Thursday, November 9, 2017

2018 Admissions Guideline: Preparing for the Interview

The last day for an optional interview for the fall 2018 MA application is December 8, 2017.

Did you know that Johns Hopkins SAIS offers optional interviews for MA applicants both on-campus and on Skype?

Interviews are a great way to individualize your application and to shine your personal strengths in addition to what's written in your application. In other words: an interview makes your application more competitive and adds an extra touch to your application. It also gives you the opportunity to demonstrate that you have the professional focus and preparation to thrive at a place like Johns Hopkins SAIS, as well as the chance to show your interest in our program.

Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your interview.

Tip #1: Sign up early

Slots for interviews are limited, and because interview slots fill up rather quickly, it is in your best interest to register as soon as you are certain of your availability. You do not need to start or submit an application in order to sign up for an interview.

To learn how to sign up for an interview, check out this blog post.

Tip #2: Show up early

Whether you're planning to do an in-person interview or a Skype interview, make sure you show up early. First impressions are always important, and the last thing you want to do is make the interviewer wait for you to show up. If you show up early, you can make sure you have all your documents ready, calm your nerves, and if you're Skyping in, you can make sure that the internet is connected and working.

Tip #3: Dress the part

You should dress the way you want to be remembered. First impressions can have a lasting impression, so it's a good idea to come dressed professionally.

Tip #4: Have your resume/ CV ready

It should be noted that we do not share any piece of your application with your interviewer, so be prepared to provide a copy of your resume or CV so that the interviewer can have some background information. If you interview in person, that means bringing along an additional hard copy. If you interview via Skype that means sending the resume or CV digitally through Skype.

Tip #5: Practice and be prepared

Practice with questions that might be asked. Trust me, you'll be less nervous if you prepare. You should expect the interview to be evaluative as well as informative. This means your interviewer may assess any and everything from your intellectual curiosity to your professional acumen.

Among other topics, be prepared to discuss your goals, how a Johns Hopkins SAIS education will help propel you towards these goals, and what unique qualities/experiences you might contribute to the SAIS community. Our advice is to prepare for this interview as you would any high-stakes interview.

Tip #6: Ask questions

During the interview, ask your interviewer thoughtful and relevant questions to assess if the program is a right fit for you. Our interviewers are second-year MA students currently in the program so they can help provide honest answers about the school and the program.

Rebecca Chun
Admissions Coordinator