The Professional School Interview

An interview is a special opportunity to put your face on that paper file. Prepare for it and you will be successful.

  • Do not assume that the interviewer has read over your entire application—when asked a question, answer directly.
  • Sometimes it is better to decline to give an opinion on the spot—it won’t be impressive to give a manufactured opinion or a cliché.
  • Better not to totally rehearse the answers to probable questions.
  • Be confident, be able to handle difficult situations.
  • Be honest, calm, composed and sincere.
  • The person will most likely ask you about anything unique to you or your application, so review your application beforehand.
  • It is more important HOW you say things, not WHAT you say—how sure you are of yourself, how you conduct a conversation, etc.
  • Another tactic is to ask indirectly, or talk around a subject. Also, you may be asked to place yourself in a hypothetical situation and to describe what you would do, e.g., when facing a crisis.
  • ALWAYS think about your answer first; compose your thoughts. This will not only improve your ability to answer rationally, but it will show your command of the situation.
  • You are not expected to arrive at the best POSSIBLE answer, but you should be able to provide a reasonable one without showing excessive strain.
  • After the formal interview, ask questions about the school. You should be familiar with the school. Read the catalogue and try to arrange for a tour of the facilities. Then you can answer (intelligently) your opinions on the school.
  • After you receive one written acceptance, be selective about interviews—go only to those that truly interest you—saves everyone’s time and money.

Interviewing Tips

  • Be on time. Ten minutes is even better to get relaxed beforehand. However, don’t arrive more than 20 minutes early.
  • Dress appropriately and professionally. Think of appropriate attire for a job interview.
  • Meet the interviewer, shake hands firmly and introduce yourself clearly.
  • Do not stop at “yes” or “no” as an answer. Volunteer as much information as you can so you can tell what you want the interviewer to hear. Change the direction of the questions in the way you want to go. Interviewers prefer outgoing personalities which means willingness to initiate information.
  • Do not be afraid of silence. Take time to think carefully about your answer, even if you pause a few seconds between statements. Collect ideas and be thoughtful.
  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer.
  • Watch posture and avoid fidgeting! Repress anxiety symptoms.