Gain Interview Confidence Through the Excell Pre PA Clerkship Program

During your time in the EXCELL program, you’ll have a huge advantage of participating in not one but two mock interviews. You’ll be able to practice your communication skills, put what you’ve learned to the test, and get a better sense for what to expect come interview day. Your interviews will be taped and critiqued by our interview panel to help evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

During these mock interviews, its common for students to passively mention the EXCELL program to interviewers without expanding on exactly how EXCELL has helped to make them a better candidate for PA school. One of the great benefits of EXCELL (besides the 97% PA school acceptance rate) is the ability to confidently communicate what you can contribute as a student and future PA as a direct result of what you learned and experienced through the program.

What we typically hear are very cursory answers. Take this mock interview for example:

Interviewer: “Tell me about your direct patient contact experience.”

Candidate: “I did this Pre PA Clerkship and got to speak to patients and shadow as a PA.”


Does this sound like a compelling and convincing answer to you? This answer is just as vague as someone asking what you ate for dinner and answering simply with “food.”

Here is a much better response to the same question:

Interviewer: “Tell me about your direct patient contact experience.”

Candidate: “I did a Pre PA clerkship and got to speak to and work with patients directly as a patient liaison. As a patient liaison, I performed Quality of Life Patient surveys as a healthcare center Quality Assurance Team Member. I was also able to gain direct patient contact experience working as part of the healthcare team and reported my survey findings weekly at the directors meeting.”

This answer has much more detail and clearly explains the type and amount of patient contact experience you had. It also gives concrete examples of actions you took, which makes for a much more compelling answer. From this response, your interviewer will have a clear understanding of what the program has done for you and can follow up with specific questions if they’d like more detail

Remember, there is a good chance your interviewer won’t be familiar with the EXCELL program at all, and they certainly won’t know the details of the program even if they’ve heard the name before. Its up to you to convey why your participation in the program makes you a great candidate. Luckily, with all of the great benefits EXCELL has to offer, you’ll have plenty of details to talk about!