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Rejected after interviews - Still confused?

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Hey everyone, I wanted to get some advice and input from people that have applied/been accepted/are already in PA school. So over the course of the past two months I was invited to interview at three different schools and recently have found out that I was rejected at all of them. I have about 1,500 hours as a CNA at an assisted living facility, 1,500 hours doing direct care with mentally/physically disabled adults, and just started working at a hospital as a nurses aide about two months ago. My GPAs are: 

-Last 60 credits: 4.0

-cGPA: 3.91

-science GPA: 3.97

-I also have a 4.0 in every pre-requisite that each school required.

My GRE scores for both sections were a little bit above average, and I got a 4.5 on the writing portion. Not going to lie, I thought I would get into at least two of the three with my GPA, or even waitlisted. I honestly didn't expect to be straight up rejected from all three. I do feel that each of the interviews went fairly well and I answered all of my questions thoroughly. I even had some conversation with the interviewers and felt very comfortable after all of them were complete. I honestly do not know what went wrong and what I can improve at this point. If anyone can give me any advice I would greatly appreciate it. 

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With those stats and having gotten 3 interviews, it almost has to be poor interviewing skills. I would reach out to the programs that rejected you and see if you can get some feedback, increase your PCE in the next year, and perhaps do some mock interviews or perhaps get some kind of coach/mentor to help you with interviewing. 

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As has been said before, if you got interviewed, you looked good on paper. Something went wrong on those interviews, even if it wasn’t apparent to you what it was.


Find out all you can from the schools, which might not be much. Maybe you came across as shy and withholding; good grades but without adequate people skills? Maybe you had a couple of black marks and blamed others? Or something else.


Whatever it was, you can fix it, once you can get some insight.


Good luck!



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


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11 hours ago, Mdc99 said:

Not going to lie, I thought I would get into at least two of the three with my GPA, or even waitlisted. I honestly didn't expect to be straight up rejected from all three.

This is probably why.  If you have an ego people can see it clear as day.  Thinking your GPA is going to guarantee you a spot suggests ego and perhaps you came off like you had one.  Or maybe it is as the other have said.  Just trying to be honest for you.

11 hours ago, Mdc99 said:

I honestly do not know what went wrong and what I can improve at this point.

I can still remember my interview a year + ago.  I felt the interview went well, but there were defiantly things that I remember I thought I could have done better.  Same goes with everyone in my cohort.  Could have engaged the current PA students more rather than just the interviewers or answered certain questions differently.  There has to be something...SOMETHING you can recall on your own.  If you can't it might confirm what I said above. 

I suggest finding someone brutally honest to practice with and critique you.  Better luck next time.  Keep working hard. 

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In regards to the advice you were given above, I interviewed at 2 schools this cycle and was accepted to both. I can certainly say that I lost sleep following both interviews because I thought I could’ve answered questions better or worried I didn’t come across the right way. I felt that I was confident, but still recognized that I could’ve done better if I hadn’t been so nervous. Perhaps you came across as too confident? 

Also, I can’t speak for the schools you interviewed at, but both of mine were closed file..meaning they didn’t know anyone’s GPA or stats at the interview. At that point everyone was on a level playing field and they made decisions based solely on the interview. 

I’m sure your situation is incredibly frustrating and I agree that you should try to contact the schools and see what information they’re willing to give you. 


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Last cycle, I was in a similar position as you. I received 3 interviews and was waitlisted at all 3 and ended up not getting in. My GPA was average (about 3.5), but I still felt I did fairly well on all 3 interviews. I tried my best, but overall I was just not confident in myself and I felt like I was not good enough.

Fast forward to this cycle, and I know I have put in the work to become a great student and PA. It is important to show that you are motivated and passionate about pursuing this profession. Strive to be a lifelong learner. Do what you can to improve your application. In your case, you could try taking the GRE again, gaining more patient care/volunteer hours, shadowing PAs of various specialties in order to gain a more thorough knowledge of the profession. Also try doing mock interviews and if you can find a PA mentor to guide you through the process. Your application sounds strong, and getting 3 interviews is an accomplishment!! Just try working on your interview skills and find PA programs that align with your personal values.

This cycle, I received 9 interview invites and was accepted! Just don't give up 🙂

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Sorry to hear about the rejections, it must be so frustrating when everything on paper looks good. I would be confident too if I had a great GPA, decent GRE scores, and good PCE hours. Try contacting the three schools and hope one of the schools will message you back on how to improve. 

How did you prepare for the interviews? Did you actually prep with other people? Were your answers super rehearsed? Did you show your personality? Did you interact with other PA students at the actual interview? Asked targeted questions about the program? All of these things could've altered the result. Also, I don't know how competitive the 3 schools that you applied to are, maybe just this cycle there were better candidates that fit better with the program. 

I hope you hear back from your other programs and if you need to apply again, keep practicing your interviewing skills. Wish you the best!

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