If you’re reading this, you have probably received the exciting news that you’re getting an interview! Congratulations! The hardest part is over! This post is to talk about my favorite ways to prepare for interviews. I get extremely anxious and believe that you can never be too prepared. Here goes!
Review your application.
Look at all the notable experiences you listed and especially read over your personal statement. You should be able to talk in detail about anything you listed. Also, have some favorite talking points ready in case your interviewers ask you to choose which experiences to discuss. In my interview, most of the questions regarded things I talked about in the personal statement. They have read your application all the way through and know your academic and professional background. Let them get to know YOU!
Review the program you’re applying to.
Learn some fun facts about the school (for instance, UAB’s PA program is nationally ranked!). You will often be asked why you want to attend that program in particular. It reflects well on you to know some things about the school. Looking at PANCE pass rates, years of accreditation, and notable faculty members is a good way to get started.
Be prepared to answer two seemingly obvious questions.
What is a PA and why do you want to be one? In my interview I was asked, “how do you explain to your friends and family members what a PA is?” It caught me off guard even though I had told people dozens of times before. Answer these two questions for yourself in your own words a few times. Why DO you want to dedicate your life to this profession?
Pick a rockin’ (but very professional) interview outfit.
A trick I use at every single interview is to wear light colors and include an accent color. I remember walking into my interview and seeing a sea of black pant and skirt suits. There was literally no one wearing any other color. This made me confident that I was already standing out among the crowd in a light beige pencil skirt and emerald green blazer. Check out the outfit and other professional wardrobe pieces. I’m a firm believer that when you look your best, you perform your best. Make sure the outfit you choose fits you comfortably and you won’t be fidgeting with it during the day. It is also wise to bring something to write with or take notes on. I used my iPad.
The night before the interview, pamper yourself.
You worked hard to even get to this point, you deserve it. Eat a nice meal and try to relax. My favorite way to unwind is with a LUSH bathbomb and face mask. LUSH is my go-to for “feel good” cosmetics, check out my favorites! I feel my best when my nails are manicured, if you do too then treat yo’self. Hair looking a little drab? Get that deep conditioning treatment you’ve been wanting! Have some ice cream. RELAX and get some sleep.
Finally, walk into that interview confidently and kindly.
Make a point to interact with other interviewees, they are all just as nervous as you are and could one day be your classmates! Know that you’re being evaluated from the moment you walk in the door and act accordingly. Of course, be yourself. Just be your best self!
The most comforting thing about the interview process is knowing that if you got the interview, the program thinks you have what it takes to be a successful PA student. Also, programs benefit from great students so you are interviewing the school as much as they are interviewing you. Make sure it’s the right fit and that you feel comfortable and at home on the campus.. You’ll be spending a lot of time there soon!
As always, please contact me with any questions and be sure to leave some feedback in the comments!