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.
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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 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 • 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 • Know the exact time and location of the interview • Arrive 15 minutes early to freshen up hair and clothes
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) • 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 (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 • 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 • Visit Career Services web page at: http://www.mcdaniel.edu/5408.htm • 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? • Stop by Smith House to speak with a career counselor • Call 410-871-3305 to schedule an appointment