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Interview Advice

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My list of the best pieces of advice that I received;


1) Know everything you can about the program you are interviewing for, and know yourself (your interviewers know your file). So, do not show up unprepared.

2) Know how you fit in with the programs mission statement, and culture.

3) Convey that you are "teachable."


I learned #3 at an interview. Nothing worse than being/seeming cocky, know-it-all or unteachable.

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I didn't receive this advice before I interviewed, but after helping with interviews last year I would definitely say that a lot of people need to be reminded that once you arrive you are always being interviewed!!!!

That means... don't bad mouth another program when you are in the hall waiting or talking to other applicants, don't dominate conversations on your campus tour, don't repeat your interview from last year word for word to the person that has never done this before, don't be snarky, pushy or snobby and please do not come out of your interview and get on the tour shuttle and take your shoes off, and throw your feet up in the seat!!! (especially if you follow that action with 'so glad I don''t have to be in interview mode anymore').


I would think this all goes without saying.... but apparently not.


Beyond that... be yourself. They are looking for good people that will be great providers, they already know that you are a great student. If you need a second to collect thoughts, thats OK. Have some good questions that can't be answered by looking at the website. Smile and say thank you. It is the most nerve wracking experience, but as soon as it was over I felt really happy and proud.


Oh and... take some chapstick, I didn't and it drove me crazy all day!



edited to change students to applicants

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1) take the time to think out a complete and coherent response before answering-- and make sure you answer the question that is asked!

2) they aren't expecting you to have the "right" answers for situational or medical ethics questions. You are going to school to learn those- they want to evaluate how you think and how quickly you can think.

3) don't worry about how the interviewer is acting. It is common for interviewers to act uninterested in you or to be constantly jotting notes to again see how you react.

4) don't act like you are entitled to a spot in the program but do have the confidence to know you have worked hard enough to earn one

5) give everything as a "positive" answer- never say anything bad about other medical professions, other applicants, schools, etc.

6) dress professionally- I have seen some very short skirts on females and jeans on males--why?

7) show up early and introduce yourself to everyone


..plus everything else that has already been said. Especially being prepared for the common questions-- having strong responses that don't sound rehearsed will help ease your nerves.


good luck!

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All of the above is great advice. I would also add that you should have somebody mock interview you, while you record yourself. This allows you to see how much you play with your hands, how many "and um's" you say, how much you mumble, etc. it was great for me to see what I would look like to the Adcom. I had to stop messing with my goatee...oh and please have a real handshake, not a limp wrist or awkward one.

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There is some good advice in this thread. I would add


Know current policy trends and be ready to discuss it


Be aware of controversial topics in medicine and be ready to discuss them


Be aware of public health issues and be ready to discuss them


Know the programs mission, goals, etc. google it's faculty. Arrive early.


Be careful about telling your "why I want to be a PA" story. A little ok. Too much and it can be just that, too much.


Hope that helps add to the already good advice on this thread.

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I'd also like to add try and answer questions using the "STAR" format.








Like a sandwich, no one is interested in the bread so treat your responses the same and give them the meat. Your Situation / Task is like the top slice of bread on the sandwich and the results are the bottom slice. So spend most of your time talking about your actions.


So for example: "We all have multiple deadlines, tell me about a time when you had multiple deadlines."



Situation/Task: When I used to work at XYZ company I would always have multiple people asking for tasks to be completed at the same time.



Actions: So to help avoid missing deadlines I would first prioritize each task based on how long it would take to complete it and the urgency of it. This way I could focus on getting the 6 easy tasks completed quickly and then focus my energy on tasks that would take most of my time. If I was ever confused as to which one was a priority I would be open and ask "hey I'm currently doing these tasks _______, when would you like this new one to be completed?" Sometimes it could get overwhelming so I would keep a list to make sure I didn't miss any when there were many tasks to complete. I'm not afraid to ask for help when I need it and in situations where I foresee there's a chance to miss a deadline ill try and leverage with my peers or manager to accomplish those tasks.



Results: In conclusion I use a variety of tools and communication to help ensure I get all projects and tasks assigned to me completed on time.

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