Grad School Interviewing

If you are applying to a Ph.D. program, you will most likely have to go through an admissions interview before a final decision is made by the committee. This is because a doctoral program is a huge commitment of effort and time on the part of the department as well as the applicant. Essentially, they want to make sure that you are personable and would be easy to work with. Interviewing for Masters-level programs, although less common, may also occur. You should read the application instructions carefully to determine if you will have to interview for admission. The questions you will be asked during a graduate school interview will vary depending on the program.

Common Questions

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you want to earn (insert degree title here)?
  • Why are you interested in this program specifically?
  • Why should we admit you?
  • What are you strengths and weaknesses?
  • What questions do you have for me?

How to Prepare for the Interview

  1. Research the program thoroughly in order to come up with educated questions.
  2. Review your CV and research, if applicable.
  3. Practice interview questions. Mock interviews for graduate school are available by appointment in the Career Center or through InterviewStream, an online mock interview tool.
  4. Get your outfit together. Professional dress is optimal, but business casual will do in a pinch.