Breaking Down PA School Interview Questions II

Q: Tell me about yourself?

  • This is a time a like to tell people “don’t over think it and don’t over do it”.  Given the freedom to simply just speak during an interview is really gut wrenching–especially about yourself.
  • What they want to hear/see
    • The point of this question is literally just to get to know you and see that you are personable and that you can hold a normal conversation.
    • Admissions committees don’t want to bring in students who can’t hold a normal conversation.  Translation: if you can’t hold a normal conversation with them how can you sit at a patients bedside and talk about serious stuff?
    • They are evaluating you as a future colleague.  Make small talk. Make eye contact.  Have confident body language.  Smile.  Keep it simple 🙂
  • What to stay away from:
    • Religion
    • Politics
    • Volunteering too much information about your family situation
    • Drinking, partying, etc (I hope this is obvious)– along the same lines MAKE YOUR FACEBOOK PRIVATE!  I also suggest changing your name to something other than your true full name.  For example I went by “Danielle Marie” when I was applying in addition to the most private settings I could find.
    • Don’t just re-state your resume.  They have that, and they know your experiences.  Tell them things that give them a better vision to who you are!
  • What TO say!
    • When I answered this question I talked about how I was a non-traditional applicant and having experiences from personal training to mental health.  I also talked about doing CrossFit and running half marathons.
    • Anything that is a bit different that you do will spark a two way conversation (which is better than aimlessly talking about yourself)
    • Talk about a recent trip you took or how you love to travel–something that makes you different!
    • Don’t be afraid to make a statement about how dedicated/passionate you are about becoming a PA.  This is your open ended question chance!  It’s ok to brag–but be tasteful and not over-bearing.

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