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Visa interview tips

Common Questions

Why did you choose this school?

Be prepared to explain why you chose the school, and give an explanation. Common reasons include:

  • Location
  • Ranking
  • The program is well known
  • A friend or relative went there
  • Highly recommended

I am choosing Hawaii Pacific University for business administration, because it’s in Hawaii. Hawaii is known as an international hub, so if I learn how to do business there, I will get experience doing business with almost any country in Asia.

How did you hear about this school?

Make sure your answer is the truth and coincides with the answer to, “why you chose this school?” But make sure you also talk about how you chose it yourself.

– My friend went to Hawaii Pacific University, so I looked into it and it was a great fit for what I was looking for.
– My agent first told me about it, so I did my own research and really fell in love with the campus.
– I did a campus tour online through a website and chatted with one of the students.
– I first saw a YouTube commercial then did more research. I talked with a student and it looks amazing.

Do you have any relatives in the US?

Tell the truth. And also talk about the reality of your focus, which should be on your studies. The reason why this question is important, is because the embassy wants to know how likely it is that you will stay in the US if you need to go home.

– No, I don’t have any family in the US. All of them are here.
– Yes, I have an uncle who lives in Oregon. I will might see him for Christmas or during a summer with my family, but my focus is on my studies.
– Yes, I have a cousin going to the same school. I will probably see them maybe once a month for a meal, but I’ll probably get busy with new friends.

What are your plans after graduation?

Tell the truth. Say what your plan is after graduation, and it is OK if you don’t know. The main reason why this question is important, is because the embassy wants to determine your risk of migration.

– My plan is to graduate in the US, do OPT, and then return home to my family. I know I am going to miss them a lot.
– My plan is to graduate in the US, do OPT, try for a green card but I understand if that doesn’t happen.


Tell the truth

Always tell the truth. Always, always, always.

If you have an answer that might look bad on you, be sure to explain.

Q: Do you have any relatives in the United States?
A: Yes. I have an uncle in Washington DC. I might see him during Christmas and maybe during summer vacation with my parents, but that’s it. My focus is on my studies and getting the most out of my college experience.

Be confident

Be confident.

  • Make eye contact
  • Speak up (don’t whisper or talk lightly)
  • Sound excited and eager
  • Sound like you belong in the US

Sound prepared but not rehearsed

Sound like you are prepared and you know know answers, but don’t sound rehearsed. In other words: don’t sound like you’re reading your answers.

Know your school

Know things about your school:

  • How to say the name correctly
  • School location
  • What it’s known for (sports, academics, research, etc.)
  • If it is well known for sports

Know your program / major

Know your program and major. It will say this on your paperwork and letter of admissions. Make sure the program is the one you signed up for, and make sure you talk about that program if asked.

I chose to study business but need to go through a Pathway because my English was below what was needed for direct admissions.

Bring all of your documents

Be sure to bring all of your documents to the interview. Review your documents early to make sure your name is spelled correctly and that your date of birth was entered correctly too.

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