Grad school interview tips

November 1, 2010 —

Prospective students on an interview day at DMU

It’s interview season at DMU and colleges across the country. Most days you will find young people walking around campus in suits looking nervous and/or excited.

Before your grad school interview, here are some tips from our admission office for a successful interview:

Before the interview: Practice makes perfect! Have your advisors or professors (or even roommates) do mock interviews with you practicing everything from your handshake and introduction to your good bye.

Confirm your interview.

Dress professionally. If you don’t have a suit, buy one. Don’t be afraid to be the best-dressed person in the room.

Arrive on time. Don’t be too early (15 minutes early gives you plenty of time to check in and relax, any earlier and we may not be ready), and definitely don’t be late.

Research the school you’re interviewing with prior to your arrival.

Review your application. Anything you said there is fair game for interview. Be ready to explain any weak points in your application.

During the interview: The most important thing is to be positive and confident! Confident candidates tend to interview well and can easily express why they want to join the profession (and pursue their education at DMU).

Remember to ask questions. You are interviewing the school too and trying to find out if you are a good fit for each other.

Be able to articulate why you want to go into the profession.

Have a good understanding of the profession, and what individuals in that profession do and how they fit in the health care team. Also, be aware of current events in the profession.

Be prepared to discuss any observation experiences you’ve had and how those experiences have shaped your desire to go into health care.

Other tips: If somebody accompanies you on your trip to Des Moines (parent, spouse), please know that these individuals cannot participate in some aspects of your interview day and should be prepared to spend time on their own (bring a book).

Remember that you are “interviewing” all day long.  Be on your best behavior, even when you’re not in your interview.

Learn  more about the academic programs at DMU and how to apply.

Not ready to apply, but still interested in seeing campus and learning more about DMU? Sign up for our next Discover DMU.


Comments

  • http://www.100k-small-business-coach.com Alanboyer

    I am an advisor to students in another school as well as a business coach to those out in the field.

    The hardest thing for students to do is the interview. They feel as if they are looking up from a point WAY down from that professional they are talking with, and therefore feel at a disadvantage.
    What you believe (being at a disadvantage) and what you do about it all starts in your head.
    Two of the points made by Katie that are important are:
    Ask questions — do not go in believing that YOU have to have all fo the answers. They do want to get to know you, but the easiest way to do that is by asking questions that you’ll need to know to make your own decision. Your ability to ask the right questions shows that you are an in-control person that they’ll want as a student that will get the most from their program.
    Even out in the business world, it isn’t those that tell everything they know, it’s the ones with all of the right questions that win in the business world. Questions can lead the discussion much better than telling what you know.

    The second most important thing that Katie said, is “know why you want to be in this profession.” Answers to a question that sound like “it’s fun” or “it looks interesting” will not wow them. Being able to say, with confidence, that you’ve experienced what a __________ can do and you want to be able to do that yourself excites you” is much better. Come up with your own.
    In fact, back to the questions, when they ask you why you want to be in this profession, of course, answer it the best you can, but then be prepared with your own questions that will show that you are asking for help clarifying your direction just a little further. They’ll appreciate that.

  • http://www.100k-small-business-coach.com Alanboyer

    I am an advisor to students in another school as well as a business coach to those out in the field.

    The hardest thing for students to do is the interview. They feel as if they are looking up from a point WAY down from that professional they are talking with, and therefore feel at a disadvantage.
    What you believe (being at a disadvantage) and what you do about it all starts in your head.
    Two of the points made by Katie that are important are:
    Ask questions — do not go in believing that YOU have to have all fo the answers. They do want to get to know you, but the easiest way to do that is by asking questions that you’ll need to know to make your own decision. Your ability to ask the right questions shows that you are an in-control person that they’ll want as a student that will get the most from their program.
    Even out in the business world, it isn’t those that tell everything they know, it’s the ones with all of the right questions that win in the business world. Questions can lead the discussion much better than telling what you know.

    The second most important thing that Katie said, is “know why you want to be in this profession.” Answers to a question that sound like “it’s fun” or “it looks interesting” will not wow them. Being able to say, with confidence, that you’ve experienced what a __________ can do and you want to be able to do that yourself excites you” is much better. Come up with your own.
    In fact, back to the questions, when they ask you why you want to be in this profession, of course, answer it the best you can, but then be prepared with your own questions that will show that you are asking for help clarifying your direction just a little further. They’ll appreciate that.