Interview Comparison (3 of 3)

So I’m finally here at part three of my interview series!  WooHoo.  I’ve been meaning to write, but usually when I have something “substantial” to write, I avoid it.  Probably because I’m a dirty, rotten, no-good procrastinator!

Basically, through the UCLA TEP and Berkeley DTE interview processes, I learned some no-brainers that may be of some help to others who are about as naive as I am.

  • Wear something nice – business casual.
  • Review your submitted application – this not only reminds you of why you applied there in the first place, but also prepares you for potential questions or inquiries about the application.
  • Don’t hesitate to use your resources: call the admissions office and ask how the group interview will be conducted or use the internet and look up the faculty who will be interviewing you or do all of the above.  This is the 21st century people, and believe me, if you don’t do this, know that somebody else did.
  • Bring a notepad and a black or blue pen just in case.  Whether you need the financial aid website, a graduate’s email address, or other notes, it’s always good to be prepared.
  • Finally, even if you wear the wrong clothes, forget to take off your gaudy nail polish, and forget the room number of the interview location, in the end, it’s about the person. No matter how immaculate you are, if you are tepid with no sense of why you’re there, the school is not going to be interested.  Let them know why you are a vital candidate.  They want to know!

Also, even if a school doesn’t conduct interviews, it might be a good idea to research the school and contact a professor that you might be interested in working with (or in the case of a Credential/MA program, a teacher whose pedagogical theories or publications interest you) and just ask them a few questions and express your interest and intentions to apply.   If you know of students who have been in the program or are in the program, contact them for some inside information.  Visit a class.  Visit the director (I did).

Grad schools are keen on getting you where you need to be, and they are so so so helpful.  Take advantage!


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