I got my Visa approved on 8th Dec. Before I start writing about it, I want to thank you. I got valuable inputs, time to time through this blog. Thanks for all the help you provided, by the way I am the same guy who had sent you the query for ‘Passport & I-20 sign mismatch’.
Before I post experience, I would like to share strengths & weaknesses in my VI applications.
- Good GRE & TOEFL score
- Descent University
- Sponsor is not my family member
- Financial Status
- 3 Backlogs (Actaully I was absent for 2 subjects & one was viva. I was prepared for this question by answering that I topped these subjects in next semester [I actually did 🙂 ])
I reached Mumbai consulate at 7:15 am & stood in the line.
I advice those who are yet to take interviews, be early there so that you get some time to settle down your nerves.
I went through all security checks, fingerprints etc. I sat in front of counter X & was waiting for my token number to be shown on the LCD. There was total chaos at counters X & Y, both VO’s rejected tonnes of people within span of 15 to 20 minutes.
I thought what’s going on & started to pray, to get some other counter. Luckily, I got counter Z.
I stood in the line, in front of me there were two students & both got rejected.
I said wow; but hang on, it wasn’t VO to blame. It was applicant’s response to questions.
Believe me, I heard some of the dumb responses ever to questions asked by VO. I don’t say that all applicants gave nonsesnse answers; but atleast whom I heard, they did it.
Again, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings; but I actually heard some unbelievable responses.
Response to the question why USA – US always welcomes people from all backgrounds. XXX number of international students come to USA every year for quality education & blah blah. Answer never indicated at all why that particular student wanted to go USA.
But it was really painful experience to watch those interviews as it was difficult for me to see students getting rejected after successfully overcoming all hurdles like GRE, Toefl, Applications, Recos etc.
So next was my number. A lady VO in her 30’s…..
Me: GMorning (I didn’t ask ‘How r u?’ she was looking very frustrated)
VO: So why US?
Me: Mam, to pursue MS in IE at NCSU, located at Raleigh. (I worded everything properly. No shortforms.)
VO: Why NCSU?
Me: Currently I work as Service Engineer in XXXX, India & I want progress in my career but as a business analyst which needs knowledge of three core areas of IE. Manu Sys, Prod Sys & System analysis – optimization. NCSU provides best courses in these fields & has best faculty doing research in these areas. Also NCSU is highly ranked for IE. (Told ranking as per USA News ranking).
VO: How many Universities you applied for?
VO: How many admits?
VO: why only two?
Me: I had applied to only top universities, didnt want to compramize with quality of education. So 2 admits & 3 rejects, still I am not in loss. I have admits from two good universities. (She just smiled)
VO: Whats your GRE score.
VO: How are you planning to pay for your studies?
Me: (I was seriously hoping to avoid any encounter with this sort of question as my parents are not my sponsors & my real sponsor is remotely related to me) I am going to support myself & I have also taken a bank loan. If at all requires, my brother in law (Cousin’s Hubby) would be happy to support me.
VO: I suppose he works here, in India.
Me: Yes Mam.
VO: Where & in which company?
Me: Told company, Location & Designation.
VO: How are you, yourself going to pay? What’s your monthly income?
Me: XXXX thousands.
VO: It’s good. Still I think you may not have that much saving.
Me: (I got tensed, still I put on the smile & said) mam, I am working for more than 4 years & I have supporting docs if you want to check. (I started to open my folder).
VO: No need. Just stay well & study well in US of America. I am approving your Visa.
Me: Thank you, Mam.
Few Tips for Visa interview
- Don’t give scripted ans for VI. Preparation is good, VO expects us to be prepared; but not scripted answers or atleast give them as if they are not totally scripted. I heard some people & it looked very odd because they gave very vague & scripted answers. So not very surprized to see slaughter there.
- Keep urself busy so that you will not get tensed before VI. I had taken leave from office for preparation but instead I watched 3 movies & listened lot of songs on the way to VI.
- Last but not least, I watched some people shaking in the consulate, yes that happens for some time esp. when you enter the consulate but not all the time. It will just work against you. Even if you get rejected that won’t be end of the world.
Thanks to Vishal for sharing his student visa interview experience. One more student to NCSU. Looks like I should have a HSB meetup with NC State students. I believe there are several HSB fans at NCSU.
For those who don’t know, I live 15 miles away from NCSU campus.
Have a safe flight to USA and share your travel and student life experience after you settle down in the campus.