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Acing the Graduate/Professional School Interview. Tutorial. CONGRATULATIONS!. You should applaud yourself for being invited to interview for a graduate school program! The admissions committee found your application impressive. Now you just need to wow them during your interview.

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Acing the Graduate/Professional School Interview

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Presentation Transcript
  • You should applaud yourself for being invited to interview for a graduate school program!
  • The admissions committee found your application impressive. Now you just need to wow them during your interview.
this tutorial will
This tutorial will:
  • Provide an overview of the various components that make up the interview process
  • Provide interview strategies to ensure success
purpose of the graduate school interview
Purpose of the Graduate School Interview
  • Faculty perspective
    • Narrow down the applicant pool
    • Decide who to admit into the program
  • Your perspective
    • Learn more about the program
    • Meet with the faculty
    • Determine if the program is a good fit for you
    • Decide if you want to attend the institution
interview components
Interview Components
  • Similar to a job interview, a graduate school interview consists of three components:
    • Before the interview
    • During the interview
    • After the interview
before the interview
Before the Interview
  • Always, always, always make sure you prepare for the interview.
  • Preparation involves knowing about:
    • Yourself
    • The career field, industry and available career options
    • The program
    • The institution
know yourself
Know Yourself
  • Because graduate school is a big investment (time, money, etc.), it is essential that you choose the right program that matches your career goals.
  • Consider the following:
    • What attracted you to this field?
    • What attracted you to this particular program and school?
    • What are your professional goals?
    • How will going to graduate school help you reach your goals?
    • What experiences have you had that set you apart from other applicants?
    • What are you hoping to gain from advanced education?
know the career field industry available career options
Know the Career Field, Industry & Available Career Options
  • Due to the fact that graduate and professional programs are very focused, it is essential that you demonstrate your knowledge regarding your chosen career field.
  • Some questions that you should be able to answer include:
    • What occupations can be pursued with this type of education?
    • What are the educational requirements?
    • In what professional associations are people involved?
    • Who are the key people in the field?
    • What are the current trends and issues facing the field?
    • What is the history of your field?
know the program
Know the Program
  • Additionally, those interviewing you want to know that you are serious about their program. Therefore, you must demonstrate that you have thoroughly researched the program in question.
  • Consider learning:
    • Who the faculty members are, their specialties and research interests.
    • Program requirements.
    • The type of students that the program attracts.
    • The distinguishing characteristics of this program.
know the institution
Know the Institution
  • As you know from your time at McDaniel College, plenty of learning and activities take place outside of the classroom.
  • Since you can expect to spend a fair amount of time on campus, you may want to consider:
    • The facilities
    • The library
    • Student organizations
    • Support services
before the interview12
Before the Interview
  • Preparing for a graduate school interview does not end with knowing about yourself, the program, etc.
  • Applicants invited to interview must make sure to dress professionally and to be prompt.
interview appearance
Interview Appearance
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Wear wrinkle-free clothes
  • Wear little jewelry, perfume and makeup
  • Items to avoid include:
    • Loud colors
    • Low cut blouses
    • Short skirts
    • Clanging jewelry
    • Sandals/open-toed shoes
    • Character ties
interview timing
Interview Timing
  • Know the exact time and location of the interview
  • Arrive 15 minutes early to freshen up hair and clothes
during the interview
During the Interview
  • The interview is the time and place to let yourself shine!
  • Here you want to expand on your academic interests, research experience and skills, professional goals and how this program ties into the big picture.
  • This is also the time when you can expect any questions that focus on weaker areas of your application. So, be prepared.
during the interview continued
During the Interview (continued)
  • The interview begins once you step into the outer office, so be nice to everyone you meet
  • Enter and greet the interviewer(s) with a smile, good eye contact and a firm handshake
  • Always refer to the interviewers by their name (ex. Mr. Brown)
during the interview continued18
During the Interview (continued)
  • Listen to questions carefully
  • Mention examples and results of your past work
  • Avoid using slang and expressions such as “uh,” “you know” and “like”
  • Speak in a clear tone—not to fast and not too slow
  • When it is your turn, ask questions. This shows responsibility and alertness
after the interview
After the Interview
  • Similar to job interviews, you will want to send a thank you to those that interviewed you and anyone that hosted you during your visit.
  • Follow up with the program coordinator to check the status of your application.
for more information
For More Information
  • Visit Career Services web page at:
  • Visit the Career Resource Library to review graduate catalogs, financial aid information, etc.
  • Attend a “Graduate School: To Go or Not To Go” workshop (check Career Services’ events schedule for dates and times of workshop).
need more help
Need more help?
  • Stop by Smith House to speak with a career counselor
  • Call 410-871-3305 to schedule an appointment