7 Tips to Help You Nail Your Grad School Interview

Man interviewing a young woman

Graduate school applications often have many components to help the admissions team and program faculty get to know you and your strengths. At William James College and many other institutions, an interview is part of this admission process, but it doesn’t have to be nerve-wracking. The interview is as much for you as it is for the college—to showcase yourself and your skills outside of your application; to better experience the program and its faculty or students; and to help you determine if it is the right fit for you and your goals.

The Admissions Team at William James College put together their top seven tips to help you prepare and succeed at your graduate school interview.

Review the College and Program Before the Interview

This may seem self-explanatory, but before stepping into your graduate school interview, be sure to review the college and the program so you are familiar with requirements, courses, mission, etc. Especially if you are applying to more than one program, these details can blur together and you want to be confident during the interview.

Practice Interview Questions Beforehand

Either on your own or with a family member or friend, look up common interview questions beforehand and practice answering them out loud. You want to be comfortable talking about yourself, your experiences, and your goals before you enter the interview.

Dress Professionally and Prepare Your Space (if applicable)

As with any interview, you want to dress professionally. This of course means dressing appropriately in clothing free of stains or holes, but also means dressing comfortably and confidently for you. You don’t want to be pulling or fidgeting with uncomfortable clothes and want to feel confident and ready for the interview.

For virtual interviews, be sure to still dress professionally and fully. You don’t want an accidental camera angle to show your interviewer your sweatpants, for example. You will also want to be mindful of your space for the virtual interview. Make sure your video background is clean and appropriate, that you are in a space free of interruptions, and that there are no loud or distracting noises.

Review the Details of the Interview in Advance

Don’t wait until the last minute to review the details of the interview. Double check the time (including the time zone), location of the interview, and directions to get to campus or for logging on virtually. You will also want to review any information from the college about what to expect and if you need to bring or prepare materials in advance.

Reread your Application Essay, Resume, Etc.

Before the interview, you will want to reread your application and other materials, including your essay and resume. Your interviewer(s) will be familiar with these items and may ask you questions about them. Reviewing the materials in advance can help you feel more confident and make it easier to answer questions about your experiences, skills, and goals.

Be Yourself and Be Confident

You know yourself best, so let that shine during the interview. There is no one better equipped to talk about your educational and career goals than you are. You will be able to showcase your skills and knowledge in real time with the interviewers as well as ask questions about the program. Use this time to really determine if the program is the right fit for you.

Don’t Forget the Small Things

You might find yourself focused so much on practicing questions or reviewing your essay that you forget to take care of yourself before the interview. Try to get a good night’s sleep, eat something before, and wake up early enough so you don’t feel like you are rushing to get ready.


You can do this! If you have any other questions for our Admissions Team, please reach out to info@williamjames.edu.


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