Pneumonia wrote:How have the interviews been going? Pretty laid back? YP only or no? I wrote a "Why UVA" and I have a sincere interest in going, but I'm wondering how to approach the interview: really sell them on my qualifications or on my desire to attend?
"both" is obviously correct, but I'm just wondering how to approach my prep.
Interviews are laid back, but don't take that as a no need to prepare interview, because the interviewer will know the intricacies of your application well before they speak with you. The interviews are not just for YP candidates. More people seem to be getting admitted without an interview now than earlier, but I would still say the majority of admits have been interviewed (some more formally than others). The answer to the qualification vs interest section could go either way. If you did a great job with your Why UVA and really convinced the adcomm that your interest is strong, it most likely will not be the focal point of the interview and they will focus more on qualifications (probably one or two that they find interesting in your application). If they still have questions regarding a sincere interest after reading your Why UVA, then I would be prepared for that to encompass the majority of the interview. You will have to go whichever way the adcomm goes in order to answer the questions they feel were not answered in your application, but I would say the best strategy is to know your application inside and out and have a couple of bullet points for discussion on each item listed. You should already know why you want to go pretty well, but to be safe make sure you have questions that include both curiosities regarding academics and interest in information regarding activities outside of the classroom. If you have those questions ready, then you should be able to transform them into talking points if Why UVA comes up. For instance, if the interviewer asks Why UVA, you may have a question along the lines of how competitive are UVAs clinics and which ones are the most popular, but you could easily turn that into I've heard really great things about UVAs clinic offerings, and I'm particularly interested in the SCOTUS litigation clinic how competitive is it to join that clinic, etc. etc. A lot of that is stuff you can find out online if a little research is done, so your questions should be more difficult, but always a good idea to note a reason or two or three that you have a sincere interest and knowledge of UVA coupled with a question that both allows the interview to hype up the school and shows them that you're looking to gain more information about particular facets of UVA that you're interested in. HTH.