Tips for the Professional Interview
Preparation before the Interview:
1. Research the school you are interested in
and be prepared to talk about what they have to offer as it relates
to you and develop questions you may have about the
2. Be able to share your desire to become a pre-health
clinician. Describe specific key points that make you qualified
to be a doctor/ dentist/ vet/ optometrist/ chiropractor/ etc...
Try not to be too general. Be clear when defining points that you
think make you one of the strongest candidates. For example, use
experiences that you encountered during your related experience
or volunteer hours, such as "I spent 150 hours in the _____
pharmacy and I have a good idea of what a pharmacist deals with
on a day to day basis."
3. Have a few stories or narratives that show your abilities and
strengths to enter your chosen profession. Make sure the examples
touch on your strengths, describe the skills you possess, and
explain how you plan to achieve your desired goal.
4. Have a few questions ready to ask the Interviewer if you have
the chance. These questions can be specific or general; however,
they need to indicate the interest you have in the school and/or
5. Lastly, you must practice. Have a mock
interview where you have someone ask you questions? It is also
helpful to record yourself in order to see how you portray
yourself and also to hear yourself give answers. You should not
simply memorize answers, but you should go into the interview
with some clear ideas on healthcare issues as it relates to your
area of interest. Interviewers want to know that you put some
thought and effort into your interview; however, they want to
know that you can think on your feet." Being prepared will help
reduce anxiety and nervousness.
The Actual Interview:
1. Make sure you dress the part.When in
doubt, go conservative: solid color suits (or jackets) with
matching ties; dress pants/skirts; closed toe shoes (NO FLIP
FLOPS) and polished dress shoes; groomed hair/nails. Remember
that first impressions are very important. If you are
inadequately prepared for the interview, you could also be
assumed to be inadequately prepared as a clinician.
2. Leave your cell phone in the car! Do not make or
receive calls, text messages, twitter, etc., during ANY part of
the interview day, regardless of how relaxed you may feel.
3. Sit down once you are offered seating. After you sit down,
place your hands in your lap, and try to sit as still as
possible. Do not shake your legs and fidget with your hands,
portray professionalism, sit up straight, and maintain
appropriate eye contact.
4. Think before you answer a question. There is no penalty
for taking a breath and thinking about your answer .A little bit
of silence is okay.
5. Be careful not to use "filler words" such as "like," "you
know," "um," "such as." It is better to have a well-thought out
answer or pause before answering, than trying to fill the silence
with um's and like's.
6. Try to be specific and concise. The Interviewer will hear many
students answer similar questions and he or she needs to hear
something that will allow you to stand out above the rest. Be
honest with them when answering questions. Remember when they ask
you why you want to be in a health profession tell them a
specific reason and use an example. Make sure that it
demonstrates your understanding and skills in the profession.
7. Try to leave your nervousness at the door, allow the
adrenaline to work to your advantage throughout the interview.
You want to try to keep the energy level on high, so use your
anxiousness to your benefit!
8. Have coordinated answers. Incorporate your responses from
previous questions to develop fully your strengths and knowledge
of the health profession. In order to support your claims use
examples from your experience. You need to leave the interview
knowing that you gave the Interviewer as much information as they
needed to show them that you would be successful in your
profession of choice.
9. Have some insight about the interviewing school. Know the
strengths of the school. Are there any specific details that you
enjoy about the school, etc If the Professional School is well
known for a particular area(s) of study, be ready to discuss
10. Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions. When asking
questions, you portray that you are interested in the program.
Also, ask questions during the interview, not simply at the end.
11. Remember to be alert at all times. Be honest with whomever
you are speaking. Some schools allow for current students to talk
to some interviewees. Avoid making the mistake of taking this
time lightly. Use this time to your advantage, Interviewees could
lose the opportunity to attend the school of choice due to their
behavior during this time. Current students are often a strong
part of the interview process. NEVER USE YOUR CELL PHONE DURING
THE INTERVIEW PROCESS - PERIOD! You should act as if you are
being interviewed until you return to your car.