A HELPFUL ARTICLE
Why to do a PA School Mock Interview
I remember the day I got notification of my first PA school interview. It was at a local university in NY, a newer program at the time, and was definitely not my top choice. Nonetheless, I was so excited I told everyone I knew and re-read that letter about 5 times. If I were then who I am now, I would have hit the Google and started researching every type of question you could get a PA interview. I would have bought a book, made a list of the most common interview questions and started rehearsing my answers. But I was young, naive and had slow dial-up service on AOL. I did nothing. I went in cold turkey and regretted every second of it. I was nervous, sweaty and fumbling over my answers. I left that day feeling like I blew it and that I better get my ass in gear if I got another opportunity.
Luckily I did get a second interview and a third. I spent time reviewing questions and making sure I knew every last detail of my application. I felt as prepared as I could have been going into those days, yet my nerves and anxiety did not change. Yes, my answers were more clear and I sounded more confident, but I certainly wish I would have felt it.
Thirteen years later, the PA school application scene is very different. The competition to get in is fierce with a growing number of qualified applicants. In my opinion, there is no amount of reading or reviewing that can make you as prepared for a PA school interview as a Mock Interview can.
Here are 5 reason why I think every PA school applicant should consider a Mock interview:
You can “Test Drive” Your Skills. Setting up a one-on-one mock interview will give you the opportunity to answer questions typical of a PA school interview and receive feedback. It also gives you the opportunity to think on your feet and handle the stress of being asked unexpected questions. You can test how well your responses would be received by an interviewer and how to improve on them if needed.
It reduces anxiety and boosts confidence. As a PA that conducts mock interviews myself, I will often point out your strengths throughout the process. I will also show you how to focus on responses that point out your unique gifts and strengths that maybe are not evident on your written application. It is important not only to show how you will be a great PA, but also to showcase who you are as a person. This will reduce your anxiety and increase your confidence level.
It allows you to receive constructive criticism in a low-stress environment. Mock interviews will allow you to receive real-time feedback and help you clarify responses that you may have difficulty with without the stress of the “real thing”. They will also help identify weaknesses in your interview style or responses and offer tools to help overcome them.
Helps prepare you for behavioral type interview questions and multiple mini interview (MMI) style questions. These are often the hardest types of questions to prepare for as an interviewer can literally ask anything. You can learn simple techniques to be able to answer any type of question in a clear and concise way without feeling overwhelmed.
Get perspective. A mock interview can give you a unique perspective on the interview process, what schools are really looking for in a candidate, and how to stand out from the crowd. I often allow interviewees to ask me anything in a Q&A session at the end of the mock interview.