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Mock Interviews

Health Professions Advising offers one-on-one preparation for interviews in a two to four meeting sequence between the time when you are offered an interview to your actual interview date.

Below are a few exercises to complete as you prepare.

Create Your Pre-Professional Biography

Find a quiet space where you are not distracted. With a pen and paper or digital tool at hand, sit quietly and begin to think of any and all aspects of your life up until now that inform your candidacy to professional school. This can be people, experiences, tragedies, successes, relationships, academics, leisure, hobbies, travels, family, work, etc. These do not have to be specifically related to your professional school pursuits. We are looking for stories, sound bites, word pictures that describe and relate to the person you are today.

Recording these thoughts brings these evidences of your life to the forefront of your mind into what is called hierarchal reasoning or thinking. We are seeking to think about your biography in context of being a professional school student or fulfilling the profession you are pursuing. This will allow you to create evidential answers that share a brief insight into you as a candidate with each answer you offer. Rather than simply answering a given question, you can provide your chosen response and then support this answer by speaking a story or description of yourself that provides evidence of your ability, knowledge and experience in regard to the question. Ultimately you are asking yourself the question: “So what does this have to do with me being a _____ or ____ student?”

Descriptive Discovery

All individuals pursuing professional schools often have similar traits, even match certain stereotypes, however your traits are uniquely your own. It is your responsibility to clearly translate and express your qualities, characteristics and personality strengths and weaknesses to the interviewer in a fashion that is meaningful, memorable and professionally related. This requires precise and powerful descriptions of you and your traits.

For this exercise think about and record adjectives and phrases that you believe describe you as a person, especially in regard to your career goals. Make a list of these word descriptors and phrases. Then ask your roommate, best friends, classmates, family members, mentors, any significant relationship in your life to do the same: What words, adjectives, phrases do they believe best describes you as a person and as someone pursuing your profession. Why do they think you would make a good ____________?

Once you have complied this list, go to the Internet and search the words and phrases. Look for precise, rich descriptions. An example might be: Instead of “hard worker” you are “industrious”; “efficient and effective”; “proficient”; “production oriented.” Create a list of three to five strong descriptors that you can use throughout your interview. This list is also very helpful with strengths and weakness questions. Weaknesses are often a mirror of strengths so this exercise will assist you in formulating a quality answer to this typical interview question.

Match Biography to Interview Questions

Once you have completed these exercises, identify the sources of sample questions you feel are most appropriate for your interview preparation. When you examine questions, you will notice that there are themes of questions that are often asked in different ways. So identify your themes such as “Tell me about yourself?”; “Why this profession?”; “Tell me your strengths and Weaknesses?” “Why our School?” etc. Once you identify the themes, then match your biography and descriptors with the various sample questions. This will prepare you to put the clearest, most powerful picture of yourself forward for the interview.

Schedule Your Mock Interview

Once you have completed these exercises, through mock interviews, you will be able to practice responding in a manner that is fluid, coherent and meaningful. Visit the Advisor Directory to schedule a mock interview with Health Professions Advising. If you discover sample questions that stump you, discuss those with your interview mentor to determine what might be a good response based on your background.

REMEMBER: You can do all the preparation in the world and look at countless sample questions and you are likely to get a question you have not thought of before. That is where your preparation process is about making you’re a confident translator of your story and application rather than identifying right and wrong answers. With just a few transitional words you can match many of your stories to all types of questions. You are the director of the context of your evidence.