Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Interview Day

After lying in bed through the early hours of the morning I finally decided to get up.  It was finally here. I put on my suit and tie, looked in the mirror and practiced my interview questions again.  I got to the school with a knot in my stomach. As I entered the amphitheater, the majority of the interviewees were already waiting. When they started to tell us how the day was going to be organized I counted how many people were there; I wanted to know my odds of getting in. There were about 75. Knowing they were only holding one interview gave me confidence; I had good chance of getting accepted.  They broke us up into three groups: tour, essay, and interview.

I started out getting a tour. It is such a small campus it did not take long to get that over with.

Then I was sent to write. When it came to the essay I was caught off guard. They handed me an envelope and the paper within had the prompt: Name 3 people that have influenced you to choose PT and how they have influenced you. As I talked to the other applicants afterward there were a variety of prompts. Some of which were why did you choose pt, why did you choose USA, what is your understanding of healthcare reform, what is the difference between PT and OT, and explain professionalism.

Finally when it was time to interview I felt comfortable and somewhat relaxed.  They interviewed in groups of four.  We were asked a question and then we would all go around and answer, taking turns responding first. I felt like being in a group made it somewhat more relaxed.  Some of the questions they asked us: 
  • Tell us about yourself.
  • What brought you to the decision to become a PT? 
  • How do you know you are stressed? 
  • How do you deal with this stress? 
  • What does professionalism mean? 
  • What does well-being mean? 
  • Tell us when you have shown integrity in your life?

As we were asked questions I felt like my answers were different than the other applicants. We were asked how we deal with stress and the other three applicants said they plan everything and exercise.  The interviewer said what about when you cannot plan; i.e. things that suddenly come up? This left the group struggling to come up with a response. When I was asked, I talked about keeping the big picture in mind, using time wisely, as well as short mediation breaks. When asked why we chose PT everyone else responded with the experience of having had an injury they had overcome through PT.  Conversely, I talked about my experiences in the clinic shadowing as well as my desire to serve the underserved (mentioning how cost effective PT is). When responding about well-being my group all talked about exercise.  I talked about the whole person; specifically about spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

Over all the day went great; better then I expected. Of the four in my group being interviewed, two of us are now in the program.

My suggestion for interviewees is:
  1. Practice, practice, practice 
  2. Be yourself, they want to see who you are.
  3. Find ways to stand out (dress nice, give answers unique to your experiences, ask questions)

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