Graduate School Interview Preparation

Here is a list of typical questions you should be prepared to answer at an interview. Your answers should be thoughtful, reflective and consistent. They should demonstrate the personal traits in you that are highly valued by graduate school admissions officers.

General Background Questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals?
  • What sets you apart from the rest applicants?
  • Why grad school? Why now? What do you think you will gain from it?
  • Why are you interested in applying to our school?
  • What are those major criteria when you selected the schools?
  • Why did you choose your undergraduate major?
  • How will a degree from our school help you specifically?
  • Where else are you applying?
  • Why those schools?
  • Why did you decide to apply to x number of schools?
  • What school is your first choice and why?
  • If you are not accepted anywhere you applied this year, what will you do?
  • Do you have any specific questions or concerns about our school?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • How will you improve your weaknesses?
  • Who do you admire and why?
  • What books are you reading?
  • What is your favorite book or film and why?
  • What do you do with your free time?
  • What do you enjoy doing most? Why?
  • What leadership roles have you taken on?
  • What have you accomplished in these roles?
  • What obstacles have you encountered?

It is also likely your interviewer will ask you some out-of-the-ordinary questions. 

There is no way to be prepared for every question. For this reason, you should be yourself and simply ready to think. Ask the people with whom you practice interviewing to ask you some strange stuff. This will help prepare your mind to answer tougher questions. Here are some examples:

  • How would those who work under you describe you?
  • Tell me how you would like to help the world.

If you need insightful advice and additional practice with interviews, our Admissions consulting staff members are glad to help you and share their years of experience both as an interviewer and an interviewee. Just contact us.