Throughout mock interviews, one of the most common questions asked before we wrap up is:
What should I ask them?
Valid question. When you’re faced with “Well, do you have any questions for us?” I completely understand not wanting to sit there like a deer in the headlights. This is your one opportunity to get the additional information you’re seeking and show your interest, as well as your last impression with the interviewer.
Consider two approaches - school focused or personal. Be careful to not ask about anything already covered in a tour, on the website, or by students as this looks like you weren’t paying attention. Try to keep questions open ended instead of yes/no and avoid asking questions that portray you as skeptical of the school or your abilities to succeed.
Here are some examples of questions NOT to ask:
- Why should I pick your program over a different one?
- What do you do for students if they are failing?
- Why is your PANCE rate lower?
- Why did less students take the PANCE than matriculated?
- Why didn’t 3 of the students graduate?
While these are valid concerns, it might be better to inquire on a private forum or from students instead of during your actual interview. You don’t want the program to feel you are less than excited about being in their class. Attempt to keep your questions positive and relative to why you need to be in their class.
Besides school-specific questions, you can ask personal questions of your interviewers as well. While they are getting to know you, this is your chance to also get to know them. If they ask an interesting question, feel free to ask them the same one! I used that tactic and my interviewers enjoyed being asked something out of the ordinary. It also gives you an option if you feel like the details of the program have been adequately covered during your time at the interview.
Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask:
- Where did you go to PA school?
- What made you choose your specialty?
- What do students do for fun?
- What is your favorite part of teaching anatomy, pharmacology, etc?
- Why did you choose to teach PA school?
- What can applicants do to make themselves stand out for your school?
- What qualities do you look for in PA students?