Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Interview Prep, Part III

Now for the hard bit... the part you are most likely to second guess yourself on... the most important bit... Who are you and why do you want to be an occupational therapist?

I've been struggling with this one. It's not that I don't know the answer to the question, it's that I don't know how to say it without sounding completely generic! Three-hundred of us will be showing up for interviews this weekend. Every one of us will say some variation of "I want to help people" and "My volunteer experience with [insert name of population commonly helped by OT services here] has really inspired me/motivated me/made me sure of what I wanted to do with my life!" And it will be true for all 300 of us. So, I think the key is maybe less about what you say than it is about communicating who you are, what your personality is like, what your strengths and weakness are.

In that spirit, I thought I'd just include some questions to help with that self-inventory. This list isn't going to be exhaustive, so please feel free to leave additional questions you've found useful in the comments section!!

So, here we go...

Why do you want to help people?

What was it about your volunteer experiences that inspired you?

Why not become a PT/physician/social worker/psychologist/nurse?

What are three of your personal characteristics that you feel will be an asset to you in your career as an OT?

What are three weaknesses that you know you will need to develop?

Why do you feel that you will excel in a PBL learning environment? Give an example of an occasion where you excelled in group learning and what you contributed to your group's success.

Why do you want to go to McMaster?

What do you think will be your biggest challenge to succeeding in this program?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?

It's unlikely that any of these specific questions will be asked at the interview, but hopefully they will help you to know yourself a little better and answer the actual interview questions more precisely.

Don't forget to take a passport-sized photo of yourself to your interview!!!

Good luck to all this weekend! I know we'll all be signing non-disclosure agreements regarding the details of the interview questions, but I'd love to hear from people about their impression of how they did, whether they enjoyed this interview style, and any tips that they would give to people who are preparing next year!!

Wishing you all the best!!

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