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10 Tips for a Successful Physician Assistant Program Interview

Updated: Jul 9, 2023

Crushing Your PA School Interview:

Your Path to Becoming a Future Physician Associate!

Hey there, future PAs! Your PA school interview is a major milestone on your journey to becoming a PA. It's your chance to shine and showcase your skills, experiences, and passion for this incredible profession. Remember, if you've scored an interview, you're absolutely on the right track towards securing that coveted PA school acceptance! So, let's dive into 10 tips to help you ace that interview and set yourself up for success as a future physician associate.

1. Let Your Professional and Patient Care Experiences Shine

During your interview, make sure to highlight your professional patient care experiences. Talk about your roles in patient care, impactful volunteer work, and the valuable insights you've gained from shadowing PAs. These experiences not only demonstrate your commitment to the PA profession but also lay a solid foundation for your future career as a PA.

2. Rock that Confidence and Stay Positive

Confidence is key in any interview, and PA school interviews are no exception. Be prepared, show self-assuredness, and let your positive energy radiate. Keep those pesky imposter syndrome thoughts at bay! Maintain eye contact, speak clearly, and let your enthusiasm for the PA profession and the potential impact you can make shine through.

3. Get Personal and Specific About Why You Want to be a PA

Go beyond the generic desire to help people. Get personal and specific about what motivates you. Share personal experiences or encounters that have inspired you along the way. What truly calls you to the PA profession (beyond the perks!)? Explore your passion for healthcare and explain how your desire to make a difference aligns perfectly with the role of a PA.

4. Highlight Your Unique Qualities and Abilities

What makes you stand out from the crowd? Emphasize your unique qualities and abilities. Are you a fantastic communicator, problem-solver, or team player? Back up your claims with concrete examples and show how these qualities will contribute to your success as a PA.

5. Show Off Your Knowledge of the Physician Assistant Profession

Impress the interviewers by demonstrating your understanding of the physician assistant profession. Do your research and familiarize yourself with the role, responsibilities, and challenges faced by PAs. Stay informed about PA regulations in the state where you'll be interviewing. Display your dedication and commitment to staying up-to-date with current healthcare trends and issues.

6. Emphasize Your Commitment to Lifelong Learning

Healthcare is always evolving, and it's crucial to show that you're committed to lifelong learning and professional growth. Discuss any ongoing education, certifications, or memberships in professional organizations that reflect your dedication to staying at the forefront of medical knowledge and advancements.

7. Champion Collaboration and Interprofessionalism

PAs work as part of a healthcare team, so emphasize your understanding of the importance of collaboration and interprofessionalism. Share experiences where you have successfully worked with other healthcare professionals to provide outstanding patient care.

8. Stay Positive and Respectful regarding Other Health Professions

While it's important to highlight the unique role of PAs, it's equally important to show respect for other health professions. Avoid negative comments about physicians, nurses, or other healthcare providers. Instead, focus on the complementary nature of the PA role and the significance of teamwork in delivering excellent patient care.

9. Ask Thoughtful Questions

When given the chance, ask thoughtful questions at the end of your interview. This demonstrates your genuine interest and knowledge of the program. Inquire about the curriculum, clinical rotations, faculty support, and opportunities for professional development. Show the admissions committee that you're invested in their program specifically.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Prepare yourself by practicing with friends or mentors, or with a professional mock interview. This will boost your confidence, refine your responses to common interview questions, and identify areas for improvement. I offer mock interviews designed specifically for PA school applicants (check them out here!). Practicing will make a world of difference in your performance during the actual interview.

Remember, the fact that you've been invited for an interview means that the programs have already looked at every part of your application and said, "Yes, we want to meet you!" They already believe you'd be a great fit. Now it's your time to prove them right. If you've secured an interview, you're already one step closer to that acceptance letter. Keep pushing forward!


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