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Congratulations! You have been selected for an interview! The interview is typically the last step of the application process. It’s important to fully prepare yourself for the interview; this is often your last chance to persuade the admissions committee to accept you into their program. Preparing will also help reduce your anxiety on the day of the interview.

            Before the interview

Arrive early if you can. Nothing is worse than being late to an interview, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get there. Don’t be rushed.

Be sure to review your application and your personal statement before you arrive. The interviewer may ask you specific questions concerning your application and personal statement. Bring a copy with you.

Treat every interaction as if it were an integral part of the interview.

During the interview

Acknowledge the interviewer by name ("Hello, Dr. X"), and introduce yourself.

Shake hands (firm, but not bone crunching).

Maintain eye contact

Don’t fidget

Don’t cross arms

Try not to speak too quickly

If you don’t know the answer to a specific question, don’t be afraid to say that you don’t

know. If you try to make something up, the interviewer will see right through you. This could simply be a composure test. It takes a great deal of maturity to simply say, "I don’t know."


After the interview

You should write your interviewer a thank-you note. Be sure to obtain the address of the interviewer through the admissions office or get their card. A short note or email is appropriate (but no novelty greeting cards, please). Try to mention something specific about your interview.


Other resources

The website that this information was taken from has more valuable tips and tricks about the interview process.

More interview tips from UC Davis

The career center has workshops, mock interviews, and other resources to help you prepare.

Career Center


Farlow, K. (n.d.). AS Grad School Handout. Retrieved December 5, 2012, from