How Can I Best Prepare For The Grad School Interview?

While there are many important events that can transpire in the life of an individual, preparing for grad school is particularly significant. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that attending and graduating from grad school can determine one’s vocational path. If you are preparing for grad school and find that you must participate in an interview, you may find yourself wondering how best to prepare yourself.

Here are several things you should do:

Learn About The Faculty and Program.

In her article regarding how to prepare for grad school interviews, Tara Kuther notes that learning about the faculty and program you’ll be participating in is important. In addition to understanding the faculty research interests and training emphasis, you should pay attention to things such as course requirements and the time it will take for you to complete the program.

Interview Questions-The Basics

One of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself for your grad school interview is to understand what questions will be asked of you. These questions are designed to determine your interest level and aptitude for participation in the grad school program to which you applied. To help prepare yourself for the interview, remember that interviewers are typically looking for the following two things when they ask you questions:

1. The answer itself
2. Your capability in articulating your answer

Interview Questions You May Be Asked

There are a variety of different interview questions that an interviewer could ask you. Some of them might include:

1. What is your strongest asset?
2. What are your weaknesses as a student?
3. If your friends and family members could pick one word to describe you, what would it be?
4. What are your interests outside of school?
5. Why are you interested in our grad program?

Interview Questions You Should Consider Asking

Oftentimes, the grad school application process will incorporate time for you to ask questions. This part of the interview will be very important for several reasons. First, it can inform the interviewer whether or not you’ve taken the time to research the program you applied to. Second, it can help the interviewer determine what your main interests are with respect to the program. Here are several questions you might want to ask:

1. What is the greatest strength of this grad program?
2. How does your grad program differ from others?
3. What can I do to be successful in this program?
4. I read that Professor X is doing research on a subject I’m interested in. Would it be possible for me to work directly with her if I gained admittance to the program?

Physical Appearance

While the most important factor that goes into determining whether you’re admitted into a grad program should be academic aptitude, physical appearance can also be very important. Since this is the case, it is a good idea to do things such as having your eyebrows done as well as getting a manicure. These types of things contribute to a very kempt, groomed appearance that generally has universal appeal. You should also take time to prepare an outfit that flatters you and will make you feel confident. This can play a profound role in determining how self-assured and assertive you are during the interview process.


Although the idea of attending a grad school interview can be daunting, it doesn’t have to be. By implementing the strategies outlined above, you will likely find that you do very well during your interview. Good luck!

If you aren’t quite sure how you want to proceed, check out our resource that breaks down how to choose the right graduate degree.

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