How to Handle Your Physician Assistant Interview

You deserve a pat on the back for making it to your physician assistant interview. You have made it to the interview stage of one of the PA schools you applied to. This is definitely the most important stage of the application process, and you have strived and worked hard to get to this stage, so congratulations! At this stage of the application process, they are going to be using much harder criteria to base on who gets a spot into their PA program.

The committee decides who gets the spot, and they are going to narrow their choices down to two or three applicants for each available slot for the next school year. What you want to do is make their choice nice and easy, showing them that not only are you able to do the necessary work, but that you also have a clear plan and path to contribute successfully in the medical community. Now all you have to do is show them that you are the best choice in handling a serious situation. Preparation is the most important part of anything we plan on doing in life.

Before you do your interview, keep in mind that you’re going to need a good night’s sleep, eat a good and hearty breakfast, and try to come up with questions you think they’re probably going to ask you.
Rehearse your answers to the possible questions you come up with so that you aren’t stumbling at a loss for words during the interview. Here are some questions that you should be asking yourself before you do the interview…..
  • What is the Reason Behind You Wanting to Become a Physician Assistant?
  • There are Many Candidates Applying, So Why Would You Be the Most Qualified Applicant for the Spot?
  • Is There Any Examples of You Using Your Leadership Skills, Teamwork Skills, and Your Ability to Work in a Very Serious and High Pressure Situation?
  • What Do You Want to Be Doing in the Next Ten Years?
  • How Would You Handle a Patient Who Was Being Uncooperative With Your Approach to Their Health Care?
  • If You Had a Disagreement With Your Supervising Physician About a Patient’s Plan of Treatment, How Would You Handle It?
  • How do You Feel About Working Long Hours and Being On Call at Odd Hours?
  • What Specialties Do You Want to Take Part in and Which Don’t You Want to Take Part In?
These are just some of the likely questions in the physician assistant interview, but you can never be sure. Just keep your stature and be honest. The fact of the matter is that as people, we tend to assess each other based on first impressions and appearances. Even though this is true, this is not the time to express your personality too much. They want applicant who is serious and someone who can handle high pressure situations that come with working in hospitals and other health care institutions. They also have in mind upholding their own reputation of choosing the best applicants for the position who have the most likely shot at succeeding. So dress conservative in clean business-like clothing.

Men should wear a suit with a tie, and women should wear closed-toed shoes with comfortable heels. Female candidates should wear a skirt that reaches their knees, if you choose to wear a suit with pants that is perfectly fine. Applicants should dress in a way that conveys to the committee who they believe themselves to be. If you have any tattoos and piercings it would be best to put them out of display. This may sound like I’m making a big deal out of this but the fact of the matter is that sometimes tattoos and piercings are seen as a negative expression, so don’t let them see it. Your body language is going to be just as important as well because it shows them how you carry yourself.

Show them confidence by standing up straight and sitting up straight. Introduce yourself when you walk into the interview and shake their hand firmly, and above all else….smile. Be mindful of how you speak in this physician assistant interview. Answer the questions clearly without rambling on with answers for the question. Make your answer clear and to the point.

The interview may only last for an hour at the most and the panel will have many questions to ask you in this time. Show them that you are a future health care professional. Believe that you are the best applicant, and remember that if they weren’t interested in you that you wouldn’t even be at this stage of the application process. So relax because you got what it takes.

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