As prospective students enter the interview stage at NYU, I am getting emails about the interview and how to prepare. I’ve answered each one, but I think it’s best if I put the answer out in the open as well.
First, congratulations on getting a call to interview. You’ve already made it past the biggest cut in the process. And I know you won’t believe me, but really, there is no way to prepare to “ace” this interview. It’s primarily because there are different faculty members in each interview and so it could go in any direction. Every classmate had a different experience based on who was in the room. The faculty are all great, so have fun meeting them.
Mine was completely crazy and they threw stuff at me and interrupted each other before I could even finish. But it was all good. Others had more normal interviews.
I’d say prepare for all the usual “interview stuff” and then go with the flow. You are all at this stage because you have something to offer – just show them what that is.
The most important thing is to be yourself. They are looking for who you are, what kind of stories you want to tell, what you want to do. Be honest with yourself and with them. The class is really diverse so there is no one “type” of person they are looking for.
And remember – it has to be a fit. They have to want you, but you have to want to be here. It’s intense, overwhelming and completely all-consuming. So use the time to see if you would enjoy it here. It’s going to be all of your waking hours and, at times, some of your sleeping hours too.
I can’t wait to meet the new first years!
Update: To be clear – this is not a detailed post on my interview. I am not doing that because talking about my interview would somehow imply other interviews will be like that. Which is exactly the opposite of the point I am trying to make. Instead of answering applicants individually, I hope this post will tell them what I would put in an email.