When applying to professional schools, there is one requirement that is quite daunting. And that’s the interview!! Professional schools such as pharmacy, medicine and dentistry require successful candidates to be interviewed before final decisions are made. I remember feeling quite anxious in the days leading up to my interview for pharmacy school. However, if you change your perspective on the purpose of interviews, it can help you feel more confident. Consider it a way to get to know the applicant pool and as your opportunity to shine! Here are some quick tips to help those of you who may be heading to an interview for a professional school but can also be applicable to any interview you may encounter.
- Do Your Research!
With any interview it’s important to get to know who is doing the interviewing. For professional schools, I recommend looking into the Faculty. Read up on their mission, values and goals as an institution and see how that aligns with how you want to grow in that profession. It is also important to be familiar with any attributes that makes that institution stand out and whether they are similar to your interests and how it can benefit your education.
- All About YOU!
The interview is basically your opportunity to brag about how awesome you are! Be familiar with all the experiences you included in your application and be prepared to discuss them. You should be able to comment on how you were able to grow from the opportunities and how they may aid to your development in the profession.
The format of interviews varies between institutions. Some schools still use a standard panel interview where select members of the Faculty will ask questions to the candidate. Some schools are adopting more novel interview formats such as MMIs (multiple mini interviews) which requires students to rotate between stations that will assess various communication skills and personality traits. Whatever the interview format, practice different questions that could be asked. This will help ease those nerves if you have an idea of what to expect!
- Dress to Impress!
This is a no-brainer! Part of making a good impression is looking good! Business casual is a must!
- Be On Time!
Again, a no-brainer! Tardiness does not make a good first impression. Be there 15 minutes early!
- Make the Best Impression Possible
If you follow tips 1-5, these will all help you in making the best impression possible!
Remember, interviews are your chance to shine! Be confident and let them know see how great you are!