Tips to help you master the grad school interview
November 16, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Today, a large number of graduate programs require a one-on-one interview. This is especially true of medical and business schools. Being able to outshine the rest of the candidates at a medical school is one way of standing out from the crowd. It is the best opportunity to put a face on your application and sell yourself to the admission committee. However, while an increasing number of colleges are tilting towards favouring interviews, they are not a norm at all colleges. If you find that the college you are applying to does not conduct interviews, it is a good idea to go ahead and request for one. When you request for an interview it will make them sit up and take notice and they will be keen to meet with you and see what it is you have to say. It is one way of tilting the scales in your favour.
Regardless of whether an interview is necessary or not, it is almost like any professional interview for any job. It is important to know how you present yourself, come across as a skilled applicant and make yourself look like the perfect candidate. You should be able to leverage this opportunity and leave a very good impression.
Here is some useful advice that will help you master the graduate school interview:
- Research the program well. It will help you respond appropriately and also ask relevant questions. Try to review the program too as this will help you ask some intelligent comparative questions.
- Get to know the professors at the school you are applying to even before you go for the interview.
- As part of the preparation process, write your personal statement before you go for the interview. This will help you get more clarity when you are answering any question that may be asked of you.
- The preparation for a medical college interview should be very much on the lines of a regular job interview. You have to be ready to discuss your professional and academic goals, motivation and areas of interest.
- You have to be ready to answer questions is a tactful manner. Your responses have to demonstrate your ability to solve problems. Keep in mind that the interviewer is interested in the manner in which you structure your answers as well as their content.
- Ask questions that are relevant to the graduate program as well as to the interviewer. This will give you as well as the interviewer an insight into your priorities and personality.
- Dress appropriately. This means professionally and smartly. This is an interview, not a pub or a beach party so party clothes and casual clothes is a no-no.
You should know that interviewers are more interested in knowing how you think and not just what you are thinking about. As a result, you might be asked some hypothetical questions that seem to have very little meaning. Don’t rush to give the obvious answer. Pause, weigh the question in your mind and only then respond appropriately. Remember, this interview can be the difference between your admission and a rejection.