Do’s and Don’ts on PA School Interview Etiquette

PA School • August 18, 2023

If you’ve landed an interview for Physician Assistant (PA) school, congratulations! 🎉 Now, it’s time to ace your interview with confidence and professionalism. In this video, we’ll guide you through the essential dos and don’ts of PA school interview etiquette.

Do’s and Don’ts on PA School Interview Etiquette

Getting an interview to a Physician Assistant (PA) school is a significant achievement that marks you as a competitive applicant. To ensure you make the best impression during the interview process, it’s crucial to adhere to proper PA school interview etiquette. In this article, we will guide you through the do’s and don’ts of PA school interview etiquette, covering aspects from attire to communication and follow-up.

Dressing the Part: What to Wear

Do: Opt for Professional Attire

Regardless of your gender or orientation, professional attire is a must for PA school interviews. Men or those identifying as male should consider wearing a suit consisting of a shirt, tie, and jacket. Stick to classic colors like black, blue, or gray for a polished appearance. If you lack a full suit, a sport jacket with slacks and a tie can also work well. Similarly, women and individuals of any gender should opt for a well-fitted suit or dress, complemented by a suit jacket or blazer.

Do: Prioritize Comfort and Professionalism

Comfort is key when choosing your interview attire. Your outfit should fit well and allow you to move comfortably. Avoid excessive accessories and oversized jewelry. Footwear should be appropriate for walking if it’s an in-person interview, and keep heels at a moderate height. Avoid flashy or overly casual choices, as the focus should be on projecting professionalism.

Don’t: Overdo Accessories or Experiment with Hairstyles

While a statement earring might be a fun accessory in other settings, keep it minimal and classic for the interview. Your goal is to appear professional and polished, so opt for stud earrings and modest necklaces. Hairstyles should be consistent with how you normally wear your hair. Avoid trying out new hairstyles or overly intricate updos that could be distracting during the interview.

During the Interview: Communication and Behavior

Do: Address Interviewers Respectfully

Always address interviewers using the titles and pronouns they prefer. Whether it’s Professor, Doctor, Mr., or Mrs., using the appropriate honorifics demonstrates your respect and professionalism. This practice sets a positive tone for the interview and shows that you pay attention to details.

Do: Employ Professional Language

Maintain a professional tone and language throughout the interview. Avoid slang words, curse words, or overly casual expressions. While it’s okay to engage in light banter, ensure your conversation remains appropriate for the setting. Focus on using clear, concise language to convey your thoughts effectively.

Don’t: Overshare or Use Inappropriate Language

While authenticity is important, avoid oversharing personal details that aren’t relevant to the interview. Keep your responses focused on the questions asked and the topics related to your qualifications and interest in the program. Similarly, refrain from using inappropriate or offensive language, even if you’re trying to establish a rapport.

After the Interview: Expressing Gratitude

Do: Send a Thank-You Note

After the interview, it’s recommended to express your gratitude by sending a thank-you note. A handwritten letter, if possible, adds a personal touch that email can’t replicate. If you can’t find an address for sending a letter, opt for a well-crafted thank-you email instead. Express your appreciation for the opportunity to interview, reiterate your enthusiasm for the program, and thank the interviewers for their time.

Do: Keep It Simple and Timely

The thank-you note doesn’t need to be lengthy; a few sincere sentences will suffice. Send it within three days of the interview to ensure your appreciation is timely. Address the note to the program or interviewers, mentioning specific aspects of the interview that you found valuable or intriguing.

Don’t: Neglect This Follow-Up Step

While opinions vary on the importance of thank-you notes, taking the time to send one showcases your professionalism, gratitude, and commitment. It’s a thoughtful gesture that could make you stand out among other candidates.

In conclusion, excelling in PA school interviews goes beyond showcasing your qualifications; it also involves presenting yourself in a professional and respectful manner. By adhering to proper interview etiquette, from dressing appropriately to communicating effectively and expressing gratitude afterward, you can increase your chances of making a positive impression on the admissions committee. Remember that your demeanor and conduct throughout the interview process are indicative of your potential as a future PA professional.

Also read: Top 10 Specialties for Physician Assistants

About me:

I’m Michele Neskey, aka The Posh PA. Welcome to my YouTube channel! My mission is to provide personalized guidance, education, and motivation to build confidence and promote wellness for aspiring physician assistants and beyond.   

Having been a PA for 17+ years and helped hundreds of students gain acceptance into PA school,  I understand the admissions process. I know what they are looking for, and I can help you tailor every component to make you shine, giving you the BEST chance of getting accepted to a program.  But it doesn’t end there. I create personalized plans for PA students and practicing PAs including test-taking strategy for the PANCE, contract negotiations, and tools to overcome and prevent provider burnout. 

My goal is to get you into a physician assistant (PA) school & survive the rigorous program, help you prevent burnout as a practicing PA, and help you take care of yourself so you can be the best version of YOU for your patients, family, and most importantly YOU!