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The 5 PA School Interview Questions You Need To Know ASAP

When you wake up on interview day, you shouldn’t be wondering what the interview panel will ask you. If you don’t know what you’re going up against because you haven’t taken the time to prepare for your interview, you may find yourself at an extreme disadvantage.

Listed below are the 5 most common interview questions potential PA students are asked. You should take ample time before interview day to prepare answers to these questions- doing this can save you from poor interview performance.  Make sure you give yourself enough time to brainstorm the answers to your questions but also internalize them.  Having these questions memorized to the point where you can answer them as quickly as “when is your birthday” will help you stay relaxed on interview day.

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Finding Shadowing and Patient Contact Experience for PA School

Let’s face it- finding patient contact experience can be hard if you don’t know where to look. Patient contact experience often comes from shadowing working Physician Assistants, so if you don’t already have access to patient contact experience, finding and securing a shadowing opportunity is very important.

As you may know (and will learn soon enough), PAs are very busy – but don’t be discouraged by their intimidating schedule.  The overwhelming majority of PAs really love talking about their profession and answering questions because they love what they do!  The trick to gaining shadowing experience is just finding a time when they can talk and taking it from there.  So how do you go about finding a PA to shadow?

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Application Magic: How To Turn Your Weakness Into A Strength

As you’re writing your personal narrative, you may come across an anecdote or experience where you need to highlight your weaknesses as well as your strengths. You may ask yourself why you would want to include your weaknesses if you’re trying to convince the reader that you’re a standout candidate for the PA program at hand. The answer is simple: interview committees want well rounded, humble candidates that can honestly speak to their personal growth. Interview committees see right through self-acclaimed “superheroes” that refuse to address their own shortcomings, especially when those shortcomings are apparent in other ways.

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A Guide to Picking The Right PA Program For You

One of the hardest parts of applying to PA school is actually choosing which programs are right for you. You should be looking for the right school that fits your needs while simultaneously compiling a list of schools where you’d be a good candidate. When searching for programs, ask yourself the following questions about each school.  You’ll find that by doing this, you’ll have a better sense of what each program has to offer.

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Dos and Don’ts on your PA School Interview Day

You’ve heard the saying “knowledge is power” time and time again, but it’s not totally accurate.  Knowledge is actually potential power, like an arrow in a drawn bow waiting to be unleashed.  Knowledge is not power until it is used, and the effectiveness of that power is relative to the skill with which you put it to use.

In the case of developing rapport between yourself and your physician assistant school interviewers, understanding how to communicate and how to develop areas of commonality is crucial.  Knowing what to do and, more importantly, what not to do, can put the power in your hands and help you easily build rapport.  All you need to do is put this knowledge into action come interview day, and you’re sure to ace your interviews.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts for your interviews:

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How Do PA Schools Judge Applicants?

Do you know what PA programs look for when judging their potential students? Knowing what each program looks for and how they’ll be assessing both your interview performance and application materials are crucial in determining your success.  Think of it this way: its much easier to get a high score on a test if you know how you’re being scored.  The same concept rings true for your acceptance into a PA program.

There are three main scoring criteria all programs use when judging their candidates; cognitive and verbal abilities, motivations, and interpersonal skills.  By keeping these three main scoring criteria in mind, you’ll have a much easier time writing your personal narratives and conducting yourself during your interviews.

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Get Stressed Easily? Try the STAR Technique To Reduce Stress!

STAR technique to reduce stressNothing reduces stress like being well prepared ahead of time- there’s just no replacement for this.  That being said, stressful situations can affect even the most prepared person.  If you’re easily susceptible to stress or have a hard time getting control of your nerves, the STAR technique can help.  When used properly, this simple technique can target the root of your stress and obliterate it. Read more »

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