Interviewing & Campus Visits
Visit the Campus
If possible, tour the campus and surrounding community. Make an appointment to talk with a professor and graduate students in the program. Ask questions about options for graduates after degree completion. Find out what career or educational options have been pursued after completion of the program? Ask what assistance the program provide to graduates seeking employment or additional education?
Interviews are most common for candidates for medical and business school programs, but they are not always a required part of the admissions process for some fields or schools. Even if an interview is not required, though, it can be a great opportunity to sell yourself and establish more rapport with the school, counselors and/or faculty.
The interview process for graduate school is much like any interview process, but to put it in grad school specific terms, note these tips:
- Revisit all online and print resources available to you on the school and the desired program so you can answer their questions in an informed manor, and formulate any questions for them that you may have.
- Review notes from communications to date with advisors and professor(s) you may have emailed or chatted with prior to the interview.
- Skim over the resume/CV and personal essay you’ve submitted so you have current and full command of the content and points you’ve emphasized to date about your interests and credentials.
- Prepare like you would for a job interview and be ready to discuss your professional goals, areas of interest, and motivation for graduate study.
- See the Career Center for tips on dress and to schedule a mock interview.
- Be sure you are dressed properly. That means dressing as if you are going to a professional interview.
- Be punctual, on time is 15 minutes late!
- Offer a confident firm handshake and leverage appropriate eye contact to convey your interest.
- The interviewer will be evaluating your answer, how well you organize your thinking, and how well you express yourself.
- Questions topics will include your strengths, academic performance, extracurricular activities, goals, leadership traits, experience and may also include trends in your academic field of interest.
- There are “patterns” to questions you may be asked, so check out the Eckerd College Interview Guide Sample Questions on Career Services website for what you may be asked.
- Be prepared for open-ended and behavioral questions like “Tell me about yourself” and “Tell me about a time when”
- Ask questions that matter to you and give the interviewer insight into your personality and priorities.
- Don’t ask questions that can be answered in the school’s materials.
After the Interview
- Reflect on the experience: What did it reveal to you about the school/program and what impact did it have on your enthusiasm about this option?
- Send a thank-you note to convey your appreciation and enthusiasm appropriately. Handwritten notes are best, within 24 hours, but an email is better than not at all.
- Personalize each note to the extent you can, perhaps referencing a discussion point from the interview.