Note: Here’s another peer’s view on interviewing for graduate programs. You can see Brittany’s take here.
Hi everyone. So many of you are aware that I have been in the process of applying to graduate programs in school counseling and psychology. So I just want to share with you some of my experiences going through the interview process.
The first thing you need to know is that a grad school interview may be very similar to a job interview but the questions asked are very different. In a job interview you might get questions like: describe a time when you dealt with a frustrated client or when you faced a challenge. So far with my grad school interviews, I have not had those typical questions, which can be good and bad. That can be good in the sense that you get more questions about yourself or why you want to go into a field but it can also be bad in the sense that it is very difficult to prepare. My suggestion for you would be to talk to your career services office and see what resources they can offer to help you. We have Interview Stream and you can meet with a counselor to do a mock interview. Other than that, refresh your memory about the program and about what you included in your application. I had a lot of questions about myself and what kinds of experiences I have had that will help me in my graduate studies.
Another thing to know is that there isn’t really a typical format for the interviews. Each school does their own thing and has their own format. Some schools have you interview separately with each member of their faculty and some have group interviews where you and four or five other candidates are interviewed by a few people from their program. If you want to know what to expect, ask the program once you are offered an interview.
My recommendation for you, is to be yourself. If you are offered an interview then they know that you are qualified for the program. They want to know if you are a good fit for their program and if you are not being yourself you may end up in a program where you don’t really fit well.