Make a list of strengths, achievements, and recognitions received.
Know who your audience will be.
Conduct research on the school, graduate program, and faculty before the interview.
Find a list of common interview questions.
Practice answering questions with friends, family, and graduate school advisors.
Expect the unexpected questions.
Be ready to answer personal and thought-provoking questions.
Have enough rest the night before.
The Day of the Interview:
Arrive early (at least 15 minutes early).
Dress appropriately – Look neat and professional. (No Jeans, T-shirts, shorts, etc.).
Bring copies of your resume (or CV), papers, and/or presentations.
Be polite. Shake hands with the interviewer or anyone else you meet during your visit.
Address the interviewer by their title and name (e.g. Dr. Smith).
Be respectful and courteous.
Be alert and attentive.
Remember to have an appropriate body posture. Body language can express a lot of different moods so make sure you look interested.
Express your ideas and thoughts in a clear, intelligent, and straightforward manner.
Demonstrate your interest in the school and program in a passionate and enthusiastic manner. Let the interviewer know that you are really interested in attending their school without stating it directly.
Discuss your achievements.
Discuss your goals (career and graduate school goals).
Discuss flaws that exist on your academic record (without making excuses).
Be consistent in your answers. (Additionally, make sure your answers on the application are consistent with your interview answers.)
Ask intelligent questions. Knowledgeable and specific questions that show you have done your homework are a plus (e.g. questions about the school, program, or faculty).
Ask for clarification if you don’t understand the questions.
Remember to send a thank-you note/letter or email after the interview.
Use each interview experience to prepare for future interviews.
Don't forget to do your research on the school, program and faculty.
Don't forget to prepare and rehearse answers.
Don't reschedule the interview unless if it is extremely necessary.
The Day of the Interview:
Be nervous or worry. Remember to relax.
Forget the interviewer’s name.
Talk too much or too little.
Interrupt the interviewer.
Forget to smile.
Lie or exaggerate about your accomplishments.
Discuss negative information.
Make excuses for weaknesses.
Criticize yourself or other individuals.
Try to be funny.
Speak in slang.
Take things personally.
Talk about controversial or ethical issues (unless asked to).
Answer your cell phone (Turn it off before the interview or don’t bring it at all).
Answer yes or no only or make your answers too general. Make sure you give descriptive and elaborate answers.
Let your answers reflect what you think the interviewer wants to hear.
Forget to thank the interviewer before you leave.
Forget to send a thank you note or letter to everyone you met.