What to bring to grad school interview?

No matter how skilled you are, or to what extent you are willing to push yourself with grit, determination in achieving your goals, making sure you shine among the others in the selection process, and making yourself through the interview is always a given that sets you apart from the crowd.How you brace yourself in the interview is one of the best ways to demonstrate your personality and can go a long way in setting a kickstart baseline in your career.A graduate school interview is one of the crucial stages in an individual’s professional life as it makes a first impression on how your career domain takes off. Making sure that you outshine the interview is crucial as it can go on high volumes to demonstrate yourself in the professional world.It is important to treat your graduate school interview with the same seriousness and importance as given in a professional interview as a graduate school interview lays a strong foundation on how you pursue your professional life and in what way you build a career path. Let us see about What to bring to grad school interview?

What to bring to grad school interview?

Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind while attending a grad school interview.

Any interview, be it a graduate school or a professional one is always a step involved in the selection process to hire individuals for the job. Success is almost always imperative once you have been called for the interview process as it marks the final evaluation stage in the graduate school application process. 

An interview is a process that makes it easier for you to get admission to the college of your choice and make the admission process hassle-free. Making sure you give it your best shot is inevitable.


  • Attending an interview is subject to how well you carry the process throughout. So, grooming accordingly to fit in the process is highly important.
  • Before the D-day, make sure you are entirely aware of the commonly asked interview questions and practice the same accordingly.
  • Be familiar with the entire process and the questions that are being asked beforehand to avoid any confusion. 
  • Make sure thorough research is carried out regarding the college, graduation program, courses offered, faculty, and other necessary details.
  • Having good background knowledge about the person conducting the interview comes in handy as it can always be a plus point in cracking the nut.

On the day of the interview, make sure you follow the below conditions-

  • Dress well and groom yourself gracefully on the day of the interview. Do not be blinded by the “looks do not matter” perception, as it is not always the case. First impressions do matter and make sure your first impression during the visit is well-groomed and dignified.
  • Make sure you carry multiple copies of your CV and your cover letter along with relevant documents, presentation copies, and necessary documentation.
  • Posing a confident body language can go a long way in putting yourself out on the interview table. So, make sure you carry an honest, candid, confident personality and do not try to fit in with the rest.
  • Smile as you interact with the interviewer throughout the interview process.
  • Be honest about your records and present them without hiding anything. If any flaws are existing in your record, make sure you explain them in detail and be honest about the same. 
  • Keep your answers consistent and precise to the point. Do not hesitate to clarify your doubts and questions and make sure you are clear-minded with straightforward answers.
  • Stay alert and pay attention to the details as it can always come in handy during the interview process.
  • When asked about your plans, make sure you discuss your achievements and what improvements you can bring to yourself for the betterment of your profession. Sell yourself, but be credible and accountable for your answers.
  • If allowed, and if the interview process is scheduled online, make sure you carry along a notepad and a pen with you. Making necessary notes as and when the questions are asked is important as it helps you recognize your weak points and make sure you don’t repeat them in the future.
  • While attending the interview, make sure you carry the interviewee’s email address and his necessary details as it can help you pen down a thank-you note later.
  • After the interview process is completed, brace yourself and stay optimistic about the results, without stressing about the negatives.


Having a good knowledge regarding the Do’s and Don’ts while attending a grad school interview helps you draw the line between your strengths and weaknesses and gives you clarity about how to optimize your strengths.

  • Firstly, not grooming yourself well for the interview can come out as a major red flag as it can create a bad impression. 
  • Dressing up in a funky way thus, overwhelming the interviewer by overdressing yourself is a must NO as it is a surefire way to imprint a bad first impression.
  • Before attending the interview, make sure everything is tucked well and the documents are up to mark, no wayward belly is exposed and the copies of your documents are thoroughly clipped in.

Preparation of a grad school interview 

When the potential candidate is clear about the Do’s and the Don’ts, the next step would be to prepare well for the interview process. There are a lot of types of grad school interviews. Knowing which one to attend to and the people present at the interview table is an important part of the interview process.

Preparing well resonates with the overall performance at the interview.Some important preparation tips that have to be kept in mind while attending the interview are mentioned below –

  • Hit the books. Try to get as much information as possible in knowing about the interview, the entire process, and the course outcome that the college offers. Having enough knowledge about the interview is half the job done.
  • Research the university or college, make sure the course that you are opting for is completely abided by your interests and passion.
  • Prepare and prioritize the list of open-ended questions that are being asked in the interview. 
  • Practice mock interviews for better preparation and practice before attending an interview.
  • Make sure you bring an updated and professional CV and portfolio and keep it handy during the interview without any hassle.

Here is a list of general and professional questions that are likely to be asked during a grad school interview that anyone can look out for 

  1. If you had to describe yourself in one adjective, what would that be? 
  2. What do you consider as your biggest strength and weakness? And how well can you bend yourself to mend any of them?
  3. Describe your greatest accomplishment to date 
  4. Why do you want to opt for our school? 
  5. What are you passionate about the most?
  6. What are your career goals? How will this college help you in achieving them?
  7. How do you like to spend your spare time? 
  8. How do you motivate yourself and deal with dark times?
  9. If accepted, what would be the biggest challenge studying here? And what changes do you wish for in the future?
  10. What are the most appealing aspects of the program and the course that you opted for?
  11. What is teamwork, discipline, and motivation according to you?
  12. If you are not accepted by our university, what would be your next move and what are your long-term plans?

Preparing for questions like these will help you enhance your perspective in the interview and guide well for the entire interview process, further preparing you to answer similar questions with a higher confidence.

A candidate, along with preparing for grad school interview questions, must be well aware of the college or the university he is attending and consider posing questions about the same.

Some of the potential questions that can be asked are mentioned below –

  • Details about the course that includes course duration, course outcome, learning experiences, and the degree program.
  • Asking about the interviewee’s educational path and his journey on becoming an interviewee.
  • Asking about the factors that can be considered in admitting the students to the university and making a list of the most crucial factors.
  • Enquiring about the program, along with the experiential learning opportunities, potential internships, teaching assistantships, adjunct positions, and the research opportunities for a better idea about the course that the candidate has opted for.
  • Asking about the alumni of the respective university and their present working status in the professional market.

Alongside, a potential candidate should not shun away from asking questions regarding any scholarships, grants, and fellowships that he can apply for to gain a complete benefit from the university.

Conclusion on What to bring to grad school interview?

Grad school interview is a big deal for any promising student as it embarks on the primary step in his professional journey. Brushing up on your interview skills, making sure you are entirely equipped and groomed well enough to get through the interview is important as it can help you get placed in the university of your choice and ensure you pursue the career of your dreams.

What to bring to grad school interview?

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