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Guest OnBelay

Interview Tips

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I found a website with like 100 most asked questions. Too bad it doesn't provide answers:rolleyes: www.painformation.com

I wanted to add something as a suggestion:

1. Don't bring your cell phone

2. Read about PA profession history

3. Wear matching socks:)

4. Speak loud and clear

5. Don't lie about anything

6. Don't answer questions with questions i.e. don't ask "what do you mean? What's the difference? and so on.

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I saw one male interviewee not wear a suit jacket I thought that did not look to professional and I saw some female interviewees dress poorly, some wore skirts that were way too short and some wore open toed shoes which looked innapropriate too. One guy wore sunglasses the whole time after the interview, kind of shady looking. One guy had on Doc Martins, cool for the coffee shop, not an interview to a professional program in my opinion.

Anyone else see any poor dressers at any interviews? Let's hear them...

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Anyone else see any poor dressers at any interviews? Let's hear them...

 

If the info will be presented as a guide for what not to do that is ok in this thread. Otherwise, please take note that this thread is a 'sticky' and should be a positive source of info for current applicants to find constructive and useful tips.

 

Thanks & take care everyone.:)

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I just wrapped up my interviews last December and had great success (accepted at 6 of 7 schools). Here's what worked for me:

You should know what you think about certain issues (health care reform, conflicts with SPs, major failings of the US medical system, the underserved, etc...) and should have general idea about what you would like to do as a PA, but practicing too much can make you sound disingenuous or worse, like you're hiding something (I met one guy that wanted to be a surgical PA, but was going to tell the Adcom that he wated to be a Family Practice guy becasue he thought it would increase his chances of getting in). If you practice for every possible question, your answers are going to sound canned because they are. Also, if they ask you something you didn't plan for, you might get stuck. T

One thing I would practice is making a good first impression and engaging people as soon as you walk into the room. Also, work on remembering names. At some schools, you'll have multiple interviews and on your last interview of the day they'll wask you the names of the people you met.

The most important thing to remember is that the admissions committee is looking for a reason to accept you, not a reason to turn you down. If you give them honest, informed answers, you shouldn't have any problem.

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Guest mannash

I thought this was funny. I interviewed at couple of schools and the response was as soon as some one entered the room full of applicants was "so you all got the memo". Even funnier was the time when other applicant who interviewed with me (at the same time with the faculty) was wearing same color shirt and shoes. Even her hairs were done similar to mine. At other place one faculty commented "so many penguins together"...... It was funny though.

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Guest bluebenzgirl

At my interview, (I only applied to my #1 choice) there was a girl who looked like she was going to class...she had a tote bag-patchwork multicolored at that-a purse, portofolio, it was ridiculous-too much stuff.

A really good point is that when they bring students in to "entertain you" they are not there to be your friends..so do not let your guard down. They are there to interview you too.....we had a girl say to a current PA student (who happens to be one of my best friends) that she was an EMT and knew so much already that PA school would be a walk in the park for her. Then there was the guy who would not talk to anyone.....and when someone was talking he would not even look at them.

Actions speak louder than words......

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Guest kr105

By and large I agree with previous posts - with one exception. Please consider showing a little confidence by choosing to stand out (just a little) with your dress.

 

When I interviewed at PA schools, I wore a light blue business suit. It was a conservative cut with an attractive scarf as an accent. Walking into that sea of navy and black clothes, I know I made the right choice.

 

As an interviewer myself, I found myself trying to put faces to names at the end of an interivew session. For the few who decided not to put a photo on their application, they blended back into the sea of navy/black.

 

This is a fine line to walk, but one that can pay off in the end. For men, consider a distinctive tie (conservative, but one that stands out in a good way.) If you are confident, consider a nice sports coat over pressed (and creased) chinos.

 

For women, consider a business suit in a color. Companies like Albert Newman, Kasper and Saville Row have the right conservative look in colors. My former EMS parter wore a fire-engine red Dior suit into her interviews and was also accepted.

 

So, show some confiendence and stand out from the crowd in a good way!

 

Best of luck,

K.

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as far as dress goes, I agree with dressing up but like kr105 said, you can spice it up a little..be an individual...i wore all black shirt with black pinstriped pants, a jacket, and my "spice up" was a nice Wolverine tie (yes the comic book character) i figured that if they weren't going to let me in because of a tie then i wouldn't want to go there anyways...the tie actually became a quick subject of convo with one of the interviewers who said it was her son's fav. character. after being accepted i wore it to my other interviews as my "lucky tie" and so far, its worked...so dress up but don't lose who you are...

 

 

phil

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After having gone to 5 interviews this season there is one question EVERY program asks and it is "Why do you want to come here?”

This is the easiest question to get big points with the adcom if you do a little research.

I recommend going to their web site and clicking on EVERY link that is listed within the PA web pages.

I would also Google the name of the PA program and go at least 5 pages back. I also would Google the program director. I found out such information as what professional committee the chair sat on. Also, check and see if any of the faculty has received any awards? I found out that one of the faculty was awarded the humanitarian of the year award by the state PA association.

You might think that this is mundane information but if you can have an honest answer why you think each one of them is important and be able to explain them to the adcom, it will show them that you have actually looked into their program. You want to score big points with the questions you know they are going to ask so you can offset some of the odd ball ones they ask that might give you trouble. Plus, they always ask this question in the beginning of the interview so you can have a confident, well thought out start to the process.

I have more suggestions but this is enough for now.

SP

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I LOVE THIS SITE! So much great advice and great people who are willing to help those of us who are trying to get in. I wish I knew about it before my interviews last year..but thats ok because I am reapplying this year with A LOT more confidence. One question though..at the end of an interview, they would ask you if you have any questions for the..are they testing whether you can come up with a great question? Is there a really good question that we should ask them? Or can you just say..no, you don't have any more questions..???

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Guest kr105

It's not unreasonable to ask them roughly when you can expect to hear back from the admissions committee. You really enjoyed your visit and hope to join their incoming class. Yada, yada, yada.

 

Best of luck,

K.

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Guest OnBelay
One question though..at the end of an interview, they would ask you if you have any questions for the..are they testing whether you can come up with a great question? Is there a really good question that we should ask them? Or can you just say..no, you don't have any more questions..???

 

If you have no questions to ask them, then say, "I've done so much homework about your school and your admissions secretary, Ms. ____, has answered all my questions already. But I want to thank you for the opportunity."

 

With me, I always had questions. There are always things that aren't mentioned on their website or their information sessions. Some questions I asked the schools include:

1. What is their attrition rate? Why are students dropped?

2. Are the professors practicing PAs?

3. What is the student-teacher ratio?

4. How available are the professors (what are their office hours outside of class if I need help with some concepts?)

5. Is there a free clinic in or near campus where the students can use/practice their newly learned skills?

etc, etc, etc.......

 

go to your interview with a list of:

1. Why I like this school

2. Questions to ask the interviewers

and review this list the morning of the interview.

 

Lots of luck to everyone

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Guest kr105

Your worst quality is that you are:

 

1) a workaholic - You really have a problem leaving a task undone. You will work whatever hours are nec. to get the task accomplished

 

2) a bit of a perfectionist - a job worth doing is worth doing well.

 

I hope these help.

K.

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Another great question to make sure you know the answer to is the pass rates for the PANCE exam.( Be specific about pass rates from the most recent graduating class...some programs will try to cover up a poor pass rate with averages from several years.) This can make the difference between choosing one program over another should you have to make a decision.

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Your worst quality is that you are:

 

1) a workaholic - You really have a problem leaving a task undone. You will work whatever hours are nec. to get the task accomplished

 

2) a bit of a perfectionist - a job worth doing is worth doing well.

 

I hope these help.

K.

 

Great advice! It really helps!

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Guest mablet

Here's one to add to interview question on the best and worst qualities about you:

 

For worst quality, I like that the workaholic answer is one of those double edge "it's a weakness-but-also-perceived-as-strength" answers. However, I didn't quite want to use workaholic nor perfectionist(although still true with me) because I felt like it wasn't an answer that stood out. It's something that interview workshops have told people to use.

 

Because my weakness is something that I was actively struggling with recently and have been slowly but surely starting to manage better, it was easy for me to identify this 'weakness.' For me, I said that I struggle a little bit with setting limits/setting strict priorities because I find things that mean a lot to me and therefore I get really involved and am personally commited to it. I find it difficult for me not to give just a little bit more.

I guess in a way, my answer is similar to the 'workaholic' answer but it fleshes it out to the idea of passion. Workaholic is a common use word that might be associated with a working machine in a cubicle but the way I describe my weakness puts it in the light of putting in a lot of heart and energy because I deeply care for the things I believe in.

 

It's more personal. Everyone has weaknesses. And so you just have to introspect into your patterns of struggle and think about how you have worked to overcome it. I shows more strength to recognize weaknesses and learn how to tempering it into a strength.

 

Another thing that helps with interview questions is to answer questions in a multifaceted perspective. That comes more easily when you're a person who thinks from multiple angles. It indirectly shows that you're an holistic and integrated thinker (a good trait to have as a health provider). For example, a common ethical question might be:

"You catch your collegue stealing restricted drugs. Your collegue says: please don't tell anyone. I'm doing this to help a friend who doesn't have the money and insurance to pay"

 

So things going through your mind would be

-by stealing drugs, it is putting the clinic/practice/supervising physician at risk

-if the drugs truly were for a friend, it might be a disservice to only steal the drugs whereas finding out what other options/services/funding might be available.

-the collegue is putting him/herself at risk

-desperate people do desperate things so this is the time when your collegue needs you the most so sit down, listen, and get the big picture before jumping into conclusions.

-probably talk with the supervising physician and pose a 'hypothetical question' about what a person might do if they where to be found in a situation like that. Then follow that advice.

 

I'm sure this isn't the most complete answer, but I think you get the gist on the thinking process behind giving well rounded thoughtful answers to interview questions.

 

I feel interviewers aren't interested necessarily in hearing the perfect answers (just make sure you don't give any red flag answers), but that they're more interested in how you think through questions...they're trying to gauge your maturity level, get a feel for your personality, and that constantly growing person inside.

 

If you're going through interviews now, good luck to you and bring out that glow,

 

Mable

 

 

As with any interview question, interviewers can feel out the cookie cutter answers. The ideas posted on the forums are points of access for us to spin off to think about

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Guest texsurromom

This thread is amazing! What great advice! Now, not to keep bearing down on the "what to wear" issue BUT I have seen that business suit is the preferred attire for women but would it be OK to wear pants? Dress pants of course. I am not one of those people who feels entirely comfortable in skirts let alone dresses but I was wondering if this would put anyone off.

 

 

Thanks again for this most applicable and informative thread!

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Guest kr105

Hi,

 

To T.Mom -- yes you can wear pants as long as they look professional with nice dress shoes. Consider a pretty scarf to call attention to your face.

 

On the portfolio question -- I carried a large leather tote/briefcase and had a copy of my app package as well as extra cv's. It came in handy when one interview committee said they did not have my cv and I could give each of them a copy. As long as it is professional looking, you're fine with it.

 

K.

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Guest kr105
Another thing that helps with interview questions is to answer questions in a multifaceted perspective. That comes more easily when you're a person who thinks from multiple angles. It indirectly shows that you're an holistic and integrated thinker (a good trait to have as a health provider). For example, a common ethical question might be:

"You catch your collegue stealing restricted drugs. Your collegue says: please don't tell anyone. I'm doing this to help a friend who doesn't have the money and insurance to pay"

 

So things going through your mind would be

-by stealing drugs, it is putting the clinic/practice/supervising physician at risk

-if the drugs truly were for a friend, it might be a disservice to only steal the drugs whereas finding out what other options/services/funding might be available.

-the collegue is putting him/herself at risk

-desperate people do desperate things so this is the time when your collegue needs you the most so sit down, listen, and get the big picture before jumping into conclusions.

-probably talk with the supervising physician and pose a 'hypothetical question' about what a person might do if they where to be found in a situation like that. Then follow that advice.

 

 

You need to be a little careful here.

 

Each drug company has funds set aside for indigent patients. A "collegue" would be aware of this. Additionally you can request your local drug reps to help (they can provide samples and an application for free drugs from their comapny.)

 

The kicker in the question is "restricted drugs". Restricted in my mind = scheduled drugs. You're obligated to go to your supervising doc on this one.

 

K.

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You need to be a little careful here.

 

Each drug company has funds set aside for indigent patients. A "collegue" would be aware of this. Additionally you can request your local drug reps to help (they can provide samples and an application for free drugs from their comapny.)

 

The kicker in the question is "restricted drugs". Restricted in my mind = scheduled drugs. You're obligated to go to your supervising doc on this one.

 

K.

And we have a professional code of ethics that holds us accountable for misconduct and reporting misconduct! After you become a PA-C and are registered with state medical board to prescribe drugs it is very,very important to uphold standards. You would have nothing to gain,but everything to loose by covering up drug theft.

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Guest jUNIEL

hello

 

My name is Juniel, I am from Miami,FL. this is a message just to thank you for the interview tips for the PA program, I am waiting to have my interview and to be honest with you I am very nervous and exited, so thank you for the sample questions and please if you have more,any other type of question that u remenber I will appreciate it, thank u much

Juniel

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