snow, humidity, etc.)
• Do students feel safe on campus? Why or why not?
• Is there something I should know about housing or dining that would help me in my choice? Meal plans? All you can eat? Vegetarian? Kosher?

Costs:

What is the yearly cost of attendance, including books, tuition, fees, housing and meal plans? In other words, what is the all-inclusive cost?

Closing Questions:

What advice can you give me for the admissions process?
Do you have any friends who share my major or interests that I you wouldn’t mind referring me to?

Send a nice thank you email.

Since [name of major] is a possible major for me, I would like to speak with you on the subject of your college experience.

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