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Guest OnBelay

Interview Tips

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Guest OnBelay

Interview season is here and wanted to start this for the inexperienced. From previous threads and friends, I got the following advice:

 

1. Relax and be yourself.

2. Go through the list of typical interview questions (from SAAPA) and think about how you would answer them.

3. Brush up on the health care policy.

4. Don't forget to adjust your watch according to the time zone.

 

Any other tips you can add? What are some of the things you wish you knew before your interviews?

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After completing several interviews already, I've noticed they all have certain things in common. They are:

 

1. Be sincere. It counts for a lot.

2. Be humble. No one wants to work and study with arrogant, self-centered people.

3. Know why you want to be a PA. I mean really know why. Do a gut check and make sure it is what you want to be. It is very fashionable right now to pursue PA education and it does no one any good to waste everyones time pursuing vanity.

4. Canned answers are nice, but they want to know who you are, not whether you can spout off rehashed answers. All schools are putting together teams (classes) and they want to see how you'll fit in. Telling them what a PA is does them no good... they know already.

5. Relax and enjoy. You are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you.

 

Greg

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ok.. ill throw in a couple.

 

1) dress well.. i mean very well.. you cant be overdressed... unless you're in a tuxedo of course.

 

2) and this one is important.... NEVER say ANYTHING negative about ANYONE/ANYTHING. keep everything positive.. your reason for becoming a PA is NOT because you dont like nursing.. it because you DO like PA.. Your last job wasnt terrible... it was great and you appreciate the time you spent there... never be negative!

 

chris

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Always greet your interviewer with a good firm handshake, a smile, & look them in the eye when you say hello.

 

Have fun with it!:)

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Answering Questions:

Listen to the questions... stop to reflect...then explore the motive of the question...as well as the question... Please think before you speak...

 

Appearance:

You should look like the PA Professional that they want to see walk into the exam room when they are ill... when you present yourself for the interview... (no "pimp suits"..."zoot suits"...or "flowered" "busy" garments...think business conservative)

 

Arrive the day before (this way...you have 24hrs to deal with "travel/accomodation" problems)...drive around...familiarize yourself with the area before the interview...

 

Always bring a CV (in case yours got mis-placed) and a "Back-up" suit... if you dazzle them...They may invite you back the next day... and offer you admittance...

 

 

DocNusum

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Guest OnBelay

Almost everyone suggested to relax during the interview. I felt too nervous for my interview that I felt that I could've given better answers if I was relaxed.

 

Anyone have any relaxation techniques?

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What should is proper to wear to an interview? Where is the best place to buy a professional suit? Just wondering because I have my first interview coming October 29th!!

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Conservative wear - Dark suit (Black, Grey, or Navy), White shirt, blue or red tie. Shined shoes. Socks match the suit pants. Only watch and wedding band for jewelry (earrings for women but only 1 pair). No perfume. Nothing flashy or trendy. You are looking to enter one of the oldest professions know and it tends to be conservative. For men, any men's wearhouse (or similar shop) will do.

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Well, based on below, you know AAPA has its eye on our site. we certainly address all of these issues. - MG

 

FROM AAPA LINK GIVEN BY SCUT-MONKEY:

Q: What are some current events facing the PA profession?

 

A:

 

- Name Change - should PA's change their name to "Physician Associate?"

- Degree Offered - should the PA education degree be standardized to a Master's degree?

- Reimbursement - should PAs get reimbursed the same amount as doctors? For what procedures should PAs get reimbursed for?

- HMOs/PPOs - what do you think of HMOs and PPOs? Are they good or bad?

- Job Outlook - what do you think the job outlook is for the future of the PA profession? Are PAs taking away jobs from nurses and doctors?

- Saturation - is there any demand or jobs available for PAs?

- Struggles with nurses - do you think PAs and NPs are in conflict with each other?

- State associations - is it important for you as a student to join your local, regional, and national PA associations? Why or why not?

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Guest shkalla

Just wanted to add that some schools want you to write an essay. I had a surprise essay with a random question: Do you think social security should cover all senior citizan's healthcare costs? Should limits be set? And how should it be founded?

haha, I don't know anything about social security so that was a fun essay to write.

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Guest kohinoor

Also, know what a PA is?!?! Sounds simple right. You wouldnt believe how many PA Students themselves get this question wrong.

 

At one interview last year, I made the mistake of saying a PA practices independantly (even though thats not really what i meant). OH BOY, did I get hounded by the interviewer! Although there is a great level of autonomy, they are not independant practitioners! So dont ever make the mistake I did, even if its just a play on words.

 

Secondly, your interviewer may give you a scenario to test your critical thinking and ethical skills. I was asked a question on how I would handle a patient situation where I felt the patient needed immediate help but the doctor who was not at the office that day, disagreed with me. He asked me how I would handle that situation. Basically he was trying to assess my critical reasoning skills and trying to see if I valued the patient's life (how much did I trust my decision) vs Authority and how I would eventually handle that dilemma.

 

The bottom line is that some schools want to see the way you think, while others are happy just learning about your work experiences in the healthcare field or motivation to become a PA.

 

Do some thinking beforehand and be prepared for anything.

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Guest nisi

Just a few to add....

 

Know a little about the history of the school you are interviewing at, nothing is worst than if they ask you a question about why you chose their school and you can't answer. It is also good to know when the school started their PA program, their highlights and if the program is geared towards family practice, rural medicine, etc. Do your research beforehand and you'll be fine.

 

Also most interviewers want to know and feel confident that you have the stamina to endure such a rigorous program, program directors don't like attrition and dislike people dropping out after the fact. Once accepted, the faculty puts quite a lot of time and interest in to seeing you succeed, so make sure this is what you want to do.

The best advise I was given before an interview was, to look around the campus, talk to the current PA students and decide if this place and these kind of people are who I want to spent the next two years with. I believe that made a difference in where I chose to go.

Good Luck!

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Just think of it this way...these interviewers are evaluating you as a potential future colleague. They want to make sure you have the right qualities to become a PA and succeed professionally.:)

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Men's Wearhouse is a good place to start. I got an interview-clencher for about $300. Don't go for the shoes, tie and belt routine, though. I walked down the street to Sears and got a pair of Florsheim shoes, a tie and the belt for about 1/2 the price.

 

Every now and then I wear it to school for a presentation or a test, just to throw people off:)

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Any recommendations on how women should wear their hair?

 

My thinking is that if the woman's hair is past the shoulders it might be best to pull it back or wear it in a bun.

 

Other than that something conservative & put together should be just fine. You definitely don't want to have bangs in your face during your interview.:)

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On the clothes issue: For regular sized women: any department store will have good choices, ask a sales associate over the age of 30 (younger ones may not really know what "conservative" means) For the plus size woman: Lane Bryant website. Their stores tend to be a bit more trendy than what you want, unless it is Winter. For petites: Petite Sophisticate usually has great stuff. Hope this helps a little.

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Anyone have any advice on if I should bring my full transcripts (official/vs.unofficial) if the school I am interviewing for already has it? I know that I should bring a copy of my Fall transcript if the interview is after Dec., but was just unsure about the full thing. Also, should I bring a CV?

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Guest OnBelay

I also brought copies of my transcripts (still sealed so they were official) and a copy of my CASPA printout. The one school that took a copy of my transcript at the time of the interview was the only school that specifically asked me to bring it that day.

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Guest justamom

what in the world is a CV. I have seen that in several places and do not know what it is.

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A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is an all-encompassing document that details pretty much your entire background. Depending on your field, it can include things such as classes/seminars taught, papers published, etc... it is not meant to be short like a resume. Instead, it covers all aspects of your background so as to give the reader a detailed view of who and what you are professionally.

 

For an example, see:

 

http://jobsearch.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=jobsearch&zu=http%3A%2F%2Frutgers.placementmanual.com%2Fgraduate%2Fgraduate-04.html

 

American CVs differ from British CVs however... the Brits usually keep them short and sweet (like an American resume).

 

Greg

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Practice, practice, practice. Don't wing it. Mock interview for a week solid with a good friend/spouse etc... Do an hour a night for a week. You will see the difference in your confidence because it has given you the time to think about your answers.

Practice, and dress as good as you can!

Don't sit until you are asked to be seated.

Be humble!

Be alert!

Don't know the answer, then say I don't know.

Take the time to think about the question.

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Guest hug793

Go to the interview and be yourself! Be confident in your abilities and your experience. Remember the person who is interviewing you is "just a person like you are!"

PA applicants come from all walks of life.

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