Always wear a suit to an interview or something similar in professional attire if a woman. Moreover, don't try to be clever with the ties such as flying pigs or Bozo the clown. Dress conservative. Don't slouch or cross your legs when sitting. Don't be a chatty Kathy. That is to say get to the point with your answers and don't meander around with irrelevant stories. Write answers and memorise them for the following types of questions:
1. A lot of talented people are applying for an opportunity to be in this program. Why should we pick you? Or, how is it that you are different? Something along those lines.
2. What do you think will be the most challenging part of this program, and what will you do to meet and overcome those challenges?
3. What are your five, ten, fifteen year goals in the medical field?
4. What inspired you to become a nurse? Have at least three SOLID answers memorized.
Bring a pen and pad. Take notes during the interview. Be prepared to ask your own questions. Don't ask superficial questions that you can find answers to on their website. Dig deep. Have at least five questions. Ask about their backgrounds and what inspired them to work in the medical field. How is UoP preparing nurses to be desirable candidates for employment? The point being, let them know you're shopping as well and you're serious about your career.
Not only are they wanting to see what your answers are but how you process those questions without preparing. If you prepare by finding out information ahead of time you have an unfair advantage. If the school wanted you to know the questions ahead of time they would have given them to you.
Good luck in your interview. I would always err on the side of formality, and wear a suit to any interview. On the "General Nursing Student" board, there is a sticky thread regarding nursing school interviews, with a lot of great tips to help you prepare.
I hear your point about prior preparation and unfair advantages, but I think it's different than, say, the OHSU proctored essay, where you are required to agree not to disclose the subject of the essay. I haven't interviewed at U of P, but I suspect the questions are not static, and are typical of nursing school interviews.
Well, I don't think they're going to ask you technical questions; for instance, "explain for us three areas in which prolactin works in the female body". They're looking for someone who knows exactly why they want to be a nurse, the steps they've taken to make it happen, and their career goals. Those are basic points to cover. They may ask you to describe your background (even though they have it on paper in front of them). Again, dress conservatively, don't ramble, and try to be confident and competent. The interview is all about assessing chemistry between your personality and they type of personality that works well in their program. There really are no right or wrong answers, that is unless you pull an absolute no brainer and say something like, "ya know...as far as elderly patients are concerned, let them lay in **** soaked bed sheets". Look at it this way, even if you had the questions right in front of you, it's about chemistry, so if you prepared answers for every question your answers may not reflect the kind of chemistry they're looking for. You just have to be you.
How do I know this? I recruit C-level executives for Fortune 500 companies and have preped thousands of candidates for interviews.
My perception is that the program I'm interviewing for isn't as tough to get into as the BSN programs in Portland (in terms of number of applicants for number of available seats). This, I think, is due to a couple of things. One: you have to already have a bachelors degree in another field, and two: the cost. University of Portland and Linfield are the two most expensive programs around.
My BA is in history and I also have a masters degree in public administration with a focus on nonprofit management. I've worked in nonprofit management for the past 10 years. My GPA from my undergraduate degree wasn't great (under 3.0) but my GPA from my masters program was over 3.5.
U of P told me that they would weigh my MPA grades more than my BA grades because it demonstrated an ability to do graduate level coursework and it was more recent. I also scored well above the required minimum score on the MAT.
I am currently in the AEM UP program (just finished up the pre-licensure classes and am about to take the NCLEX). I'm happy to share about the experience with you anytime, and give you some interview tips, although my interview was a couple years ago and the questions may have changed since then.
I think it's absolutely fine for you to ask for help/tips ahead of time, especially from people who have been through the process. In my opinion, we're all in this together.
Feel free to private message me if you want. Good luck in your interview!