1. WHY SHOULD I DO THIS INTERVIEW? Liberal arts colleges in the U.S. provide unique educational experiences. They focus on small class sizes, interaction with professors, living with your classmates and intense class discussions in all types of subjects. As a result, liberal arts colleges want to get a sense of the communication skills of its applicants. The unscripted LAC Interview provides admission officers with another way to holistically and yet systematically review your application materials as they seek to find those students who will be the best fit for their school.
2. HOW IS THE INTERVIEW EVALUATED? All evaluation of the interviews is done by the admission officers at each school. Each school decides for itself how it uses the interview as part of its holistic application review process. InitialView, the platform that supports the LAC Interview, does not provide any evaluation or score.
3. WHO ARE THE INTERVIEWERS? All of the interviewers are native English speakers who are provided by InitialView. Many are prominent international educators who are well known by admission officers.
4. HOW MUCH DOES THE LAC INTERVIEW COST? The LAC Interview costs US$220 (RMB 1350). This price includes an interview and a writing sample. It is a one-time fee and there is no limit on the number of schools to which you send the interview. Students for whom the cost of the interview is a financial hardship may request a fee waiver from the school to which they are applying.
5. CAN I HAVE THE INTERVIEW SENT TO SCHOOLS WHICH ARE NOT LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGES? Yes. You may have the interview sent to as many schools as you like, whether or not they are liberal arts colleges.
6. HOW DOES THIS INTERVIEW COMPARE TO INTERVIEWS CONDUCTED BY ALUMNI? The LAC Interview is submitted along with your application materials (please check with each institution for the exact submission deadline). For some institutions that offer alumni or other types of interviews, those will be offered after reviewing the LAC Interview, but each institution will coordinate as it works best for their processes. If you are unable to participate in an LAC Interview, please contact the admission office well in advance of the admission deadline. Students for whom the cost of the interview is a financial hardship may request a fee waiver from the school to which they are applying.
7. DO I GET TO SEE THE INTERVIEW BEFORE I HAVE IT SENT TO MY SCHOOLS? Yes. You do not have to decide where to send the interview until after you have seen the interview.
8. WHEN I DECIDE TO HAVE THE VIDEO SENT TO A SCHOOL, WHAT DOES THE SCHOOL RECEIVE? The school only receives your video. Each school does not know which other schools you are applying to and where else you are sending the video.
9. CAN I HAVE THE VIDEO EDITED? The interview is done in one take, and it is not edited. If you want to do the interview again, you may do so, but it must be done in accordance with the rules of the interview (see the next question).
10. CAN I DO THE INTERVIEW MORE THAN ONCE? Yes, you can, but please note the rules of the interviews. You can only do the interview once every 30 days. If you do the interview again, the most recent interview becomes your interview (in other words, if you do the interview twice, you cannot provide schools with your first interview after doing your second interview). The second interview is with a different interviewer and different questions. You must pay again for each time you do the interview.
11. I MADE SOME GRAMMATICAL ERRORS IN MY RESPONSES (OR I GAVE AN ANSWER THAT I AM NOT SATISFIED WITH). SHOULD I DO IT AGAIN? While only you can make the decision about whether to do the interview again, please note that it is designed as an unscripted interview. No participant knows the questions in advance, and there are no “right” answers as there are with standardized tests. The vast majority of participants only do the interview once.
12. HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR THE INTERVIEW? You should think about a few things that you would like to highlight. If you have the chance, you should also practice interviewing with a foreigner. Don’t forget that the last question is always open-ended, giving you a chance to add anything else. Other than that, it is very important to be yourself. Admission officers are looking for authentic answers, not “right” answers.
13. HOW LONG IS THE INTERVIEW? The interviews on average are about 15 minutes, but some are longer and some are shorter. The length of the interview is unrelated to the quality of the interview.
14. HOW MANY SCHOOLS CAN I HAVE THE INTERVIEW SENT TO? The interview can be sent it to as many schools as you request—there is no limit to the number of schools.
15. WHEN SHOULD I DO THE INTERVIEW? You should do the interview as soon as possible in the application process (in other words, do not wait until the last minute to do so). If you are satisfied with the result (as most students are), then you do not need to do it again and you can focus on other aspects of the application process. If you are not happy with the result, then you will have time to do it again before the deadline.