GREady: Get Ready for Graduate School

Do you want to attend graduate school? If the answer is yes, shift the gear in drive. This blog will help you 1) stay informed about graduate programs, 2) decide on graduate schools, 3) apply for graduate schools (including the GRE and personal statements), 4) prepare for interviews, 5) find funding and lots more. Although this site cannot guarantee a masters or doctoral position, it does promise that you will be a very competitive candidate for your desired program!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Graduate School Interview: The Overview

In previous posts we have covered graduate interview dress apparel, interviewer questions, and interviewee questions. Taking note of all the above will help your graduate interview go more smoothly. However, you still might be wondering how things will flow.

Each graduate program is different. You can expect that you will be meeting at least 4-6 faculty members. Typical interviews can last from 30 min. to an hour. You will usually meet with one faculty person per interview; however, this is not necessarily true if you are applying to a professional school (i.e. M.D. D.V.M.). The interviews will go one after another with a possibility of a break after the first hour and 30 minutes.

Write key words about the questions you would like to ask faculty members on a legal pad, which you can keep in a professional looking folder between interviews. Prior to the interview look briefly over the titles of his/her research project. It would be detrimental if you confused interview projects.

Make sure to get to interview about 5 minutes ahead of schedule. Relax for a moment, take a deep, long breath, and get in the right mind set for the interview.

If the graduate interviews are dragging and your mind feels like it can not take another second, pack a hard candy in your pocket or briefcase. On your way to the next interview pop it into your mouth. There is nothing like a little glucose to re-energize your attention.

Most interviews will take place in the faculty member’s office, which might be connected to his/her lab. The offices should be pretty comfortable so be sure to sit on the upper half of the chair such that your back doesn’t hit the chair’s back. This will force you to stay awake and it will look like you are excited and eager to become a graduate student.

This might look like a lot to digest at first but just remember that you have had a lot harder things to face during your college and/or professional career. You have already knocked the socks off the program and now all you have to do is seal the deal. Smile, you are almost there!


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