So you’ve done the scouting report that we talked about in the last blog post and you’ve taken the time to connect your interests and values with the schools mission. You’ve researched the programs strengths and weaknesses and reflected on your own and you even have questions to ask the interviewers that do not have answers that can be found on the school website. Now what? What other things do you need to prepare for your interviews?
One of the things that you want to research is the interview style that each school will use. This will help you to prepare for the interview day much better because you will have an idea of what to expect. There are various kinds of interview styles:
One-on-One – This is more of a traditional-style interview. It will be you and a representative from the professional school. Typically this representative is either an admissions committee member, faculty, a current student, or even a member of the school’s community.
Panel – In this style of interview, you will be interviewed by more than one person at a time. They usually each have specific questions that they will ask you during this interview.
Blind – During a blind interview, the interviewer or panel does not have any of the information from your application. They’re review of you is based solely on how you present yourself during the interview and they have no prior knowledge of any of your credentials such as grades, admission test scores, co-curricular activities, etc.
Partial Blind – During a partial blind interview, the interviewer has reviewed some of your application materials (usually only your personal statement and secondary application) but has not seen your admissions test scores or GPA.
Open – During an open interview, the interviewer has seen every piece of information in your application.
Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) – During MMI’s, you will go through multiple scenarios that focus on behavior based issues, such as communication, ethics, critical thinking, teamwork, and opinions on health care issues.
During all of these interview styles, the school will be evaluating your motivation, professionalism, knowledge of the health care field, adaptability, maturity, communication skills, and consistency. Remembering the following tips will help make interview day go little less stressful:
- -Ask Questions – Remember, you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you
- -Re-read your personal statement and supplemental application – It will be stressful trying to remember that spectacular wording that you used to describe the most influential clinical experience you’ve ever had if the last time you have seen it is three months ago.
- -Make eye contact – Would you be comfortable if your doctor or dentist wouldn’t look you in the eye?
- -Turn off your cell phone – Don’t put in on vibrate, people will still hear it. Whatever is happening outside of the interview will still be happening after the interview is over
- -Take a minute to think about your answer – Blurting out the first thing that pops into your mind has rarely worked out for anyone. Be thoughtful about how you are representing yourself,
- -Be honest and upfront about your knowledge (or lack of knowledge) – If you are not familiar with a concept or situation, preface your response with that face so that it is understood.
- -Be on time, if not early – Being late to your interview is the absolute LAST thing you want to happen. Plan time for getting lost, not being able to find a parking space, having to walk to a building, getting lost again, and not being able to find a room.
Remember that the ENTIRE DAY is the interview – From the time you set foot on the campus until the time you drive away is all a part of the interview. Staff and other campus personnel can all be pulled in to weigh in on your candidacy for admission.