If you’ve found this page, you’ve probably Googled me to find out a little about your interviewer. (Ah, you have to love the internet!)
But this is a good thing because it gives you a chance to know your interviewer and to learn a little about what to expect from your interview.
First of all, the interview is all about you. It’s your chance to present yourself in the way you’d like. I’m not a big stickler on formality, so you can wear anything you like. I’ve had people dress up in a suit, a school uniform, or even jeans. And I wouldn’t mind if you came in Goth if that’s a function of who you are as a person. (I had lots of punk friends when I was at GU.) Georgetown values diversity so there’s a place for both conformists and non-conformists alike.
I don’t get to read your transcripts or essays so if there’s anything you want to bring with you to share more about you, please bring it. I’ve had students bring a resumé, a list of music competitions they’ve competed in, or certificates of achievements. No one has shown me any videos (which I understand you can’t submit with your application), but they have given me links to videos that I’ve watched after the interview. Bringing something extra is not obligatory.
The place we meet is up to you. Your home is fine, but I’ve met most students at cafés or fast food places or even bookstores. What’s important is that you feel comfortable. Obviously, parents are usually home if I interview at a student’s home. Or they come to the café where they drop their child off. The interview, however, is supposed to be between the interviewer and the prospective student. Please let me know where you would like to meet. I used to live in the Montgomery Village/Germantown area, and that’s generally where I interview students.
How long are the interviews? Usually up to an hour, though sometimes it lasts longer than that. It’s important to be early or on time, though I certainly understand if extenuating circumstances come up. When we agree upon a place, date, and time, I’ll usually give you my cell phone number so you can call if you’re running late. Please call, or text, if you think you might be running late. A late show is no problem if I hear from you ahead of time. I typically try to confirm a scheduled date and time a day ahead just as a reminder; usually by e-mail.
The interview itself follows a particular format that the admission committee gives me. I’ll have questions about you and your experiences and opinions on particular subjects. There aren’t any wrong answers or trick questions. And if I ask a question, a specific detail or example goes a long way in helping me learn more about you. And feel free at any appropriate moment to ask me questions. I am as much there to “sell” you on Georgetown as much as you might want to get into Georgetown.
You can ask me about my experience at Georgetown, and I’ll do my best to share it with you. If you want to know about a particular program or aspect about the academic program or campus life, please ask. I am more familiar with the School of Foreign Service than other schools. I’ve been asked many personal questions or for my opinion on particular subjects. Crossing this boundary is usually fine, but do remember that this is a formal interview even if it seems relaxed and informal.
My particular role is to provide the admission committee a report that helps them understand you, the student, in a way that can’t be seen in your transcript or essays. I believe, as does Georgetown, that diversity is key to a challenging and successful experience. Share with me what you’d like the committee to see and know about you. I wish you luck in getting into Georgetown, or into whatever school will help you best develop and achieve your personal goals in life.
Nick Jamilla SFS ‘89
Shimmering Sword refers to the lightsabers of Star Wars. It's also the title of my first book.