If you’re applying to graduate programs, you’re likely to be preparing for an interview in the near future. While not every grad school requires an interview before extending an offer of admission, programs that do ask for interviews require careful preparation. From anticipating common interview questions, to projecting the right body language, there are essential elements to specifically prepare for.
Before the interview
Leading up to your interview, there are a few things you should be doing to ensure you’re ready to discuss yourself, the school, and your goals for the future.
- Do your research. Whenever possible, you should find out who your grad school interviewer will be. Often, it’s an admission counselor or representative, but it could also be a current graduate student or professor. Doing some research on the interviewer can help you tailor questions to fit their background or discover mutual interests to discuss.
- Nail down why you want to attend the school. While you can likely talk about your activities and accomplishments at length, a harder question to answer off the top of your head is why you want to attend the particular program you’re interviewing for. Take time to learn about the school, program, and faculty as well as how these elements fit your needs and can help you achieve your goals. You should also read through the program’s coursework so you can pick out a few interesting highlights to mention.
While there are many interview prep resources available on the Internet, including our own College Interview Guide, the best teacher available is actually yourself. Learn why in the third point in our latest article on CollegeXpress.