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Graduate School Interview: Common Questions


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Getting ready for a graduate school interview? Congratulations! Getting an interview is a significant step towards winning acceptance to the graduate program of your dreams. Take time to prepare as your performance will determine your admissions fate.  Anticipate questions and consider responses beforehand. What questions can you expect?

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • If you're not accepted into graduate school, what are your plans?
  • Why did you choose this career?
  • What do you know about our program?
  • Why did you choose to apply to our program?
  • What other schools are you considering?
  • In what ways have your previous experience prepared you for graduate study in our program?
  • Any questions?
  • What do you believe your greatest challenge will be if you are accepted into this program?
  • In college, what courses did you enjoy the most? The least? Why?
  • Describe any research project you've worked on. What was the purpose of the project and what was your role in the project?
  • How would your professors describe you?
  • How will you be able to make a contribution to this field?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • Explain a situation in which you had a conflict and how you resolved it. What would you do differently? Why?
  • Describe your greatest accomplishment.
  • Tell me about your experience in this field. What was challenging? What was your contribution?
  • What are your career goals? How will this program help you achieve your goals?
  • How do you intend to finance your education?
  • What skills do you bring to the program? How will you help your mentor in his or her research?
  • Are you motivated? Explain and provide examples.
  • Why should we take you and not someone else?
  • What do you plan to specialize in?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • What can be determined about an applicant at an interview?

These are a few ideas of what you can expect. You'll interact with many people - professors, current students, and other applicants. Try to remember that everyone want the same thing: Successful applicants who best fit the program. Be honest and be yourself.

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