4 Types of Physician Assistant School Interviews Revealed

PA School • June 9, 2023

Are you considering applying to Physician Assistant (PA) school? In this video, we will explore the various types of physician assistant school interviews you may encounter during the PA school application process. Understanding the different interview formats is crucial for your preparation. Join us as we discuss traditional interviews, multiple mini-interviews (MMIs), panel interviews, and group interviews.

Learn what to expect, how to approach each type, and tips to excel in your PA school interviews. Whether you’re a prospective PA student or simply curious about the admissions process, this video will provide you with valuable insights and strategies to succeed in your interviews. Don’t miss out on this essential information that will help you on your journey to becoming a Physician Assistant!

4 Types of Physician Assistant School Interviews

Physician Assistant school interviews are a crucial step in the application process for aspiring PAs. To help you navigate these interviews successfully, it’s important to understand the different formats that PA school interviews can have. In this article, we will explore four types of interviews commonly used in PA school admissions.

Traditional Style Interview

The traditional style interview is a format that most applicants are familiar with from job interviews or college admissions interviews. These interviews typically involve one-on-one interactions with faculty members or students. The questions asked in traditional interviews aim to assess your motivations for becoming a PA and your interest in the specific program you are applying to. It is essential to research the program thoroughly before the interview, including the faculty members who will be interviewing you. Familiarize yourself with the program’s mission, curriculum structure, and speak with current students to gain insights into what the program values in its applicants.

Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)

The multiple mini interview is a more challenging format to prepare for. It consists of several stations where you are presented with prompts or scenarios. Before entering each station, you are given a short time (usually one to two minutes) to review the prompt. Once inside the station, you will answer the prompt, which can range from ethical questions to clinical scenarios or group exercises.

MMIs assess your critical thinking, reasoning abilities, problem-solving skills, and how well you handle stressful situations. It is crucial to practice these types of questions to develop strategies for answering them effectively. MMIs typically involve around eight to ten stations, with each station allowing approximately six to eight minutes for completing the task or answering the question.

Panel Interview

A panel interview involves meeting with a group of faculty members and potentially a student. This format usually lasts longer than a traditional interview and allows multiple interviewers to ask you questions directly. Panel interviews often consist of three to four interviewers and provide a comprehensive assessment of your suitability for the program. It is essential to maintain poise, engage with each interviewer, and address them by name to create a positive impression.

Group Interview

In a group interview, you are part of a larger group of applicants who are interviewed together. The interviewers may be faculty members or members of the admissions committee. Group interviews test your ability to work collaboratively with others and communicate effectively within a group setting.

This format can be particularly challenging for introverted individuals who may feel anxious about expressing themselves in a group. It is crucial to actively participate, engage in conversations, address others by name, and demonstrate leadership skills when appropriate.

It is worth noting that some PA programs may employ a hybrid approach, combining elements of different interview formats. For example, you may encounter a panel interview along with MMI stations or a group interview combined with traditional interview questions. Familiarize yourself with the specific format used by the program you are applying to and practice answering questions accordingly.

To prepare for any type of physician assistant school interviews, regardless of the format, there are a few key strategies to employ. Firstly, answer interview questions out loud to become comfortable articulating your responses. Speaking your answers aloud helps you refine your communication skills and develop confidence in expressing your thoughts. You can practice with a friend, family member, or seek assistance from experienced professionals such as interview coaches.

In conclusion, PA school interviews come in various formats, and it is essential to be prepared for each. Whether it is a traditional interview, MMI, panel interview, or group interview, thorough preparation and practice are vital. Research the program, practice answering questions, and seek feedback to ensure you are well-equipped to succeed in your PA school interview. Remember, your interview performance significantly impacts your chances of acceptance, so invest time and effort in honing your interview skills. Good luck!

Also read: 3 Strategies to Overcome Imposter Syndrome as a Physician Assistant

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!