interview strategy and simulation
Your application strategy is defined…
… and your drafted application is being refined. It is now time to consider the interview. While not all graduate programs offer an interview as part of the admission process, it is considered a crucial element of the selection criteria to those programs that do. Clearly, the interview is an opportunity, and your preparation for it needs to be as well-defined and refined as your application. To make sure that it is, Maxx Associates offers its clients an Interview Strategy and Simulation Session.
Creating an Interview Strategy
The first half of Maxx Associates’ Interview Session addresses the “preparatory” stage prior to your interview. Maxx starts by outlining what you need to know and what homework you need to do prior to your interview. She makes sure that you are clear as to how the interview meshes with the admission criteria and your specific situation. She gives you an analysis of your “standing” in the admission process, so as to help you understand what you need to achieve in the interview. She helps you determine your specific goals for the interview:
- What multidimensional elements do you want them to know?
- What should be emphasized in light of your goals and their program?
- What needs countering and how is this done?
- What sets you apart from other applicants?
- What additional information should you provide that is not in the application?
Maxx teaches you how to interpret any question that is asked, so you’ll be prepared for the numerous and ever-changing questions asked by admission interviewers. She defines for you the underlying theme of what it is Admissions wants to know. She then discusses that theme in terms of the various types of questions asked, including:
- Questions tailored to your specific situation
- Questions exploring your fit with a particular program
- Questions related to the philosophy/tenets of the program
- Questions meant to test you
- Questions that might scare you
Questions to Ask the Interviewer
Maxx follows up this discussion with its complementary topic: Questions to Ask the Interviewer. She suggests categories to explore in order to ask probing questions. She also points out common pitfalls and prepares you to ask the sort of questions which will make your interview stand out.
Profile of the Interviewers
The strategy session then continues with a discussion on the Profile of Interviewers, looking at their status (admission officer, professor, alumnus, current student), their techniques, and their mandate. You and Maxx discuss the control and flow of the interview, and your capabilities in the various interview settings (on- or off-campus interview, phone interview).
Basic Tips on Selling Yourself
Next, Maxx Associates provides you with some Basic Tips On Selling Yourself in an admissions interview. It starts with logistics, expands to demeanor, broadens to tone, and ends with rapport!
The Interview Simulation
Practice makes perfect … or at least comfortable. So Maxx Associates provides you with an opportunity to work out the “kinks” of an admission interview in advance of the interview itself. From the content of your answers to the techniques you employ in giving them, you can test your interview savvy and prepare yourself for the real thing.
Maxx asks you an array of questions and gives you immediate feedback on your responses. She tells you what is working and what is not, and what you need to add, delete or volunteer. Then… she gives you a second chance and more feedback!
By the time you have completed Maxx Associates’ Interview Strategy and Simulation Session you will be prepared to put your personal stamp on your next crucial interview… and have the Admission Representative put her or his stamp of approval on you!