How Can I Best Prepare For a Grad School Interview?

If you’re applying to a particular grad school, there’s a strong chance that you’ll need to undergo some sort of interview process before you are officially accepted. There’s a chance you’ve heard your fair share of horror stories and you’ve probably already envisioned all the different scenarios how the interview could take a turn for the worst. However, if you make the necessary preparation for your grad school interview, you should handle the process quite easily and effortlessly. These are the best ways that you can prepare for your grad school interview.

Know the Types of Questions You’ll Be Asked

HowStuffWorks.com¬†offers a list of real sample questions that are often posed in grad school interviews. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with them so that you are prepared to answer them. A few sample questions include:

  • Why are you interested in this program?
  • What are your long term goals?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

It’s a good idea to make a list of all questions and practice answering them for friends, family, or yourself in front of a mirror.

Preparation Before the Interview

Before you ever step foot into the interview, you need to make sure you’ve covered all the obvious points. Research the school you’re applying to; it helps if the interviewer can tell that you’re very passionate about attending the school in question.

Additionally, you should make a list of everything that you’d like to bring up to your interviewer. Types of things you should and are encouraged to bring up include your skill set, your best qualities, your strengths, etc. If you have any gaps in performance or questionable areas on your transcript, it’s likely that the interviewer will ask about them. Be sure you have a strong and effective answer to provide them.

Know What the Interviewer is Looking For

Interviewers for grad schools are often very comfortable with giving interviews – mainly because they do it quite a lot. This also means that they are looking for certain types of answers when they ask their questions. Interviewers scrutinize how you answer your questions, the content that you decide to include in your answers, how organizational you are with your thoughts and problem-solving process, and how effectively you communicate your ideas. If the interviewer fires a curve ball question at you, don’t underestimate the importance of pausing for a moment and thinking about how you’ll answer. It’s better than blurting out a dis-organized and confusing answer that probably won’t help your odds of becoming enrolled.

Prepare a List of Questions for the Interviewer

Lastly, you will want to have a list of questions on hand that you will ask to solidify your obvious interest in the school for the interviewer. Just a few of the questions include:

  • How long does it take for the average student to complete this program?
  • What research projects are students currently working on?
  • What are this program’s strengths?

Overall, be sure to flaunt your accomplishments and passion for moving on to grad school. Often times, this is enough to show the interviewer that you are serious about your application and are worthy for being enrolled.

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