A topic we get frequent questions about is the interview for PA school itself, specifically what types of questions are generally asked during the discussion. Luckily our team is made up of the same people that field those same questions! Below we'll review a selection of some of the most common questions asked during the interview for physician assistant school.
Before attending your interview for PA school, you need to realize that you will be asked questions that there are not necessarily right answers to. Questions like "why do you want to become a PA?" and "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" are almost guaranteed to be asked, so it's probably a good idea to have an answer prepared. Other questions like "What was your biggest struggle in undergrad?" or "why do you want to come to our program, specifically?" are also common, so be prepared to have answers ready.
It is extremely important to know about the program you are interviewing for. Our panel members have asked numerous students specific questions like how much the PA program costs, the previous year's PANCE pass rates for the institution, the length of the program, and what a candidate thinks of our mission statement. Obviously there are right and wrong answers to these questions, and while answering these questions wrong won't necessarily make-or-break the interview, a correct answer will sufficiently increase your favorability with any program. Each of these questions can easily be researched on the main page of any PA program's website. It's worth spending 5-10 minutes reviewing this information prior to your interview, even if it's the morning-of. In a situation the latter questions aren't asked, making your knowledge of a program's mission statement or details of the PA school itself could impress your interviewers.
While canned answers are nice, sound natural. Your panel will know when you have an answer prepared and will try to throw you off your rhythm to see how you react under pressure. Don't be surprised to catch some off-the-wall questions during your interview. Again, there are no wrong answers, but a large reason for the interview itself is to witness your demeanor, character, and intelligence. Think about it: once you are invited for an interview, they know your GPA and test scores from your transcripts, your work history from your CV, and your background from your personal statement. The interview allows for a "test-drive" of potential students to make sure you aren't "too good to be true."
The most important thing during the interview is just to relax. Remember, it's only your future ;)
Take this quiz before your interview to refresh your knowledge on the PA profession!
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