H: Humans of William and Mary, A: Alex, G: Gaby
H: So I thought until recently that the questions you guys ask were like a set thing that you always do, but you come up with them yourselves! Do you have a favorite one?
A: Absolutely do! I always start with, because I think it helps them relax, that there’s no script and that I’m just going to ask a little bit of everything. Then usually my good interviews chuckle, because they realize that that means this is an open conversation. I think my favorite is “If you had a theme song what would it be” and I don’t add a preface or any guidelines unless they ask for it.
H: …Does anyone start singing?
A: Not in response to…THAT question.
G: There’s been other singing.
A: We won’t get into that. But that is my favorite question, and we made a playlist of all of the theme songs that we got this summer. We put all of our theme songs on a Spotify playlist, and its so cool. It is SO COOL.
H: THAT’S SO COOL. Its all just from students you’ve interviewed?
G: ~laughs~You couldn’t really listen to that playlist for any particular mood though…its not a chill mood or a hype mood, its just, all over the place.
A: You have to be in this…interview mood. I always think its so cool listening to it now, I’ll hear a certain song and be like “Aw he was amazing. That was a really good interview”. I’ll just remember THAT KID definitely gave me that song.
G: What I like about W&M admissions is that they give you the guidelines of kind of what they want you to cover: academic, extra-curricular to some extent, but they give you free reign for any question that you want to ask. So I have two favorite questions…one that I came up with is “If you were a bird, where would you fly?” because you get really interesting responses with that. One that always stuck out to me was an interviewee who said “If I was a bird, I would fly to Olive Garden and eat form their thrown out breadstick pile”, and I was like “That’s…amazing. I would too”. And then, one of the other interviewers, Rachel, always started with this question “What is something that is really you?” so now I’ve started using it almost every time, asking “What is something that is absolutely you” because you can kind of go in any direction with that. You can have people responding with an adjective, like “I’m compassion, and this is how I embody it” or like a thing, they could respond with “My room is very me…” or a story, and stories are sometimes some of the most fun ones. And then sometimes I like throwing in questions too, so like if someone says they really like history, I’ll ask them if they could have dinner with any historical figure who would it be, or if they say they really like biology I’ll ask what part of the cell they would be…that can kind of set apart interviewees because the people who are really fast to answer those or really think about it are the ones that you know really ARE passionate about that.
H: Wow, there’s no way you could prepare for that!
A: Yeah there so prepared for things like “What was your biggest challenge in high school” or “tell me about your leadership experience”.
G: And I love it too, sometimes we’ll ask our question and you’ll get someone who is so animated and say they love that question, or sometimes you’ll get “….oh no.”
H: Do they ever try to ask you guys weird questions back?
G: I did have that happen once! A girl went “I’m going to throw a fun question at you!” I was floored. I was not prepared for that. What if MY answer was lame?? And she asked me if William and Mary was a food, what would it be? I said “some type of weird cheese- like a nice bleu cheese, or a nice triple cream brie”.
H: Did she take that answer well?
G: She said that she’s been asking most schools- and I was like “Oh no I’m being evaluated right now.” I responded with cheese because, not everyone likes cheese I get it, but cheese is an eclectic food- it comes in a lot of different varieties- you know sharp cheese or sweet cheese….