EFFECTIVE INTERVIEWING SKILLS
The three R=s of interviewing:
RESEARCH B Learn as much as possible about the school at which you are being interviewed.
Arrive early, look around, make significant observations of people and things
so that you are able to make cogent comments and to ask good questions later
REHEARSE B Review Afrequently asked@ questions and actually write down your responses
RELAX B Breathing exercises (3 inhales followed by exhale...repeat3x)
Sweaty palms; wipe dry, air dry with palms open
Do these just prior to entering interview room
Introduce yourself with a firm, but not bone-crushing, handshake and a smile. Use voice properly
Remember the name (department) of the interviewer, if you are told
Be aware of your body language. Sit erect. Be aware of position of your hands. It=s ok to emphasize a point with a
hand gesture or by leaning forward. Keep it subdued, though. You may cross your legs, but don=t switch too often.
Absolutely avoid nervous motion! Have a sparkle in your eye and an inflection in your voice.
Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. If it is a panel interview, begin your response by having eye contact with
the person who posed the question; then shift gaze to others on the panel; finally return eye contact with the original
Always be positive, confident, enthusiastic, and dedicated to scholarship. Expose your human qualities. Listen
carefully to the question; ask for clarification, if necessary; attempt to organize your responses; don=t hesitate to ask
for a moment to think about the question; avoid one-word responses, but don=t drag out your answers (be concise);
never begin by saying Athat=s a good question!@ Interviewers respond well to stories or examples, but be concise.
Try to guide the interviewer into asking you the questions that you would enjoy answering by supplying some open-
ended responses. I enjoy competitive sports...laboratory research. I=ve traveled abroad. I engage in volunteer
activities. Don=t answer before the question is completed!
A blind interview may require that you elaborate on some of your answers, i.e. the name of the organization or the
amount of time devoted, your leadership position.
Have an insightful question at the end of the interview. It shows that you have thoughts about the institution. This
question might relate to the mission of the school, the educational trends, the future plans. Thank the interviewer
and then say something like: AI hope that my answers to your questions have been helpful to you.@ or AI hope that I
have been able to clarify my credentials.@
After the interview send a brief thank you note to the interviewer or admissions office. AI enjoyed my visit and
For interrupted/delayed interview...inappropriate questions...ask for another interview!