Interview Questions

Saturday, February 20, 2016

As promised in my last what to expect during interviews post, I'm sharing mix of some of the questions I had to answer at all three of my interviews either verbally or in a written form. It looks like a lot of questions, but one of my interviews was a MMI (multiple mini interviews) and the other two had two interviewers at once. Please note that the questions you can be asked are not limited to the ones in this post.

The 'All About You' Questions - These questions are usually used to start off the interview and then get more detailed and require some more thought and preparation. During these questions, they're trying to get to know your personality and to see if you've really given this whole PA school thing some thought. A lot of people struggle with the "tell me something about yourself" question. I would say it's okay to add something personal towards the end of your answer, such as "I like hiking" or "I like to try out new recipes in my free time" as long as you lead the answer with a few professional and academic statements.

  • Tell me something about yourself
  • Tell us something about yourself that isn't on your application
  • Why do you want to become a PA?
  • When did you first hear about PAs?
  • When did you first decide to pursue a career in this profession?
  • How many programs have you applied to?
  • What is your plan if you don't get accepted this year?
  • Did you do any research during your undergraduate studies?
  • Can you give us a brief summary about your clinical experience?
  • Why PA and not NP (or MD/DO)? 
  • What was your most favorite and least favorite class?
  • Why this program / what do you know about our program?
  • Why did you not start your healthcare experience sooner?
  • What leadership experience do you have?
  • What do you think makes a good leader?
  • What qualities do you have that will make you a good PA?
  • What is something you saw during your clinical experience that you believe needs improvement?
  • You went to a big school and this school is small. How will that affect you?
  • Tell us about the xyz class that you look in undergrad
Situational Questions - There is no solid right answer here. They're looking more for your thought process and how you would handle these situations. Once I gave a response to one of theses questions, I was counter questioned depending on what I said. Don't let this intimidate you. Just stick with your original answer and elaborate on why you chose to react a certain way.
  • What would you do if you found out that the doctor you work with made a mistake during a procedure and didn't document it?
  • How would you deal with the situation if you found out that your study partner (who is also your friend) cheated on an exam?
  • How would you react if a patient refused to see you and would rather see a doctor?
Questions to ask them: It's a good idea to have a handful of questions prepared to ask towards the end of your interview AND even for current students as they usually host a Q&A session. You want to ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer. The reason for this is because you want to (as you should be) look genuinely interested and not just ask a question for the heck of it. This is your time to shine and also to figure out if this program is the one for you. You can also write down these questions in your notepad or portfolio so you don't forget them. Also, it's okay write down their answers too as they speak! Following are some of the questions I asked or heard during my interviews.

  • How do you prepare your students for the PANCE?
  • Do you provide any job placement assistance?
  • Could you tell me more about the rotation sites that are available to your students?
  • Do your PA students get to interact with medical (nursing, pharmacy, etc.) students?
  • What makes this program different than other programs?
  • What do you enjoy the most about working at this program?
  • What made you want to be a preceptor/professor at this program?
  • What qualities do you look for in a PA student?
Current students:
  • What is something you wish you knew before you started this program?
  • How did you change your study habits form undergrad to PA school?
  • What extracurricular or volunteering opportunities are there for PA students?
  • How many tests do you have to take in a week?
  • Does the program offer online textbooks?
  • What does your daily schedule look like?
  • Does the class share study materials and how?
Since I've only talked about the questions I encountered or asked during my interviews, I'm linking up with PA Journey and Trust Me, I'm a PA Student. I referred to these two blogs while preparing for my interviews and they were very helpful! 

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions and good luck on your interview! 

1 comment :

  1. Tks very much for your post.

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