Questions I Ask (or Should Ask) Students in College Admission Interviews

I'm doing an interview weekend in Seattle this weekend where I'll conduct 24 interviews with high school seniors. Here is what I ask. HALP ME WITH NEW ONES!!!
  1. Have you had a college admission interview before?
    Excuse to tell them it'll be 20-25 minutes, that it is relaxed and that they can ask questions at the end.
  2. What is it like to be a student at your high school?
  3. I see you're interested in ______. Where does that come from?
    Cliches: Business/my dad has a business. Psychology/I'm in AP psych. Engineering/I played with Legos growing up. Cinema/I love movies. I heard Spielberg went here?
  4. How does that play in to your interest in USC?
    Please make this more than two sentences. PLEAAAASEEEE.
  5. What sorts of things do you do outside of the classroom?
    Ideally, we are halfway through after answering this and they have talked about things that are interesting that I have asked more about.
  6. How would your best friend describe you?
    Kids can find it hard to describe themselves so I go from the best friend angle.
  7. Tell me about your favorite book, movie and tv show.
    Interesting to see which of the three they choose to name first. Cliches are Gatsby and TKA Mockingbird.
  8. What is the biggest issue facing society today?
    Global warming, being closed minded, poverty. No real cliches though since they're all legit issues.
  9. If you could time travel, forward or backward in time, where would you go and what is an event you would want to witness?
    Cliches are 1920s (i.e. Gatsby) and to the future 'to see where I am'. Kudos to the kids who are worried about disrupting the space/time continuum. Best answers I've gotten are "to the inauguration of the first female president" and "to the apocalypse, but just before." Robots were involved.
  10. If you had to be a horse, chicken or a pig for the rest of your life which would you be an why?
    Stole this from a colleague. Love it.
  11. 20-30 years from now you're on the cover of the @nytimes. What is the headline?
    Only one kid was taken aback and said "well hopefully for something good!!!!" I laughed.
  12. What are you most looking forward to about college?
  13. If college/education wasn't an option, what would you do?
    Many struggle with this and try to maneuver their way back to college.
  14. Where do you get your news?
  15. If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and what would you eat?
    I always end on this question.
  16. Hopefully, I only ask half of these and conversation comes naturally. If I make it to the end of these questions and we are only 15 minutes in....yikes.
  17. Anything you wanted to discuss that we didn't get to or do you have questions for me?
    Chance to brag if they want to or bring up something personal.
  18. If you could be any item sold in a Wal-Mart, what would it be?
    I was asked this question in an interview in college once, and it surprised me but I loved it. My answer: a vacuum cleaner. Efficient, effective, and people don't realize how much they've missed you until they have you--then they never want to be without you.
    Suggested by   @LizDawson
  19. Sort of like your horse/chicken/pig question, but I was asked (and have asked candidates after me) - "Are you a robot or an alien?" Love hearing the explanations behind the choices!
    Suggested by   @Nikki
  20. What's something your friends know about you that your parents don't? What's something your parents know that your friends don't?
    Cross your fingers for interesting "secrets"!
    Suggested by   @margosita