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 Has anyone ever “closed” a grad school interview? Are there any aspects that differ from a business interview that I should know about?

I’m preparing for likely grad school interview questions and thought that I would also prepare a 'closing' for this interview just like any other interview. 

Any thoughts?

wroschek's picture

When I applied, I had a relatively simple close..."I want to go to graduate school here" 

I interviewed at 5 schools and got in to all 5 including a top 15 school for chemistry. My GPA was relatively low (3.3; 3.4 in major classes) compared to other applicants that focused on their test scores, etc. but I got accepted into all of the schools I wanted to and had a great time choosing the right fit for me.

I used the same approach when selecting an adviser and got my first choice their as well. I would improve my close based on MT/CT guidance by extending my close to list reasons why school X and I are good fits, and I would close with every professor I spoke with during the interview. I only closed with the admissions counselor at each school at the end of the interview.

As an aside, I did this for undergraduate as well and got a significant scholarship (I believe) because of it.

Good luck! 

 

jskizzle's picture

Nicholas,

When I interviewed, I wrote down answers to all these topics, which really covered all their questions.

-Professional Accomplishments

-Academic Accomplishments

-Courses I liked

-Strengths

-Weaknesses

-Career goals

-Why thier program

Then I ended the interview with this, "Based on our discussion, my skillset, experience, and determination, I think I would be a good fit for the program. Do you agree?"

Good luck!

wedmondson's picture

I was accepted into Kellogg School of Management despite my relatively low undergraduate GPA.  I knew going into the interview I needed to do very well in that portion of the application process in order to compensate for my less than stellar study habits earlier in life.

Here are the highlights of what made this a successful process for me.

  • Be hungry for learning - Schools want to know you are able to learn
    I highlighted my desire for learning by pointing out things I had done in the last several years to further my skills/knowledge.  The person interviewing me seemed to take extra note when I mentioned I saw myself always being in some sort of training or learning program even after finishing my MBA.
  • Demonstrate Tenacity - Schools want to know you are willing to stick through to the end (it makes them look good)
    I highlighted some of the areas in my life/career where I had shown discipline over an extended period of time.  I also explained how my plans to attend their institution had been part of my long term plan and explained to the steps I had taken over the previous couple years to be sure I was accepted into their program.
  • Know what you want - Related to the last point Schools want to know you have a plan
    Even if you aren't exactly sure how you want to use your degree (many MBA candidates don't) you need to create a systematic plan as to how you will use your degree once you are done.  You do this with full knowledge you plans will most likely change but having honestly gone through this planning process you will demonstrate the education program is not a frivolous undertaking for you and that you have the ability to think strategically.
  • Be professional
    Listen through all of the Manager Tools and Career Tools interview podcasts on interviewing.  Many, many of their points apply directly to this interview.
  • Be energetic
    Show you have the energy to take this challenge head on
  • Be prepared
    There are many, many actual interview questions posted on the web.  Google them and practice your answers.

Hope that is helpful and good luck!

 

 

NicholasB's picture

Thank you to everyone for the advice. I've been working on my delivery and had a strong mock interview last night. I'm putting on the final touches before I interview next week!