How To Prepare for a Consulate Interview

Your interview is the last step in acquiring your visa. At this point, this is a make-or-break phase so you want everything to be perfect. Like a job interview you may be required to follow the standard etiquette: look confident, always look at the interviewer in the eye and never fidget. The drilling is about the same but additional preparations are in order.

  1. Always come prepared. You may be required to bring a number of documents as proof during your visa application. Divide them in folders and bind securely with a case or a plastic organizer.
  2. Try to review your documents’ information and anticipate what questions will be asked of you. What parts of the documents need ironing out?
  3. You may role-play with someone and act out the whole interview. Try saying the words clearly and simply. Still nervous? You could use a mirror or a videotape to watch yourself during the mock interview. Do you have the tendency to arch your brow or bite your nails? The interviewer may take them as signs that you’re leaving out the truth or you’re too nervous to answer coherently.
  4. Polish up some English pronunciations or tweak your grammar. Whether you’re seeking an apply visa or a visa service in India or China, always assume that you have to speak English. In general, it is the language of choice.
  5. Prepare a suit. Dress conservatively and formally but be yourself. If you are going to Chicago as a student, dress as such.
  6. Get a good night’s sleep and go to the embassy early. Give ample allowance of your time. Do not leave even 5 minutes to traffic.
  7. Take note that your bag and/or your shoes might be searched. You may also have to leave your mobile phone at home because this is not allowed during the interview.
  8. As soon as it’s your turn to be interviewed, greet the interviewer with a confident smile.
  9. Once seated, place both of your feet on the floor. Show that you are confident and interested by leaning a little forward. But if your interview is conducted standing up, do not go too forward. This might appear to be an aggressive stance to your interviewer. Stand erect and look confident.
  10. Answer simply and directly in a clear, confident voice. Always give truthful answers as the interview may be taped and the answers recorded (as in the case of vying for a green card). Besides, the interviewer will have probably heard all of the stories people have used in an attempt to get a visa. He will know if you are lying.
  11. Do not answer more than what is asked or expound more than necessary.
  12. Ask you interviewer to repeat the question if you didn’t get it the first time.
  13. If there’s a question that starts with “what if”, give yourself time to think it over before answering.
  14. Most important of all, be confident! You can pass this interview with flying colors. Confidence counts for a lot during the interview. But don’t overdo it.

Remember that this interview may account for a lot in processing your visa. Good luck!


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