Career and Leadership Development

Admission Interviews

Some graduate schools may require an interview for acceptance. Prior to the interview, read the course catalogue to become familiar with the program's goals and resources.

Prepare for the Interview:

Consider this interview similar to a job interview. You will need to:

  • Be able to articulate how your goals and qualifications match what the program has to offer
  • Convince them that you will be an asset to their department and program 

Typically, graduate and professional schools will be asking questions about:

  • Your academic, career and personal goals
  • You academic and professional aptitude
  • What appeals to you about their academic program and institution

Interviewers will expect you to have questions for them. Your questions will demonstrate your interest in the program, your analytical and inquisitive mind, and your interpersonal skills. You should try to emphasize your intellectual curiosity, motivation, ability to discuss issues current in your field, and your ability to work with professors.

Sample Graduate School Interview Questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your career goals?
  • Why do you want a graduate degree in ___________?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses as a student?
  • Why would you be an asset to our department?
  • What kind of teaching or research experience have you had to date?
  • Why should we accept you into this program?
  • What makes you a good candidate?
  • What appeals to you about our program?
  • To what other schools are you applying?
  • Tell me about the research project you were involved in with Professor ________?
  • Why do you want to be in the profession? Think through the process. What event(s) led to the decisions? What experiences and people influenced the decision?
  • What other careers have you considered?
  • How did you become committed to this choice?
  • How do you feel about the many ethical issues that face the profession? In medicine, for example, consider: animal research, dealing with death, helplessness, fetal research, AIDS, abortion, test tube or surrogate babies, HMOs, national health insurance, and malpractice insurance.
  • How have you investigated the field outside of the classroom? (work or volunteer experiences) What did you find? What did you learn? How did you change through the experience?
  • In what extracurricular activities have you been involved? What role(s) did you play? How did you grow through the experience? Did your participation lead to change or have positive results?
  • How do you view the future of your chosen profession?
  • Why should the admissions committee accept you above other candidates?
  • How are you unique? What and how do you expect to contribute to the profession?
  • What type of professional would you like to be and why?
  • In what type of setting would you like to practice, work, or teach?
  • What are your outside interests? Talents - music, art, etc.? Athletics? Reading material, music, films?
  • How have you gotten involved in community service?
  • How do you deal with stress?
  • How do you plan to finance your graduate education?
  • How do you feel about starting out in debt?
  • How do you deal with uncertainty or failure?
  • What are some of the reasons that you have chosen this profession?
  • What do you think it takes to be successful in it?
  • What are some of the rewards and some of the frustrations of this profession?
  • What was your most rewarding college experience?