Most professional schools require a personal interview. The interview helps them evaluate your preparation for their program as well as your social skills and your fit with that school.
Who are the interviewers? Typically, they are faculty members, administrators and students who may or may not be members of the admissions committee. What might they ask you? Be prepared to discuss information from your application, including work you have done, your extracurricular activities, and your interests and hobbies. You should also be prepared to discuss current news events and (for those in the health professions) issues in health care, including new scientific developments.
Preparing for your interview
In general, remember that you are always "on" during an interview day. You never know who is giving information to the admissions committee. The student leading your tour may, in fact, report to the admissions committee. The office staff will certainly report if you were rude.
- Dress appropriately. Suits and ties for men (or slacks and a sport coat); dresses, skirt/blouse, slacks/blouse or suit for women. Be aware of anything that might distract them from your credentials, such as strappy high-heeled sandals, piercings, tattoos, cleavage, etc. Above all, look neat and look the part of a professional. You may need to walk a lot so wear comfortable shoes.
- This is your chance to show how well you fit that institution. Do your homework by reading everything you can about that institution and its programs and prepare questions for them. Make sure you can explain your activities and projects with enough detail to illustrate their relevance to your decision to pursue a health care career.
- Prepare for basic questions like, "Why do you want to be in this field?" or prompts such as, "Tell me about yourself." Also be ready to answer the ever-popular final question: "Do you have anything to add?" You should be ready to discuss news events, developments in health and science research, and even ethical questions.
- Ask well-thought-out questions that cannot be answered by a quick browse through their website.
- Figure out the best way for you to relax during that day.
- Schedule a mock interview well in advance with the Center for Career Opportunities. Start at cco.purdue.edu and read the information on interviewing. Next log into myCCO and check out Interview Stream. Then if you want to practice with someone at CCO you can schedule a mock interview.
- Check out interview feedback at studentdoctor.net.
- Your parents, or any other family members, cannot come with you that day. They can go to the campus with you, but they should not enter the professional school building/offices. You can show them around after you are accepted.
- Above all, be yourself. These folks do a lot of interviews. They will know if you are giving the answers you think they want to hear.