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How to Rock Your Next Interview

Happy New Year, Kaizen family!!!

Hopefully, you’ve already started to settle into a routine, establish good habits, and toss practices that are unproductive. At this point in the year, students and their families are either preparing or waiting. Those applying to private or special schools are preparing to submit applications or schedule interviews. High school seniors who applied early action or early decision are eagerly biding time. At the graduate level, law school applications are about to go off and hundreds of medical school students are awaiting match-day results.

In the spirit of preparation, Kaizen Educational Consulting would like to share a few tips:

  1. Whether in person or virtual, be sure to dress the part! Remember, messages are conveyed way before you speak.

  2. Do your research and be able to clearly articulate why you want to attend the institution. Comb the school’s website and any information available to get a feel for what the school has to offer.

  3. Practice, practice, practice! Conscript family and friends to serve as interviewers. Comb the internet for questions and outline your responses. The more familiar you are, the more comfortable you will feel in the moment.

  4. Clearly communicate your goals and expectations. How will you be an asset to the institution if accepted? Where do you see yourself in ten years? What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

  5. Think about your unique gifts, talents, and interests. Be able to describe yourself in a minute or less by providing information that is not on your application.

  6. Show your interest and curiosity by asking questions. The interviewer may provide a time for this, but if not, before the exercise is over, let the interviewer know that you have a few questions.

  7. Grades are great, but they aren’t everything. Schools want students who are academically astute and community-oriented. Make a list of activities completed or in progress, and highlight the ones you’ve organized.

  8. If you’ve had a bad semester or your grades aren’t the best, be honest. Hopefully, you’ve had time to reflect and plan for improvement. If so, share that!

  9. Be gracious. Verbally thank the interviewer for their time and follow up with a formal letter of thanks. If you do not have an email or mailing address for the interviewer, be sure to ask for one.

  10. Finally, clothe yourself in a healthy dose of confidence and leave a lasting impression (note I said healthy dose, cocky isn’t cool). Yes, I know that this can be difficult under the circumstances, however, do know that if this opportunity is meant for you, nothing can change that fact.

As Thoreau said, “Go confidently in the directions of your dreams!”

Au revoir,

Kimberly R. Douglas

Kaizen Educational Consulting

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