Interviews are officially finished today, but in case someone is looking on this thread to apply for next year:
Today's orientation was divided into several 1-hour sessions: The GEPN program director gave a hilarious and informative overview of the first year program and how it differs from other graduate entry programs. We were then divided into smaller rooms with other candidates applying in our areas of specialization, and the director (or a professor) of that specialization summarized the specialization courses and answered any questions we might have in our field--I found this session helpful, because it gave me some ideas to discuss during the personal interviews held later in the afternoon. We then went back to the commons room for an overview of life at Yale and the new West campus location, returned to our specialization rooms to share lunch with fellow applicants and other professors in the field, and then to move on to one-on-one interviews. A current GEPN student (at least one) will sit with you during lunch hour, so you may want to prepare some questions about the program and student life for him/her.
I applied to the Psych-NP program and felt both relieved and perplexed by my interview: Coming from an academic background and going through tenure-track interviews, I had prepared answers that were much too detailed; where I expected a rigorous assessment, the interview was more like a casual dialogue. Some of the questions included: Why this career path? What experiences have you had in this field? Why Yale? Many of the interviewer's remarks were based on personal experiences I had mentioned in my application letter, and she seemed genuinely fascinated. But then, perhaps because of my qualifications, I was asked how I would handle working with bad professors or preceptors, which was a bit disconcerting and left me flabbergasted for the remainder of our chat. I was also asked how I would handle hard science courses with a background in the Humanities, which I couldn't answer with any objective proof. It was clear that the interviewer had read through my materials and simply wanted to determine skills, motives for attending Yale and earning an NP degree, and to make sure I was intellectually and emotionally capable of handling the program.
For reference, we received these numbers:
500 people applied to the GEPN program, and only 200 were called to interview
31 people applied to the Psych-NP track, and 15-16 will be admitted
My interviewer liked my skills and said I was a good candidate, but also hinted that one year of science courses might be in order before I reapply to this program and other schools. So, I don't know if I will be accepted, but I appreciated her candid approach, her constructive feedback, and her willingness to help me prepare to succeed in this field whether I am accepted to the program or not.
If you got an interview, you already accomplished something phenomenal! In the Psych-NP group, I seemed to be the only applicant who did not hold a Bachelor's in Psychology, although I was also the only candidate applying with a doctorate and book publications. Everyone applying was actively involved, whether through employment or volunteer work, in a mental health services capacity.
The faculty are supportive, charming and devoted to making your orientation day both helpful and enjoyable. The 30 minute interview goes by very quickly, but they do encourage you to email them with any questions or reflections afterward. Try to be relaxed and not to over-prepare--think of it as a conversation rather than as a traditional job interview, and you will be fine!
Good luck to everyone applying next year, and congratulations to all of us who went through the interview process the past two weeks - I know we will end up exactly where we should be, whether it is Yale or another school!