Types of Interviews (Part 1 of 6)

Types of Interviews

Every school will have a different approach to interviews, and your goal should be to prepare so that you’ll be okay with any interview style. Some are intense one on one interviews and others are informal discussions with professors and students. The questions you receive can vary, also. Some schools will ask the same question to every applicant, while others ask questions that are highly specific to you.

Interview styles: what are they and why do they matter

  • One on one interview with professor: This is a typical interview style and allows for a personal connection and discussion based interview. These show the comfort level of the applicant, ability to connect with others, and communicate ideas in a discussion.
  • Panel interview with multiple professors/administrators: This seems daunting, but it is an efficient way for multiple people on the committee to meet you at once.
  • Panel interview with multiple students: This is a strategy to compare applicants and observe how you work with others. Health care is all about collaboration and this high stress interview style is a great way to watch how you interact. One perk for you is that this also means you aren’t always in the spot light, so it provides an opportunity to take a deep breath and prepare before you speak. Make sure to be polite, but also be heard!
  • Informal discussions with professors and students: This is used to observe your interaction style in a less stressful environment. This often occurs over lunch, when applicants can feel relieved to be out of the hot seat. Make sure you’re still treating this like an interview, as the people you’re talking to will likely report back their ideas about applicants. This is a good time to ask questions about the program and express your interest. 
  • Generalized questions: allows applicants to easily be compared based on their answers to the same question. This is when it is critical that you listen and answer the specific question, because they will have selected each question for a very specific reason.
  • Specialized questions just for you: these allow the interviewer the opportunity to clarify any questions/concerns they may have about the applicant. This means they have taken the time to thoroughly consider your application and want to give you the opportunity to speak to anything that needs clarification.

Got it! What’s next?

Once you understand what you might be getting into with interviews, it’s time to start preparing. This is scary at first, but the best way to feel relaxed in an interview is to work through that stress now. Preparation now will let you be yourself, come interview day!