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What questions should I ask during the interview?

QUESTION: During any interview in life, there is always a time when the interviewer asks, "Do you have any questions?" I always think of the good questions afterward. I'm planning on applying to a school in California and want to make a good impression on them when I visit there. What kinds of questions should I ask during the interview? Signed, Question Etiquette

Dear Question Etiquette: After having interviewed students applying to Harvard for the past five years, we can vouch for the fact that there is nothing more disappointing than interviewing a student who has no questions about our alma mater. Or, who asks a question with an obvious answer that can be found on the first page of Harvard's catalogue.

We're glad to hear that you are thinking ahead and developing questions beforehand. There is nothing wrong with having a list of questions to ask. It demonstrates to your interviewer that you are prepared and informed.

The general rule is that you should ask questions that you really care to know the answers to. Inquire about your field of study and the classes offered in it. Find out how the college will equip you with the skills and work experience you need for your future career. Ask about the campus environment, indicating how it fits with what you are seeking.

Try to ask questions without obvious answers and that will pique the interest of your interviewer as well. Some of the best questions we've received are: If you had to do your college experience over again, how would you do it differently? What would you consider to be the three best strengths and weaknesses of your experience at the college? What advice do you have for someone applying? These kinds of questions indicated to us that the students knew the basics about the college and had a genuine interest in learning more.

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Gen & Kelly Tanabe

Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.