I think a lot of people are nervous about interviews; I was. Interviewed less than 2 weeks ago for U of MD's DNP program and found out I got accepted yesterday. I spent time preparing for my interview, and I feel it paid off because afterwards the interviewer told me it was a great interview. Here's what I learned: dress professionally. I know some people don't believe you need to dress up, but it does make a difference. If you are a man, wear a suit, or at least a jacket and tie. For us ladies either a suit of a dress/skirt with a blazer. One of the easiest and cheapest things you need to wear is a confident smile. Look interviewers in the eye, pay attention, and shake hands with a firm grip. Remember their names, and always send a note or email afterwards thanking them for their time, but also summarizing why you are the perfect candidate.
I studied common grad school questions and practiced answering them in front of a mirror so I would know how my face looked. Try not to memorize though, you don't want to sound like you're reciting. I did not get all the questions that IMACRN did, thankfully
. However, some of them were on the list. I think everyone asks "Tell me about yourself," and about your greatest accomplishment. This is the part where you really get to sell yourself. Let them know why your are special. If it's like other places I have seen, they will see many other applicants that day. You need to make an impression.
I also got asked why they should pick me over another candidate. I used this space to show how much I knew about the program and faculty. I researched faculty members for professors doing work that would interest me, and mentioned them by name during the interview. I mentioned that I wanted to go to a top school, and that UMD is #6 in the country (according to US News and World Reports) and that I liked their mission statement. It helps to really research the school for two reasons: firstly, you want to make sure it's a good fit for you, also interviewers want to know you are truly interested.
I also came prepared with questions to ask them. They should be questions that cannot be answered by looking on the website. That makes you look like you haven't researched the program. I asked 5 questions I had written down beforehand, one of them was what makes their program stand out compared to other programs. The interviewer said it was a good question and gave me a thoughtful response.
The bottom line is to prepare, relax and be your best self. Hope this helps someone. Good luck!