Best prep-tools for Grad School interview

Best prep-tools for Grad School interview So you’ve decided to undertake the work of Grad School for all of its associated career and financial benefits. Take this informative quiz to make sure that you are getting the right degree for your long-term professional goals. Preparing for graduate school and the graduate school interview is not unlike preparing for a job interview, with some caveats. Graduate schools do not require a sit-down interview, but it is a wise choice to request one. One reason is simply that graduate school is a sizable investment in time, effort, and money. You must visit schools to ensure which ones are the right fit for you. Another reason is that when the scores and abilities are equal among several candidates, a selection board is apt to go with the one person, who went the extra distance, especially if that person completed an exceptional interview. Follow these guidelines to do your best. DO
  • Apply to schools in advance. The Department Head and perhaps even the members on the Selection Committee should be able to ask you questions based on your application materials. They can wing it, but it looks better if your work is already there.
  • Schedule early in the season. They are more likely to remember you if you are the first to interview.
  • Try to speak with three people, and schedule a tour. Schedule your interview early, so you can speak with the Department Head, one professor, and at least one graduate student. Order a walking tour as well, this way when the day is finished you be best situated to make an informed decision.
  • Dress the part. Graduate school interview etiquette isn’t that hard: Business casual with a neat, well-kept appearance. But don’t dress like a professor either.
  • Do department and professor research. If you are serious about becoming a part of their academic community, know about one book written by each person in the department, or the most relevant publications. Understand the research goals and slant of the program.
  • Keep Cool. If someone toys with you and asks you a difficult academic or theoretical question you can’t answer, they are testing your character, not your genius. Use humor or honesty to impress them.
  • Answer: why do I want to go to this school? Time and time again, it speaks highly of candidates when they have taken the effort to research their future mentors, the classes or programs available, and they have an idea of what fields or sub-disciplines they would like to pursue.
  • Know what you have to offer. Ask yourself “What is it I am most passionate about? In the past, what was I most proud of, academically? What avenues of learning I am most interested in?” Answer this now and have it ready.
  • Answer: Why are you getting this degree? Expect this question and have a good answer. Do you want to teach? Publish? Something else? The truth is, most professors understand that your life goals may change. You should, however, be able to indicate that you have given it a lot of thought, and have ideas to discuss..
  • Have valid questions. Departments and schools grow or lose funding. There are new hires or new classes or electives added to a program. Ask thoughtful and pertinent questions that cannot be answered by computer research.
DO NOT
  • Ask “incidental” questions to the Department Head or Professor. Vacation time for the graduate students, whether you qualify for a stipend if you get in, how to apply for an assistantship, food quality at the local cafes, are best left between students. As far as funding is concerned? You can feel this out. Even professors know that this is a hard reality that drives students to accept or decline admission.
  • Contact or e-mail any professor whose work you have followed. This is not appropriate. Show off and do your best when you are at the interview. Many faculties find it annoying to receive emails from hopeful applicants. You’d be surprised how many they receive.
Interviews are optional, but when you choose to do them, you are ensuring that you will get a stronger sense of which school you want to go to, and you will also increase your chances of getting accepted and accepted with aid! Follow the tips above to ensure a smooth visit to your campus of choice. Be yourself, be prepared, and bring your own personality to force to make a strong and lasting impression come decision time. Interviews are optional, but when you choose to do them, you are ensuring that you will get a stronger sense of which school you want to go to, and you will also increase your chances of getting accepted and accepted with aid! Follow the tips above to ensure a smooth visit to your campus of choice. Be yourself, be prepared, and bring your own personality to force to make a strong and lasting impression come decision time.   Vera Reed is a freelance writer for Red7 and has written on a variety of subjects from education to travel. She loves traveling to new places and having the flexibility of a freelancer allows her to wander around the world with her work.