I remember my interview day at SCCO like it was yesterday. I woke up three hours before my interview time, ate a big delicious breakfast, and arrived to SCCO half an hour early. So you’re probably wondering how I prepared for the interview for me to be this calm. The answer to this is to prepare for your interview efficiently. SCCO has a closed file interview. This means that the interviewers are completely blinded of your academic records, but do have access to your personal statement. Here are some tips that I found useful when I prepared for SCCO’s interview:
- Review SCCO’s core values and curriculum: It’s just as important that SCCO is right for you as you are right for SCCO.
- Reread your personal statement and CV: The interviewer will already have read your personal statement prior to the interview. It is important that you remember what you wrote.
- Perform mock interviews: There are many useful mock interview questions on student forums, such as studentdoctor.net. This website consists of posts from other students and have not been filtered. I answered questions form the student doctor network for practice, but I did not rely heavily on it. Also, Dr. Munroe posted youtube videos of mock interviews that were helpful. Here is the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTR8AfKkd14
- Questions to expect: There are a few questions that almost all optometry interviews will ask. You should expect the question, “Why do you want to be an optometrist?” Sometimes the most simple question could be the most difficult to answer. The answer to this question should be one that will make you stick out amongst the rest (personal experience, personality, etc.). Another question to expect is “Why SCCO?” Tip number 1 is important here. You could relate to how your academic philosophy is parallel to SCCO’s curriculum. Include anything that you feel makes SCCO stand out amongst other optometry programs. Lastly, you should come to the interview with questions to ask. You could write up questions prior to interview day to show that you are prepared and interested in becoming part of the SCCO family.
In addition, there are a few things to keep in mind during interview day. First things first, your appearance makes one of the biggest impression on the interviewer and faculty. This includes dressing appropriately (pant or skirt suit for women and a suit for men) and being well groomed. Below are some helpful reminders:
1. Arrive at least 15 minutes before your interview time
2. Treat everyone you see with respect because you won’t know who will have a say in your acceptance
3. Give a firm handshake and make eye contact
4. Have a positive attitude and be professional
I hope this helps! Remember to stay calm and be yourself. For me, the interview was the highlight of my interview day and I hope it will be yours too! Congratulations on the interview!
Tanya Lau, SCCO Class of 2016