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Last month I was invited to participate in an Accepted Student's Luncheon at a local college that included an interview for the Presidential Scholarship. All of the students that were in attendance were accepted into the honors program and were in consideration for the scholarship.

After starting off with a presentation by several faculty members about what is required to participate in the honors program, the students then reported to their interviews.

Here are a few tips based on what I learned about getting through nerve-racking college interviews:

Tip No. 1: Relax. The answers to the questions will come naturally. The questions that I was asked dealt with more than academics. They dealt with community service, leadership and what I would bring if I chose to attend. While I did come up with answers to each question, I still paused to think about what to say. You will be required to think on your feet at times, but it also helps to come prepared with some answers.

Tip No. 2: Casual conversation helps. The professor who interviewed me was part of the Journalism Department. After the interview, we casually talked about what he taught and what experience I had. He also mentioned how he was new to the Buffalo area. We talked plenty about the campus opportunities for aspiring journalism majors, such as the campus newspaper and radio station. Anything positive that you say helps, and what you say outside the interview questions can be just as important as the interview itself.

Tip No. 3: Dress to impress. Since this was an accepted student luncheon, everyone in attendance dressed in a suit/tie/sport coat or a nice dress. Even if this was just a college interview, you have to be dressed up to give a good impression to the interviewer. It shows that you care about this interview and are professional about it.

I was interviewing for a scholarship, but these tips can be used for any kind of college interview. Or if you're interviewing for a job, too.

Robert Creenan is a senior at Clarence High School.