2016 Interviews- Acceptances- Rejections

katavi08

Well-Known Member
As interview time is approaching us; here is a list of questions that previous applicants were asked during their interviews:

Why do you think MFA will help you?

What's a movie you've seen recently that you liked?

What do you think makes a good producer?

What skill set are you hoping to learn?

Do you have funding programs available in your country?

Any questions for us?

Why Columbia?

Why do i want to make films?

types of films & filmmakers you like?

What kind of films do i want to make?

What area do i want to dive into?

Which filmmakers career inspire me?

What areas I want to improve on most?

What are my favourite films?

- Why USC, Why film school?

- Name a movie that has had an impact on your life and why?

- If you had the resources to work on one project now what would it be and why?

- Are you aware how much it costs? Will you be able to pay for it?

- Did you apply to other school?

why do you want to pursue this field?

identifying filmmakers who influence you or whose work you enjoy

in the practical situation not everyone will be directing or producing when they get out of film school, what other roles in filmmaking do you feel your skills speak to?

- if you could only make one film right now and had the resources for it, what theme would it have?

- where do you see yourself in 5 years?

- what kind of movies inspire me to make films

- What do I want to get out of film school that I can't get outside on my own

- Which movies that influenced me to make films

-am I prepared for a 3 year program, or is that too long?
 
Hey @katavi08! I applied to the Stark program as well as UCLA's producing program. I just got an email last week Thursday from Stark for a second interview on skype for this Thursday (January 28th).
 
@katavi08 Thanks for posting the interview questions. I'll probably practice writing answers to any questions that seem relevant before any interviews. :)
 
Big congrats to @Indus123 and @loho for your interviews and acceptance! Be sure to fill out the spreadsheet if you haven't already! :)
It's so exciting that people are starting to hear back from places!!
 
Hello everyone! Some of you have asked me to talk about my experiences with MFA interviews, which I’m happy to discuss. Quick background for any new people: I currently work in a graduate admissions office as an Applications Coordinator. The college I work for offers two MFA programs in creative writing and Emergent Media. We do not have a film MFA! I want to stress that point because any information I’ve presented here is from my personal experience of being in the admissions world. Every institution has their own unique admissions process, and what applies to one school may not necessarily apply to another. That being said, my office does model its practices off of other institutions, so I hope this info can give you a general idea of what an admissions counselor looks for in an applicant.

Ok, interviews. I’ve gone through the questions at the top, and picked out some general ones that I know my office uses frequently. You’ll probably find that every interview has some version of one or more of these basic questions:

1. Why do you think an MFA will help you?

This is a big one. Institutions want to know that the students they are admitting are serious about doing the hard work that accompanies the program. This questions is also used to help the admissions committee (this includes admissions counselors and faculty) get a better sense of who you are as a person. What are your goals? What are your interests? What are the steps you are going to take to get the most out of the program? I think this question is especially poignant to us film applicants, as one could argue that you don’t need an MFA to get into the business. Be sure you can clearly articulate why you want to do this. What opportunities will an MFA offer you that you wouldn’t be able to get on your own? Also, for those of you that are applying straight out of an undergraduate program, you really need to think about your answer to this, and prove to the admissions committee why you think you’re ready for this undertaking. I’ll be honest, graduate counselors like to see that a person has taken a break after finishing their undergrad work. I’m not talking years, but a bit of a breather. Not only does it give you some time to gain some life experience (which counselors like to see), but there is no worry that you’ll get burnt out on schoolwork. Do they admit people who come right from undergrad? Absolutely. But, be sure you have a good argument for why you want to be in the program.

2. What skill set are you hoping to learn?

Grad school is all about learning, and expanding your skills. Have at least 2-3 skills in mind that you would like to discuss if asked this question.

3. Why Columbia? Or NYU? Or USC?

Do your research about the school and program you’re applying too. This is similar to a job interview, in that they will quiz you on what you know about the school and program. Have good, solid answers to this question, and it will show that you are serious about wanting to be admitted into the program. Side note: Unless you are specifically asked by the committee what other programs you have applied to DO NOT bring up other institutions. If you’re interviewing at NYU, don’t compare their program to UCLA. Even if you’re explaining why you think NYU is better, you risk putting your interviewers on the defense. Also, you’re trying to prove to these people that you are passionate about joking that program, and that program alone. One way to ruin that is by bringing up your knowledge of other institutions. In reality, the admissions committee probably suspects you have applied to other schools, but they don’t need to hear about it.


Other tips: Have questions prepared for the committee. They’ll probably ask you at the end if you have any questions, and it’s another great way to show that you are seriously interested about the program. For those of you that are going to in-person interviews: expect to be tested the moment you walk into the building. Admissions counselors have no qualms about asking the people you interacted with what they thought of you. If you get offered to have a student take you for a tour after the interview, know that you are still being interviewed! It’s very likely that the friendly student who showed you around has been trained by the counselors to be on the look-out for certain things, and they will expect the student to report back on you after the tour. All in all, always be on your best behavior.

At the end of the day, these interviews are very similar to job interviews. If you wouldn’t do or day something in a job interview, don’t do it with your admissions interview. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Authenticity goes a long way!

That was a long post-sorry! Hope this was somewhat helpful. Please feel free to ask me questions!
 
@katavi08 You've been an incredible resource and so willing to share what you know for the rest of us. Thanks for doing this! It proves you'd be a great producer, and I'll be excited to see you get accepted.
 
@katavi08 You've been an incredible resource and so willing to share what you know for the rest of us. Thanks for doing this! It proves you'd be a great producer, and I'll be excited to see you get accepted.
Aww, thanks @Boethius! I really appreciate that! And I'll be excited when all of us start getting accepted! :)
I'm glad people are finding these posts helpful! I've been working in admissions for about five years now, and it's weird to be on the other end of things!

Also, in my previous post, I noticed a weird typo in question #3's paragraph. I don't know why the word joking is in there, haha. Please ignore that. Damn auto-correct! :p
 
@katavi08 Thank you so much for putting all these together! I'm extremely nervous too.. I'm applying as a Fulbright candidate and can only get information from the IIE office, not directly from the school. Just got asked for additional transcript paperwork by Columbia College Chicago. Not sure what it means but it's the first comm I receive from any school even though it's through IIE. All the best guys!
 
@katavi08 Thank you so much for putting all these together! I'm extremely nervous too.. I'm applying as a Fulbright candidate and can only get information from the IIE office, not directly from the school. Just got asked for additional transcript paperwork by Columbia College Chicago. Not sure what it means but it's the first comm I receive from any school even though it's through IIE. All the best guys!
 
Hi @seok! Welcome to the forum! :) It's an incredibly stressful process, but hopefully it'll all be worth it in the end! If the admissions people at Columbia College Chicago are asking for additional paperwork, it more then likely mans that they need some more information on how to read the transcript. This happens frequently in our international admissions office. On the plus side, it means they've started looking at your application ! :)
 
Hi @seok! Welcome to the forum! :) It's an incredibly stressful process, but hopefully it'll all be worth it in the end! If the admissions people at Columbia College Chicago are asking for additional paperwork, it more then likely mans that they need some more information on how to read the transcript. This happens frequently in our international admissions office. On the plus side, it means they've started looking at your application ! :)

Thanks @katavi08! Keeping fingers crossed. Good luck on your interview with Columbia!
 
Hey Everyone! I just found out these forums exist so I wanted to say hi. Applied to a few directing MFA programs for fall 2016, waiting to hear back for interviews, nervous as hell (the usual).
 
Hi @russki_D503 and @seok Welcome to the most nerve-wrecked forum on the internet! You'll fit in just fine :) what programs did you apply to? Please fill out the google sheet that has been set up to track applicant's progress!

@katavi08 as usual, you are an endless well of information. Thanks a ton for your insight! Might have to buy you lunch WHEN we both are admitted :)
 
@katavi08 - thanks for your helpful posts!

This thread is a good respite at this time! This feels like the most difficult time in the whole application process. How i wish i could get on the other side of these next two months soon ! :)

Best of luck for your interview @katavi08 !!
 
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