The best way to be convincing in an interview is to give a direct, short and succinct answer as the consular officers are able to give only three minutes for each student, according to Marisa MacIsaac, Vice-Consul of the US Consulate General, Hyderabad.

“It is my childhood dream to go to the United States and pursue higher studies there. I have been waiting for this day for a long time. It is in the US where there are many opportunities. It is my life's ambition to study there as it will help my future career. I have always looked forward eagerly to studying in the US universities because of the facilities there. I will also get international exposure.”

Wrong notion

This sort of stereotype and long-winded answers will not help leave a good impression on the US consular officials in a student visa interview. Unfortunately, many aspirants get rejected because of their continued pursuance of this trend despite efforts by the officers to educate them. The reason for this trend is stated to be a wrong notion that the stereotype answers are the safe way to impress the US consular officers. But this is not true, going by the advice of officials themselves.

Marisa MacIsaac, Vice-Consul of the US Consulate General, Hyderabad, says that the best way to be convincing in an interview is to give a direct, short and succinct answer. Throwing light on the proper way of giving answers, she further says: “When a question is asked as to why you are going to the US. You can say. I want to pursue higher education there to increase my knowledge and get strong in my area of study. This will greatly help in my future career as well. Such short and direct answers will do.”

Ms. Marisa along with several other members of a delegation from the consulate general, visited several colleges in Vijayawada and surrounding areas.

They made powerpoint presentations and addressed students, enlightening them on the US student visa procedures and various aspects of where the interviewees are found doing well or not doing well at the time of interviews. Replying to questions from students of the PVP Siddhartha Institute of Technology (PVP SIT) during an open session, Ms. Marisa said that as of now, the consular officers were able to give only 3 minutes for each student visa interview which was why an interviewee had to be all the more careful not to waste it by giving lengthy and tedious answers. She said that a mechanical answer probably borrowed from somebody else would not do the trick nor any tutoring from an expert. A student has to be just “himself or herself”, expressing freely and directly, which is sure to convince the interviewer.

Ms. Marisa's last piece of advice to students was that if they did not understand what is asked by US consular officer, they can say that they were not able to understand and request the officer to speak slowly. It avoids the problematic situation where a student, unable to understand a question, would give a wrong and vague answer leading to the denial of visa.