Are you ready to take your education to the next level and go to graduate school? Maybe you want to be a nurse practitioner, get your MBA to add to your credentials, or change your career to something entirely different.
If you pursue any type of higher education, you may be required to have an interview with the faculty for admission to your chosen program. Apparently they thought your application was stellar, so continue to wow them with your awesome interviewing skills.
Don’t be! I’ve got you covered!
Tip 1: Dress Appropriately
First impressions matter and what you wear can make or break your interview from the very beginning. Everyone should know how to dress for an interview, but let’s review the basics again.
For women, appropriate interview attire is a dress (that is neither too short or too long) or business suit. If wearing a dress the colors should be neutral and avoid sleeveless dresses unless wearing a jacket with the dress. Shoes should be clean and polished and not stiletto. Avoid open-toed shoes or sandals.
Nails should be manicured and not be excessively long. As for make-up…don’t overdo it and the same goes with perfume.
Men should stick to a suit and tie with nice dress shoes. They should also shave (if needed) and take it easy on the cologne.
Tip 2: Arrive Early
Arriving 15 minutes early will allow you to be present to the receptionist (or whoever greets you) and give the interviewer time to prepare for you.
You also want to be early just in case you run into trouble with parking, finding the building, or just to give yourself time to get to the school. Save even more time by doing a dry run of how long it takes you to get to the school, park, and find the general area of your interview a day or two before your interview.
If you arrive any earlier than that, it can get awkward.
If you arrive exactly on time, the interviewer may count that against you simply because it may not seem like you have your act together.
Of course, if you are late to your interview most anyone will view that as a negative and you may ruin your chances for getting into the program.
Tip 3: Ask Questions
Never go unprepared and without a few questions to ask. Being prepared not only means reading up on the school for general knowledge, but having questions for the people interviewing you. Even if you think you know the answer to a question, its best to ask it anyways.
Employers like when applicants ask questions. Asking questions shows the employer that you did your research on the company and that you are actually interested in the job you are applying to.
Tip 4: Be Nice
This tip goes without saying, but be nice! I’m not just talking about to the person who is interviewing you, but to the receptionist, the assistant, the janitor, you get the point. Being rude to ancillary staff can reflect negatively on you even if your interview went great. Keep this in mind and be aware of your speech and actions before your interview.
Tip 5: Always follow-up with a Thank You note
This may be old-fashioned to some, but I always follow-up my interview with a thank you note (or most recently) an email expressing your thanks for the interview.
This small gesture will set you apart from the competition simply because most people don’t do the simple things now. Many interviewers won’t expect a thank you for an interview, this alone will set you apart and you will come to mind when it is time to make a decision.
These five tips will help you put your best foot forward and help you ace your interview for school. Do you have any interview tips that have worked well for you in the past? If so, please share below!
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