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Interviews and Video Responses

One-on-one conversation

We offer a variety of ways to connect with us personally. While your application gives us a lot of information, an interview or video response helps you give voice to the ways you think and reflect on your own experiences. These materials are entirely optional.

First-Year Interviews

Fellow and Alumni Interviews are 20-30 minute conversations with a current student (Fellow) or graduated Swattie (Alumni). After the conversation, the interviewer will submit a summary report to be included in your application file. Students should only request one type of interview and interviews are only available to students who attend high school in the United States.

  • For Students Attending High School in the US
    • Virtual and On-Campus Fellow interviews are available to all first-year applicants who attend high school in the United States. Registration for summer interviews for first-year applicants applying for Fall 2025 entry is now available.

    • Virtual Alumni interviews are available to all first-year applicants who attend high school in the United States. The Virtual Alumni interview request form for first-year applicants applying for Fall 2025 entry will open in September.

  • For Students Attending High School Outside the US
    • Due to capacity limitations, we are unable to accommodate interview requests from students who attend high school outside of the United States. International students are strongly encouraged to submit a Video Response. Alternatively, international students may arrange a general interview with InitialView or Vericant.

Interviews are not required. Applicants who do not interview are not at a disadvantage, and Swarthmore does not practice ‘demonstrated interest’ in its application review process. Why should you interview with us? While your application gives us a lot of information, a face-to-face conversation helps us learn more about you as an individual.

Transfer Interviews

Transfer Interviews are 20-30 minute conversations with a graduated Swattie (Alumni). All interviews for transfer students are held virtually. After the conversation, the interviewer will submit a summary report to be included in your application file. Transfer applicants may only request one interview per application cycle.

  • Transfer interviews are open only to students currently located within the United States. Transfer students located outside of the United States are encouraged to closely review the eligibility requirements for international transfer applicants.
  • Requests for transfer interviews are now closed. Transfer interview requests are typically open from early February to mid March. Transfer interviews for the current cycle must be completed by April 1, 2024. Please note that all interviews are optional, and your application will not be penalized if you do not have one.

Optional Video Response

All students have the option to submit a video response as a supplement to your application. We want to hear directly from you and give you the chance to give us unique insight into your thought process or experiences. After you submit your application, you will have the option to record a video response in your Swarthmore application portal. Application portals open by mid-October.

We are not critiquing your conversation skills, room decor, or fashion sense! We fully expect to hear “ums” or see your cat run into the background. Think of the video response as a conversation: how would you respond to this question if you were talking to someone you just met?

  • How Does it Work?
  • Once you’re ready to record, you will be asked a random question. You have 30 seconds to develop a response to the question. Responses can be up to 2 minutes, but you can end the recording at any time. 
  • The questions will be randomly selected - there’s no need to prepare in advance! There are no right answers to the questions and you don’t need to cite external sources. We’re more interested in learning about the “why” rather than the “what”. We want to learn about you. For example, we might ask you: "What do you do to unwind?" or "What is your favorite holiday?"
  • If you’re unhappy with your first response, you have one more chance to answer another random question. Your first response will be deleted and your second response will be submitted. You will not be able to delete your video response or make any more submissions past the second response. 
  • Technology Requirements
  • Responses must be recorded using a device with the latest version of Google Chrome, Apple Safari, or Mozilla Firefox and access to a camera, microphone, and high-speed internet. Public libraries or schools may be the best option to access that technology. Again, we’re only interested in what you say, not what’s going on in the background. You will get a chance to test your tech before recording your response. If you have any technical issues or questions, please email

Students who go to high school in the U.S. can also consider submitting an optional short Glimpse video through InitialView. Fee waivers are available through InitialView’s website.