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I've been through 8 interviews total. My first cycle I had five interviews. I decided to follow some of the advice handed out on this forum. I did little preparation, went in with the attitude that I

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 prof

Just thought I'd leave some notes on interviews since I went to so freaking many of them!   Firstly, interviews can actually be pretty fun, so honest to god please don't get yourself too worked up o

I also coach my PA school applicants to follow this simple technique, the SHIELD technique. Imagine if you walked out of your house and a rabid dog started chasing you, barking and prepared to bite. You would immediately go into "Fight or Flight" mode. Your pupils would dilate, your heart would start racing, and your body is ready to stay and fight,run like crazy, or become paralyzed with fear. This is not a good time to do your taxes, right? Too much adrenaline flowing and the brain has only one focus, survive! In order to relax and bring the adrenaline level down, practice the SHIELD technique before going into your interview: S: Stop!, H: Honor the feeling (I'm nervous), I: Inhale and E: exhale ten times, deep breaths, (this breathing technique, alone, will change your physiology and reduce your adrenaline load. You will now be able to think) the L stands for "listen", listen to what your mind and your body are telling you now. D: decide that you're prepared for this interview and all you have to do is go in there and claim YOUR seat.

 

S: Stop

H: Honor the felling

I: Inhale (ten times)

E: Exhale (ten times)

L: Listen

D: Decide

 

Hope this helps

 

For more interview information, visit my website: andrewrodican.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

Any tips on the multiple mini interviews? First interview is in two days and is MMI format! I'm super nervous.

Not much to do to prepare for those.  It's all situational - they want to see how you respond to situations and can think on the fly. Personally, I loved my MMIs more than any regular interview I went on.  Just stay calm, think through your answers before you speak, and be able to change gears quickly to be ready for the next question.  If you feel like you struggle with one, don't let it ruin the rest of them for you.

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Can a bad essay during a interview get you rejected? ​

I can remember trying to "take a road less traveled" approach on one of my essays during the interviewing process. I felt like the other areas of the interview I had done well on, therefore, in hindsight, I felt like it was my essay that may have made me a less competitive applicant for that school. My best advice with these essays is to take straight forward approach and don't try to get fancy, as you don't have the time. In these essays, the faculty are really looking for a person who is honest, practices good medical ethics, and can sufficiently argue a stance on a certain topic. I agree with JohnnyM2 that it may just be one aspect of the interview process, however, PA school is very competitive with a limited number of seats per program per year. If you are not accepted to a program, think about your performance during the interview process, often you can pinpoint an area to improve on. Additionally, there are programs that often offer feedback on your interview (I'm not sure how fast they actually get back to you), but you must request this. The most important thing is to not get discouraged. Most people apply more than one cycle.

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Simple question, but what would you recommend carrying as a purse/bag/etc. for interviews?

 

 

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I brought a purse to my interview (it's a patchwork pink sling type thing) and I received several compliments from faculty on it. It's very much representative of my style/personality, so sometimes letting your true self shine through can work to your advantage. So I'd say, as long as what you bring is appropriate and makes you feel comfortable, it should be fine.

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I've noticed people prefer thank you letters as opposed to emails. However my question is, did you just address it to the program? Or to your interviewers? And if you were interviewed by 2 people for your individual interview, and then group interviewed by two different people (4 total different interviewers), do you do separate letters for each? Wouldn't an email just be easier then to send to each, and quicker?

 

Any advice on thank you emails/letters would be appreciated, not necessarily what to say in them, but who to send them to and how.

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I sent an email to the admissions director that thanked everyone involved (there were multiple faculty/interviewers that I encountered, none of which provided business cards or contact information). I think the best option is to decide based on each scenario and how you feel it would be most appropriate to thank staff (very formal/impersonal vs more relaxed interview, etc), along with what is most comfortable for you. That being said, I'm pretty sure my acceptance was not based on my thank you "letter." So, don't over think it and probably just keep it simple and genuine whatever you decide. Good luck!

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This is a question for women's attire, underneath the suit jacket is it ok to wear a dressy shirt that is not a button up and is not white, but instead is royal blue or navy blue? The pant suit that I have is black btw.

 

Thanks!

I definitely think so, as long as it is professional. I plan on wearing a blue blouse and black suit :) 

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This is a question for women's attire, underneath the suit jacket is it ok to wear a dressy shirt that is not a button up and is not white, but instead is royal blue or navy blue? The pant suit that I have is black btw.

 

Thanks!

I wore a medium grey pant suit with a red mock turtleneck (colder climates) or a red boatneck shell (warmer climates).  As was just said, as long as it is professional (not too tight, not too loose, not sheer, not cut to reveal an excess of skin, etc.), wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident (including your shoes or the inevitable tour!).  

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I've noticed people prefer thank you letters as opposed to emails. However my question is, did you just address it to the program? Or to your interviewers? And if you were interviewed by 2 people for your individual interview, and then group interviewed by two different people (4 total different interviewers), do you do separate letters for each? Wouldn't an email just be easier then to send to each, and quicker?

 

Any advice on thank you emails/letters would be appreciated, not necessarily what to say in them, but who to send them to and how.

 

@kmelore. I was curious as well about the Thank You letter. What did you decide? I was thinking email like @lanime had suggested. And did you send it to everyone or just the director?

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I've noticed people prefer thank you letters as opposed to emails. However my question is, did you just address it to the program? Or to your interviewers? And if you were interviewed by 2 people for your individual interview, and then group interviewed by two different people (4 total different interviewers), do you do separate letters for each? Wouldn't an email just be easier then to send to each, and quicker?

 

Any advice on thank you emails/letters would be appreciated, not necessarily what to say in them, but who to send them to and how.

 

@kmelore. I was curious as well about the Thank You letter. What did you decide? I was thinking email like @lanime had suggested. And did you send it to everyone or just the director?

 

 

I ended up emailing. I felt like it was the quickest way to send them a thank you note and they may not read all of their written mail prior to meeting as a committee. We have not yet heard back about acceptances. But she did reply to my email. If I were to have sent a letter, I wouldn't have received any acknowledgement that she read it.

 

I ended up just sending it to the main person who interviewed me and who I had the most contact with. I actually did not end up speaking with the director much, so I did not send it to him.

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When going to your interview, what did you bring with you?  Do we need a CV/resume?  Copy of our personal statement?  I don't want to be unprepared.

 

Did you take notes during the interview....or would that be considered rude?  I usually take notes during a job interview but this is a little different.

 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

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I've got a question. It seems that every schools mission revolves around creating family practice PA's to work in under served communities. Having shadowed enough PA's to get a good enough idea of what I like and don't like I currently think that I would much prefer to end up in Ortho or Surgery. For example, I shadowed a PA that works in Interventional Radiology at the University of Utah Hospital and it was the most inspiring/motivating experience I've had yet. It got me energized. Whereas those I saw in family practice did not appeal to me at all. Yet, it feels like it would be suicide in an Interview to say that. Is this true? Do the admissions committees exclude those who don't want to be in family practice? I really do want to give back to my community and be involved in charity and service work. It just seems like from the admissions pages that they view the two as connected.

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It seems that every schools mission revolves around creating family practice PA's to work in under served communities. Having shadowed enough PA's to get a good enough idea of what I like and don't like I currently think that I would much prefer to end up in Ortho or Surgery. For example, I shadowed a PA that works in Interventional Radiology at the University of Utah Hospital and it was the most inspiring/motivating experience I've had yet. It got me energized. Whereas those I saw in family practice did not appeal to me at all. Yet, it feels like it would be suicide in an Interview to say that.

Then why say it? You are unlikely to be asked that question, but if you are, you can just say you want to use your rotations to explore the various roles of PAs to find your best fit. The question itself smacks of political correctness and is rediculous because, if most students were determined to go into family practice, who would serve the needs of emergency medicine, derm, surgery, urology, etc? And there aren't enough SPs to absorb all those PA-Cs in family medicine in rural areas. Though, come to think of it, if you look at a map of underserved communities, it covers most of the US.

 

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Everyone comes to their rotations with some idea about what they think that they'd like to do. Don't hide that, but don't be overly-certain either. I honestly expected to go into family med, emergency med, or internal med. Ended up in cardio based on an optional rotation I took about halfway through the year.

 

School is exploration. Many, many people end up doing something other than what they thought they'd like when they started. If you are applying someplace with a strong family practice bent, then let that be one of the practice areas you are looking at. But don't hide the real you, the one that got turned on by their shadowing time in surgery, or being a PCA in the ER, or whatever.

 

The goal of the interview is to let them see the real you (just cleaned up a bit).

 

Good luck!

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I've got a question. It seems that every schools mission revolves around creating family practice PA's to work in under served communities. Having shadowed enough PA's to get a good enough idea of what I like and don't like I currently think that I would much prefer to end up in Ortho or Surgery. For example, I shadowed a PA that works in Interventional Radiology at the University of Utah Hospital and it was the most inspiring/motivating experience I've had yet. It got me energized. Whereas those I saw in family practice did not appeal to me at all. Yet, it feels like it would be suicide in an Interview to say that. Is this true? Do the admissions committees exclude those who don't want to be in family practice? I really do want to give back to my community and be involved in charity and service work. It just seems like from the admissions pages that they view the two as connected.

 

The two interviews I had were in school that had the word "primary care" and "under served" mentioned multiple times in their mission statements. However I didn't go out of my way to say that those were the areas I wanted to be, in fact I told them I loved the EM and would like to work there. I got WL in one program and accepted to the other.

Let them see what you are passionate about, I think that would be regarded more highly than you forcing an answer out because you believe thats what they want to hear, and theyll probably figure out that your not being honest.

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Advice I can give after three interviews:

 

Don't practice too much. I wrote all the questions and answers down and went nuts. During my first two interviews I probably sounded very artificial and I was waitlisted and denied. My last interview was more than a month later and I did hardly any review of the material, mainly just on the school. I just made sure I could answer. My answers definitely sounded more natural and it really was a conversation than a prethought out response. I got a call the next day.

 

Don't study so much you sound like a robot. Or at least study long enough ahead that everything sinks in and you can just converse and not parrot.

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