Application Interview Tips

Application Interview Tips

September 18, 2019

Your college or university application interview is an important way for you and your prospective institution to find out if you are right for each other. Due to the large volume of applicants you’ll find that the traditionally large universities are often unable to meet all their prospective students personally. They may have to rely solely on your ATAR ranking to tell them what they need to know about you.

At ICMS however, we pride ourselves on our personal approach to the admissions process. Our smaller campus and friendly community means that we are able to offer a unique student experience – and we are able to assess your application on factors other than simply your ranking.

Whether you have applied directly or via UAC, all undergraduate applicants based in Australia and New Zealand will be asked to attend an Application Interview. The interview is one of the ways in which we assess your application. It’s a chance for us to get to know you as a person, ask you about your career goals, and find out why you’ve chosen your study path. The interview also provides you with an opportunity for you to ask questions and get to know us too!

Application interviews can be daunting… but not at ICMS. Here are some tips to help you prepare.

How to dress for your college or university application interview

While some unis tend to be casual, at ICMS we want to help you prepare for future professional success. As such we encourage business attire for your interview – and for class, when you start with us. Looking and acting like a management professional from day one will assist you to transition seamlessly into a successful career. Check out #icmsattire for inspiration!

When you meet your interviewer ensure that you greet them with a firm handshake, and remember to smile!

Research your preferred degree course

You need to have an excellent understanding of your preferred course and the type of subjects you might be studying. When reviewing the course, make a list of the skills, knowledge, experience and personal qualities that you possess that might be applicable to that field of study. Also, think of examples of past work experiences that show you have these qualities. For example, if you are applying for a Bachelor of Business (Sports Management), share examples of your involvement in sport, whether on or off the field. If you’re applying for Bachelor of Business Management (Fashion and Global Brand Management) and have worked in a retail fashion store, participated in a fashion show, or created your own micro-brand, make sure you tell us about that.

Think about your career goals

Arrive with a few ideas about what type of organisation you’d like to work in during your degree’s built-in 9 months’ industry training. We’ll help you to achieve your career goals – but they are your goals, so it’s up to you to share them with your interviewer. Don’t be afraid to dream a little big. Just because you haven’t done it yet doesn’t mean you won’t do it in the future. For example, if you are doing a Bachelor of Event Management and dream of greeting celebrities at the Oscars, tell us about it. For your interviewer, it gives great insight into your ambition and passions.

Don’t shy away from being real

We want to meet the real you – and nobody is perfect. Don’t be afraid to share not only your strengths but also your weaknesses. Your challenges, and how you work to overcome them, demonstrate traits like resilience, emotional intelligence and maturity.

Common Interview Questions

Preparation and practice makes perfect! Practice in front of the mirror or practice with a friend or parent. These are some examples of common questions – not necessarily what you will be asked at your ICMS application interview.

  • Tell me a bit about yourself (past/ present/ future/ interests).

This question is often asked at the beginning of the interview and is your chance to make a great first impression. Talk about your previous study, community and work experience as well as your personal life. Relate how your personality and life experience will suit your chosen field of study. End your answer by telling the interviewer why you are interested in your chosen course and why you feel this course is the best next step for you.

  • What motivates you?

​The interviewer is trying to establish what drives you – it may be a sense of accomplishment when a project is finished or the enjoyment of working with others towards a common goal (as an example).

  • What are some of your best qualities/ strengths?

Try to identify a strength that ICMS values. For example, it could be your community mindedness, your willingness to get involved, your sense of fun or your good work ethic. Be prepared to support this stated strength with an example of when you have exhibited this strength.

  • Can you give an example describe an area you feel you need to develop?

State a personal challenge for you and describe how you have taken steps to overcome this challenge.

  • How do you think you’d fit in with a culturally diverse organisation?

​This question demonstrates your openness to other cultures, languages and your ability to fit into an international organisation. Answer by giving an example of a time when you helped a person completely unlike yourself or by talking about the different cultures you have come across in life and how you related to them.

  • What is your dream job?

​When answering, state your commitment to professional career success and describe your dream job in as much detail as you can.

  • What questions do you have? Asked at the end of your college application interview.

​This is an opportunity to ask clarifying questions regarding studying at ICMS and your chosen course. Asking questions shows your enthusiasm and that you have done research on the company. Examples are:

  • “Can you tell me more about student life/sport/clubs at ICMS?”
  • “Can you tell me about what sort of academic support is offered at ICMS?”
  • “Can you tell me about a typical February intake?”
  • “Can you tell me about what sort of industry training I’ll get with this course?”

After your interview

When you are leaving your application interview, remember to thank your interviewer for their time. On your way out if you think of any other questions feel free to chat to one of the students at reception or follow up with the Student Advisors at [email protected].

And most importantly …. this is an exciting time in your life so make sure you relax and be yourself. In the wise words of Dr Seuss… “Today you are YOU, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is YOUER than YOU!”

* Rural and regional students may be able to do their application interviews by phone or zoom.

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