What’s more, if you plan things out in advance and prepare for the task, you can ace your interview and dramatically increase your chances of being accepted into the program.
To come across as an articulate, well-qualified candidate, and to prove to your interviewer that you are well-prepared for grad school, make sure to abide by the following guidelines:
1. Speak with Ease
It’s natural to be nervous (even extremely nervous) during the grad school interview process, but it’s essential that you’re able to mask this anxiety with an aura of confidence and self-assurance. Of course – you don’t want to come across as arrogant, but definitely do remember to speak clearly, concisely and slowly. This way the interviewer will be less likely to miss anything important that you say, and you will have demonstrated that you have advanced communication skills – a desired skill for virtually all master’s programs.
2. Explain Why this is the School for You
Even if the school you’re interviewing at isn’t your first or even second choice, act as if it’s the school you’ve always dreamed of attending. Do plenty of research beforehand about the school and drop in some appropriate facts relating to the school, clearly articulating why it’s your top choice. This will undoubtedly impress the interviewer, as it will show that you’re completely sincere about wanting to attend the school.
3. State What You Hope to Get out of the Program
Why are you interested in this particular graduate program? What do you hope to get out of it? These are both questions the interviewer will more than likely ask, so arrive prepared with well crafted answers. Ideally your answer should combine why you think the program is impressive and desirable and also what you hope to get out of it on an individual level. If your master’s degree entails a thesis, talk about your planned thesis work and if not talk about what skills you hope to gain from completing this particular program. In addition, feel free to talk about future academic and/or career ambitions, and how this master’s program will help you achieve them.
4. Explain What Value You’ll Add to the School
Graduate school is very much a two way street, you hope to get a great qualification from it and the school hopes that you’ll go on the bigger and better thing someday, bringing prestige to their program. As a result, don’t forget to explain what you can add to the school. Mention your previous academic achievements and talk about what you hope to one day achieve after graduating from your chosen program. Discuss any program-related organizations or clubs you’d like to take an active part in to prove that your involvement in the school will reach way beyond simply completing the required classes. Graduate school admissions counselors don’t just screen for good students, but they also want people with real social skills, so don’t be shy to talk about your abilities in that area either.
5. Ask Several Questions
Like many job interviews, your interviewer will likely ask you if you have any questions at the end. Even if you feel like everything has already been covered, be sure to ask at least a couple of questions as the interviewer will more than likely be testing your inquisitiveness and genuine interest in the school and program. Make sure to prepare your list of questions in advance, and if you’re worried you’ll forget them, then write them down and bring them into the interview. No one will fault you for needing cue cards – in fact, they might even prove how serious and how responsible you truly are.
Use these tips and you’ll be able to put your very best foot forward in your grad school interview. Congrats at making it to the interview stage, and good luck out there!
About Author: J Pond loves to write about what she knows best, school and how to survive it!