Going into a graduate school interview can be a rather intimidating time. In my first interview I was not sure what to expect. When I looked around online I could not find the information that I was looking for. I wasn’t sure what to do or say and it made for a really nerve racking day. After the first interview I began to understand how it worked and it become much more laid back and easier for me. I think being prepared for my later interviews was one of the main reasons that I was accepted. Here are a few tips to remember on the day of your interview.
While you may not need a business suit and tie you should still expect to dress very nice for your interview. In my opinion the best option would be a business casual look. Jeans would be a no no, you want to look professional as a graduate school position is a job and should be treated as such.
Know Your Interviewers
Most of the time before you go on a campus visit they will give you an itinerary. This will often times include what professors you will be speaking with. My advice would be to get on the university website and familiarize yourself with their research. It makes the interview go much better if you can comment on their research and already have an idea of what they are going to ask you. Doing this will make you look prepared and is a major plus in the eyes of the interviewer.
It is also important to show that you are paying close attention to what they are saying when they are describing their research area to you. If you ask questions it not only shows that you are paying attention but also gives you a chance to show your knowledge of a subject. You can tell a great deal about a person by the questions that they ask.
This should be a given for any interview not just graduate school interviews. Most of the time you will be traveling a distance to these interviews. Make sure that you leave early and give yourself plenty of time. It obviously would be better to arrive early than late. If early you can see the city and campus until it is time for you to head to your interview.
Some Other Quick Tips
Bring a pen to write down notes or contact information
Obviously do not look at your phone or other things that are unprofessional
Sit up straight and eye contact
I hope these few tips help in your interview process and good luck getting admissions. If you come prepared you should have a great chance of impressing them and that will lead to great things.