Tried-and-true tips to ace your interview

Interview season begins next month at Des Moines University! The campus community loves meeting our applicants and showing them how great of a place we are! An interview day, however, can be stressful for applicants so the Admissions office is ready to help. Below are a few tips for a successful interview day.

Before the interview

  • Practice, practice, practice! Connect with a friend, instructor, family member or mentor to help you refine your interview skills. From your handshake to answering tough questions, practice makes perfect!
  • Do some soul-searching. Think about who you are, your goals and your motivation for a career in health sciences. You will be expected to articulate specifically why you want to be a physician, physical therapist or physician assistant and what you can contribute to the profession.
  • Research the school with which you’re interviewing. Understand the school mission, community engagement, curriculum, clinical opportunities and student life. Your understanding of the institution will show through in your interview!
  • Review your application. Interviewers may have full access to your application before the interview and may formulate questions based on your application. You need to be prepared by knowing what you wrote!

The day of your interview

  • Dress for success. Dress professionally! Typically, this means a suit.
  • Arrive on time. Don’t be too early (more than 15 minutes) and definitely do not arrive late.
  • Relax! Most interview candidates are nervous, and that is normal! However, you can’t be so nervous that you are unable to communicate during your interviews.
  • Be on your best behavior all day. You may not know who you’re interacting with on campus, but assume that every person you meet could determine your admission decision. This includes cafeteria staff, maintenance workers, housekeeping staff and others.
  • Ask questions! This helps show your true interest in the university.

After the interview

  • Get thank-yous out right away. If you would like to send a thank you note, do so quickly! Because DMU uses rolling admission, admission committees could meet within a couple days of an interview.
  • Ask more questions! It is perfectly fine to follow up with additional questions after your interview day. Contact the admissions office for questions you thought of on your way home!


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