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Admission Interviews are an optional part of the USC application process and you can sign up for one as of today.  Let’s stop right there and review the key word of that sentence – optional.

Not required.  Not Recommended.  Not “better for your application.”  And definitely not something to stress about.

I never recommend an interview to anyone, nor do I tell someone not to interview.  You will have to think about this for yourself, and try to understand if you believe an interview can be beneficial for you.  Here’s a quick rundown of how they work:

  • It will last about 20-25 minutes.
  • You spend almost the entire time talking about yourself, helping me to better know you.
  • I take notes.  I ask follow up questions.
  • There are a few minutes for you to ask questions – but it is not a good opportunity to learn everything about USC or the Viterbi School – for that, sign up for a Meet USC.

If this doesn’t sound like a great way to spend the afternoon, then you probably shouldn’t sign up for one.  Interviews are, very simply, a chance to get to know you.  A conversation about who you are and what you do.  There is no test, no admission evaluation…. just me taking notes.  There is no preparation needed for our interview – other than, know who you are, and what you do.  The easiest way to bomb the interview is to have nothing to say…

Admission decisions are never made as result of an interview.  A good interview cannot trump poor grades, and a poor interview cannot trump a stellar high school career.

Online Scheduling

The website to schedule on-campus interviews for Fall 2013, First-Year (freshmen) applicants is now live and accepting reservations.  At the moment we have only made the month of August and half of September available to schedule – but by the end of August we will have the remainder of the schedule available.

More information regarding the future schedule as well as off-campus locations will be posted right here towards the end of August and early September, respectively.

As always, if you have any questions, please let us know in the comments below!


Admission interviews are a part of this process we all love to do.  We love meeting you individually, but do not stress out about this.  It doesn’t “add points” on to your application.  Do not fly out to campus JUST to have an interview – that is a waste of time.  The majority of admitted students this past year never sat for an interview – they are limited and only available on campus and a few select cities across the country.  Think about how many applications we receive…. and think about where those applications come from.  It is quite literally impossible to interview every applicant.

Paul Ledesma

As Executive Director, Paul oversees Undergraduate Admission for all programs at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. He was born and raised in southern California and is a lifetime Dodgers fan. He enjoys traveling (Italy may be a second home), discovering new restaurants in LA (tacos anyone?), and while he may not qualify as a bonafide movie-buff, he loves movies (especially comic book movies). He studied Psychology for his bachelor's degree, minored in Public Management, and was active in leadership for community service groups Troy Camp and Dance Marathon while attending USC. When he's not working he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and rescued pup and kitty in Redondo Beach, CA. (well, maybe not the cat so much) Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his