This section provides some basic information about interviews and more information can be found here (tutorial link)
- Why do schools interview?
Before you go on an interview, it is important to consider why the program conducts interviews. The goal of interviews from the program's perspectives to better understand who you are as an applicant. They want to obtain a sense of your motivation, maturity, experience, interpersonal skills and professionalism. They want to be sure that you understand the career you have chosen and that are you prepared to excel not only in their program but also in your career.
- Types of interviews
There are a many different types of interviews and you need to be aware of which type you will have before you go. Some programs offer one-on-one conversations with program representatives, others will have a panel of interviewers asking you questions. A few programs conduct group interviews, where multiple students will interact with multiple interviewers. In addition to the different formats, there are differences in the information each interviewer will have about you as a candidate. Some interviews are closed, meaning that the interviewer has not read your application and has no information about you. Other interviews are open, meaning that the interviewer has access to all of your application materials. There are some modifications of these, where the interviewer may have access to your essay but not your transcripts and test scores.
For medical schools there is a newer format, that is becoming much more common and is known as the multiple mini interview or MMI. In an MMI, each interviewee will rotate from one station to another and answer a series of pre-designed questions. In some cases, the interviewee will need play the role of a physician interacting with a patient, in others, the interviewee will need to solve a problem that is posed. For most MMIs, the interviewee will be able to read a scenario/question and have a few moments to gather his/her thoughts before entering the room.
- Appearance Matters
It is important that you look professional for your interview. This typically means suits with pants or a skirt. Solids or minimal patterns in darker colors are recommended. The goal is that you will not be remembered for your clothing, but instead for who you are and your qualifications. Avoid distracting jewelery, hairstyles or brightly colored clothing.
- Substance Matters
While it is important to dress professionally, it is more important you present yourself as a qualified applicant who will make an excellent member of the healthcare profession. Come to the interview prepared to convince the admissions committees that you have the experience and knowledge necessary to be successful in their program. You should also research the specific program to ensure that it is a good fit for you and then be able to explain to the interviewers why you are a good fit for their program.
- Sample Questions
There are a wide range of websites with sample questions for you to review as you prepare. A few of these websites are listed below
Princeton Review has a list of medical school specific questions
The University of Colorado at Boulder has a list of 100 sample questions
Missouri State has a list of a wide range of questions to help prepare for a range of healthcare careers
The University of Tennessee has a list of questions that are specific to PA applicants
IUPUI has a list of questions that are specific to veterinary school applicants