We’ve covered a lot of the most common questions that you’ll face during your interview, but one stands out above the rest. Without any doubt, you’ll be asked why you want to become a PA. It makes sense that this is one of the most important questions you’ll need to answer because it gets to the root of who you are, shows what motivates you, and provides a window into the past experiences that have shaped your decision making up until this point in your life.
There are literally hundreds of different questions you could be asked during your PA school interview. During your preparation, try to focus on the questions that are most commonly asked rather than what “might” be asked. Be sure prepare your answers for these questions early on so you have ample time to focus on other material that may need extra attention.
Preparing your PA school application can be difficult on your own. Creating a timeline for the application process can help you stay on top of your application materials, but it won’t provide you with additional tools to help you actually prepare. If researching PA programs, preparing your narrative, gaining health care experience, or practicing for your interview is overwhelming, you may want to consider using some of the valuable resources below. You’ll find that with a little reassurance and a helping hand, you’ll be able to ace the entire application process.
- The PA School Finder: Having trouble finding programs that fit your needs? This comprehensive online PA program database may help you narrow down your potential programs so you can focus on your application materials.
- Personal Narrative Review: If you’re not confident about your personal narrative, why not ask a Physician Assistant who has already gone through the process for a second opinion? Bonus points: they’ve been on the admissions board for the Rutgers PA Program, so they’re personally familiar with the application process.
- Mock Interviews: If your interview skills need polishing, we can help – remember, the best way to avoid jitters is to be confident through preparation!
- Free Clinic Finder: If you need more health care or patient contact experience and don’t know where to start looking, this online resource can help you find clinics in your area to reach out to for volunteer experience.
- PA Shadowing & Mentorship: Our program works – 100% of our program graduates have gotten into PA school, and we can help you too!
- Apply to the EXCELL Pre-PA program: If you’re ready to jump right in, apply today – admissions are on a rolling basis, so early applicants are more likely you are to secure one of our competitive spots!
Of all the possible shortcomings you could have when applying to PA school, having a lackluster GPA is one of the hardest to fix. Taking additional courses on top of what’s required for your major just to raise your GPA isn’t worth the time- especially if you’ve long since graduated. No matter where you fall on the bell curve of GPAs, you should never let yours stop you from applying to PA school. Read more »
To sell yourself effectively during your PA school interview, you’ll need to project confidence. Everybody knows that confidence is the key to a great interview, but it’s only obtained through proper preparation. So how can you ensure you’re preparing as effectively as possible for interview day?
Mark Twain once famously said “the secret of getting ahead is getting started.” When you’re ready to dive into writing your personal narrative, the most difficult part can actually be the introduction!
It’s easy to appraise your attributes and come up with your most favorable characteristics because you know what your admissions panel is looking for but unfortunately, there is no guideline for your introduction or theme. This means the most difficult task for many applicants can actually be gathering all of those favorable characteristics and figuring out how to present them in a clear, concise, and interesting way.
As you’re applying to PA programs, you should know what you bring to the table before you set foot in the interview room. In addition, you should know exactly what each program is looking for in an ideal candidate. With enough preparation, you’ll be able to highlight all of the great things you offer as a candidate that fall in line with exactly the trains the program wants.
On interview day, the last thing you should be worrying about is “what will my interview panel ask me?” If you don’t already know what you’re going up against, you may find yourself lacking for answers in the interview room. Don’t let yourself get blindsided by the hundreds of potential interview questions you could be asked.
If you’re considering becoming a PA, you’ll often find that many programs require a certain amount of patient contact or shadowing experience. Patient contact experience often comes from shadowing working Physician Assistants, so the most important step is finding and securing a shadowing opportunity. As you may know, PAs can be very busy people when on the job, but the overwhelming majority love talking about their profession and answering questions- you just need to find a time when they can talk!
So how does one go about finding a PA to shadow?
With any task, performing to the best of your ability is much easier if you know what criteria you’re being judged against. Having an idea of what your interview committee is looking for during your interview can help you prepare more efficiently and answer questions in a more effective way. Think about it- it’s much easier to get a high score on a test if you know how you’re being scored, so why not apply this to your interview? Read more »