Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Likely U.S. Student Interview Questions

Q: What do you know about American universities?

The officer wants to know what made you do decide to study at American universities. You

should highlight a few features of US universities.

Sample Answers:

According to my research, American Universities focus primarily on the practice of the taught

knowledge at their institutes and provide students with numerous research opportunities.

Speaking from experience of alumni, programs implemented in American Universities are very

well designed and renowned for their impeccable quality and commendable structure that

focuses on building skills.

American universities are well known for their quality of education and research opportunities.

Their programs are well designed with equal importance on theoretical knowledge along with

strong practical skills.

Q: Why did you choose to study in the US?/ Why study in the US, why not the UK or Canada?

The visa officer is looking for a justifiable reason for what convinced you to pursue higher

studies in the US. You will have to tell what features of the American education system appeal to

you compared to other countries.

Sample Answers:

Academic experience from a US university is highly valued around the world. Also, US

universities offer excellent research opportunities through many assistant-ship programs. On top

of that, having global exposure tremendously helps to advance my career.

The American education system has been deemed the best amongst all others, and I believe their

programs are well structured and suitable for the field I would like to step in.

Universities in the U.S. hail a fine blend of theoretical and practical knowledge. To develop my

practical skills, enrolling in a U.S. university is the best option.

Note: Of the long list of noble laureate prize winner of Economics since 1969 till date, 41 of

them are from the united states.

Q: What will be your specialization in MS? / What will be your major in MS?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I will be majoring in Computer Science)

Q: Why do you want to do a Master's?

State why you want to do a master in a particular field with enthusiasm and purpose. Your answer

should reflect confidence in your decision and should outline why doing Masters in your field is

necessary for you.

Sample Answers:

Pursuing a Master’s degree in Computer Science will allow me to gain more technical

knowledge and help me find more opportunities and better prospects.

In this competitive world, higher qualification in a field will serve greatly to give me a better

chance to join the industry of my choice as a long-term career prospect.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

Your answer should show concrete evidence that you do not plan to live in the U.S. after studies

but to return to your home country.

Sample Answers:

I plan to return to my country and begin working in a firm in my city as a software developer as

the demand for individuals in this profession keeps increasing.

After completing my course in computer science, I will return to join the ever-growing IT

industry in my country.

We have great opportunities here in the field of my study. The advanced degree I will be pursuing

from the US will be a great asset in advancing my career here in my country.

After I complete my studies, I plan to return to my home country and settle in ABC city because

several technology companies are present here that offer jobs with high pay corresponding to my

field of study.

I plan to return to my country and take up a job offer I have been presented with by a family

friend’s firm. I will be working as a software developer there and completing my Masters in the

The US will help me to greatly enhance my skills for the job.

My mother is dependent on me and lives with me in our self-owned house. She will be staying

with my grandparents while I am in the States. I will be returning after graduation to support my

mother and managing our property.

The job market for software developers is increasing exponentially day by day in my home

country. Hence, I will be returning to my country to take advantage of several high posts

on offer in several organizations after completing my master's in computer


My home country has been all I have known for the entirety of my life, and after I have

completed my course at XYZ university, I will be coming back home to utilize my newly

developed skills for the betterment of my own country.

Q: Do you have your GRE/TOEFL/IELTS/GMAT score reports?

Answer appropriately (Provide originals)

Q: Why are your GRE/TOEFL/IELTS scores low?

Truthfully explain what mistakes you made and where you stumbled. Do not make excuses or

cover up your errors. Instead, own up to it and explain a proper and genuine reason why

you were unable to perform that well.

Sample Answers:

The test took place during my college examinations, which is why I was not thoroughly prepared.

Despite my low GRE score, my verbal TOEFL score is pretty good.

I answered the first few questions wrong, which caused my score to fall. Despite performing well

in the latter part of the test, I could not substantially improve it.

Q: What was your major in undergrad?/ What was your specialization in Bachelors?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I did Bachelors in Electrical Engineering)

Q: Why change your academic background now?

You must know what made you change your area of specialization. It is necessary to have a

the genuine reason as to what convinced you to switch your major.

Sample Answers:

I have always been more passionate about environmental science, and pursuing this degree will

allow me to step into a field which I truly enjoy instead of continuing one I chose because of

high pay.

There is much more demand and need for this profession in my country compared to the one I am

already in.

Q: Why do you have several backlogs?

You should convince the officer that you can study in the US despite these shortcomings.

Convince him that you can do better and state confidently how so.

Sample Answers:

During a certain period, I was unable to manage my studies and co-curricular activities, which damaged my performance report. But I have made promises and have the determination to not

repeat my mistakes.

I have made amends to ensure I can continue my studies in the US by selecting extremely proficient and well-versed subjects. I am sure I can handle the pressure now.

Q: Have you been to the States before? / Have you ever been outside India?

Answer appropriately (e.g., No! I have never been outside India)

Q: Can I see your Bachelor’s diploma?

Answer appropriately

Q: When and from which university did you graduate?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I graduated in XXXX(year) from XYZ university)

Q: Can I see your mark sheets/transcripts?

Answer appropriately

Q: What universities did you apply to?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I applied to 3 universities)

Q: Which universities did you get admission to?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I got admission from all 3 universities)

Q: Which university are you going to?

Answer appropriately

Q: Why this university?

The officer wants to know what your reason for choosing that specific university is. You

should provide a solid and justifiable reason for pursuing your studies at this university.

Sample Answers:

I have interacted with a few current students who are pursuing their Master's at this University.

They advised it’s one of the Universities that offer great research opportunities in the field I

will be studying, and on top of that, it has outstanding faculty.

I have been accepted to a few other universities, but this one appealed the most to me. It is

because the courses that are offered at this university perfectly match my area of interest that is

Data Analytics. Other institutes did not offer this field as a separate course, which is why this

university became my top priority.

Q: Did you get any scholarships?

Answer accordingly (e.g., Yes! I was awarded X dollars scholarship)

Q: Did you contact any professors from that university?

Answer appropriately (e.g., Yes! I have been in touch with a couple of professors)

Q: Do you happen to remember those professors' names?

Answer appropriately (e.g., Name a few professors)

Q: Do you happen to know about the city you will be going to?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I heard Houston weather is very much similar to Indian weather, which definitely helps me adjust to it pretty quickly).

Q: Do you have family in the US?

Answer appropriately

Q: Do you have friends in the US?

Answer appropriately

Q: What is your father?

Answer appropriately

Q: Do you have siblings?

Answer appropriately

Q: Who is sponsoring your studies?

Answer appropriately (e.g., My father is sponsoring my education)

Q: What is your father’s income?

Answer appropriately

Q: Can I see tax returns?

Answer appropriately

Q: Can I see Bank Statements/Passbook?

Answer appropriately

Q: Did you take any loans?

Answer appropriately (If yes, give the officer your loan approval letter)

Q: Where do your parents live?

Answer appropriately

Q: Why do you think we should give you a visa to study in the US?

Your answer should show confidence in the evidence you have provided, and your tone should

display a positive attitude regarding this opportunity. Hence, the officer knows you have a purpose

and passion for pursuing higher studies in the United States.

Sample Answer:

I think I should be granted a visa because I am very passionate about pursuing my studies in the

States and will make full use of this opportunity.

Additional questions for those who are currently working and going for MS in the US

Q: Who is your current employer?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I am currently working for ABC company)

Q: What are your role and responsibilities?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I work as a System Analyst. I design, develop, and test applications

for the clients)

Q: Since how long have you been working for this company?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I have been working here for X years)

Q: How much is your salary?

Answer appropriately

Q: How big is this company? (Number of employees)

It has about X employees

Q: Well, your current employers sound strongly established, why do you want to leave?

Give a few strong reasons why it is more important for you to gain a higher degree instead of

continuing your well-established job. Explain what other benefits pursuing MS in the States can

bring to you that have greater importance than your current pay.

Sample Answers:

In this highly competitive world, having global exposure through abroad studies is important in

advancing my career, and it also enhances my ability to work with different cultures.

It is important to keep moving forward in this fast-paced world. I can further advance in my

career by leaving to achieve higher education.

Example of an interview for F1 Visa

VO: How are you?

Me: I am doing pretty good, sir! (Smile) How are you doing today?

VO: I am good. Thank you! What is the purpose of your travel?

Me: I will be going to pursue my Master’s in Computer Science

VO: What was your major in undergrad?

Me: My major was Computer Science

VO: Do you have any work experience?

Me: I have been working for TCS for the last 2 years

VO: How was your experience working at TCS?

Me: I love my job, and it’s quite challenging. The team I work with is amicable

VO: What is your role?

Me: I work as a Systems Analyst

VO: Why would you like to pursue your studies in the US?

Me: What’s best about pursuing advanced studies in a US university is that the qualification I

earn is globally recognized. On top of that, the education system in the US has been known for

its academic excellence.

VO: Can I see your experience letter?

Me: Sure, sir! Here you go!

VO: Who is sponsoring your studies?

Me: I have my own funds saved up, and the rest will be taking care of my parents.

VO: Can you pass those supporting documents?

Me: Definitely! Here are the bank statements

VO: What is your father?

Me: My father is a Businessman

VO: Do you have his Tax returns?

Me: Sure!

VO: Does the company you are currently working with bear any of the expenses?

Me: No, Sir! My parents and I will be taking care of all the expenses

VO: What are your plans after graduation?

Me: I will be returning back to India once after I graduate and will be working in the Software


VO: Does this degree help advance your career?

Me: Undoubtedly, earning an advanced degree from the US will definitely serve as a great asset in

advancing my career and enhancing my skills

VO: You have a solid job, and your family is in India. Why you chose to leave everything and

pursue it further?

Me: In Today’s competitive world, I feel that my decision to pursue graduate studies in the US is

smart to advance my career. While I invest some time and money into this highly valuable

education, the payoffs will be well worth my time and money.

VO: Great! I approve of your visa! Enjoy your time in the US!

Me: That’s great news! Thank you, Sir! Have a great day!

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