Physician assistant (PA) school interviews are related to medical school interviews. But, before diving deeper into the physician assistant program, you must understand the three primary interview formats: multiple mini-interview (MMI), as well as traditional and hybrid interviews. For all these interviews, you must prepare yourself early enough to stand a chance of facing the questions head-on.
As you prepare for your interview, avoid practicing with family or friends because you'll miss out on the experience of meeting an interviewer for the first time and the pressure of answering the questions. Ideally, it's appropriate for you to practice with a professional physician assistant (PA) admission consultant to get the required experience. Doing this is critical because the PA school interview is the final obstacle you must face before getting admission.
Before thinking about what your days are going to be like in the PA school or mulling over completing your physicians assistant hours, you should first make sure you're going to get accepted to the program. And, one way you can do so is to prepare yourself as much as you can. Here are six tips to consider as you prepare yourself for the PA school interview:
1. Know What They Should Know About You
After an interview session, the interviewer might ask you to take at least some minutes of your time and jot down a list entailing everything you’d love them to know. This is an excellent idea because you're likely to become nervous during an interview, and your thoughts might escape because of facing a high-pressure PA interview panel.
Preparing ahead of time helps you create personal points you'd love to pass across. Besides, it'll also assist you in focusing on your interview and connect your points to some of the aspects you'd want your interviewer to know about you. To achieve this quickly, you should consider discussing your character traits, what defines you, and personal issues or experiences.
Remember, every minute of your interview session matters. Therefore, use this time to narrate your personal story that tells more about yourself. This method will make you stand out among other interviewees and connect perfectly with your interviewer.
2. Start Practicing
As they say, practice makes perfect. With this in mind, you should make it a point to find a trustworthy PA mentor who can take you through the PA school interviews. This will offer you an excellent platform to rehearse for some challenging questions you're likely to encounter during your interview. Remember, there's no solution to answering many questions you might be asked during the interview. However, you should practice your responses so that they're professional and appropriate.
Practicing will also help how you answer the questions, which must connect you with your interviewers and leave them remembering you. In addition, let your responses flow. Don't let them sound like you crammed because your interviewers will find you untrustworthy.
3. Know What To Expect
One way to become successful during an interview and build confidence is by knowing what to expect during your interview session. You can achieve this quickly by calling the school and making inquiries about how they usually conduct their interviews and if there's anything an interviewee should carry along. Make sure to ask as many basic questions as possible. This will help you gain some idea about the upcoming interview from the school. Usually, multiple schools have no problem opening up regarding their basic information.
4. Dress Appropriately
When going for a PA school interview, dress professionally. Business attire would be a better option for an interview, and you should ensure you iron it. Furthermore, your hair should also be well-groomed. If your interview is online, you still need to dress like you would've dressed in an in-person interview. When you dress appropriately, you give your interviewers the correct impression about yourself. Sometimes, the way you dress can speak on your behalf because it’s a reflection of your character.
Online interviews only expose your upper body to your interviewers. Still, it's good that you wear professional bottoms because you never know what can happen during an interview, or you might even be asked to stand up. In addition, enhance your professional setup with excellent lighting. Ideally, natural lighting from the window or door is suitable. However, if there are no such good spots at your home, ensure you choose a room that’s well-lit or simply add lamps.
5. Be Prepared For Personal Questions
In most cases, interviewers usually focus on you, the applicant, during an interview. Thus, before you walk into this interview, there are a few questions regarding your profession you need to ask yourself. Such questions usually align with your desires and inspiring factors that made you enroll in a physician assistant course. Additionally, they may also be in line with your weaknesses and strengths, as well as goals.
On the other hand, the interviewer might touch a little on your skills and other skills you might love to sharpen through the PA program. As a PA hopeful, you might have incredible communication skills. But, interviewers might be looking for more skills from you, such as problem-solving, attention to detail, and compassion.
Interviewers might also ask questions to determine if you're fully prepared for their thorough academic PA program. Therefore, ensure you revise your previous coursework, especially those that were tough and on which you did excellently.
6. Understand The Profession
Another tip you should consider to help you ace the PA school interview is to show that you fully understand this profession to your interviewers. You can do this by showing that you’re completely aware of all the vital issues in this field, thus, why they should consider you over other applicants. Doing this is advised because other applicants competing for a slot in the PA school are either experienced registered nurses, paramedics, or emergency medical technicians.
The PA school interview gives you a platform to showcase your personality and talent. If you're among individuals facing this kind of interview, take advantage of this chance because this interview can make or break your dream of becoming a physician assistant. But, after reading these preparation tips in this comprehensive guide, there's no doubt you're going to give your interview the best shot and stand a better chance of acing it.