3 Questions You’ll Hear At Your Grad School Interview

Applying for masters healthcare programs, or any kind of masters program, is a big deal, and you may be understandably nervous about a graduate school interview. Knowing what kinds of questions you're going to hear and having time to figure out how to answer them can help you stay calm and collected on the day of the interview. Take a look at some of the questions that you're bound to hear, along with some tips for formulating your answers.

What Areas of Research Are You Most Interested In?

The school will want to know what you're interested in getting out of their program and what you want to specialize in. They may also want to make sure that there is diversity in the particular program you're applying for – they don't want to have too many students focusing on one area of interest.

When answering this question, don't be afraid to let your passion for your subject shine through. The school isn't looking for students making a half-hearted effort; they want students who are excited about their field and looking to dive right in. Make sure that you explain how your area of interest fits in with the school's curriculum.

Why Did You Choose This School?

If this is your first choice school, then this should be an easy question. Explain what sold you on the school in the first place. Be sure to mention specifics so that the interviewer knows you made the effort to research the school, as well as your specific department.

If you're not thrilled about the school and have only chosen it because it's the most affordable or because your preferred choice wasn't an option, this will be a little harder. Chances are, though, that there's some aspect of the school you can get excited about (other than the lower price tag.) Find out what the school offers that's good and talk it up. If you're ambivalent about the school, don't let it show.

How Will You Be an Asset to The School?

Remember, the interviewer is looking for students that benefit the school, just like you're looking for a school that benefits you. This is not a time to be modest – you need to let the interviewer know what areas you shine in.

When you list qualities of yours that will be a benefit to the school, be sure you back them up with a specific example illustrating those qualities. For example, if you say that you have a creative approach to research, you need to describe a time when you took a creative approach to research. Just listing your good qualities can come off as arrogant, even if you're telling the truth. Listing your good qualities and illustrating them, on the other hand, helps the interviewer see that you really are everything you say you are.

Try practicing for your interview ahead of time with your advisor or a professor that you trust, especially if you're afraid of your mind going blank due to nervousness. A little bit of practice can keep your answers fresh at the top of your mind and help you seem relaxed when you answer.