Friday, January 1, 2016

How to Prepare for Your Graduate School Interview

By Joy Onyenwere
Student Ambassador

Preparing for your graduate school interview is a vital part of the application process. These interviews are most often done in person or over the phone. Most international students interview via phone, which is how I did mine, or through a video chat program like Skype.

While interviews are not always easy, with enough preparation you should be able to make a good impression on admissions faculty.

If your interview is virtual, make sure that you are in a quiet environment to help you avoid distractions and remained focused. While in an interview, you must be very attentive. Be sure you understand the question before you answer. Instead of rushing to respond, take a few seconds to repeat the question in your mind before giving your answer. Writing down what you want to say may be helpful too.

The questions you are asked are usually direct, so give a direct answer and do not beat around the bush. Most of the time the interviewer will ask you some personal questions, like how you heard about their school, what made you want to apply, and how you chose your field of study. Make sure you have taken the time to research the school and program, so you know how to respond to these questions.

If your interview is over the phone, that doesn’t mean you can take it lightly. You may become distracted because you can’t see the interviewer – but that’s no excuse. In my case, I visualized in my mind that I was sitting in front of the interviewer, which helped me to maintain focus.

Overall, when it comes to graduate school interviews, you should try to relax and let the answers flow from your heart. Remember, the interviewer wants to connect with you and know if you are prepared to go to the next level of your academic career.

These suggestions and tips come from my personal experience. I hope they will be of use to you!
Joy Onyenwere is working toward a master’s in information technology. She holds a degree in real estate management. She is from Nigeria.

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