While I am enjoying my transition into app review posts, I wanted step back into my continued interest in helping fellow graduate students and grad-student hopefuls. I’m still here, listening and swimming in the same boat.
There seems to be a flurry of acceptance letters and interview requests for those applying to SLP graduate schools starting this fall. So, what are they going to ask? What will you say? How can you dazzle them with your skills and talents? There are many sites with general interview questions (see Resources below). Yet, not many (I can’t find any, actually) to offer advice on interviewing for Speech-Language Pathology Graduate schools. Since every SLP graduate school interview process is different, questions vary by program. A comprehensive list would be impossible; yet as I always do, I went in search of evidence. Here are my findings to help you nail your interview!
Nine Skills to Mention
Almost every interviewee can expect questions about problem solving and conflict resolution with friends, employers, and supervisors. Even if you don’t have an excellent story or some epic conflict to use, keywords can help magnify a small, seemingly unexciting story into proof-positive you would make an excellent graduate candidate. ASHA put out a document regarding clinical education which included a segment called “Nine Workplace Success Skills Graduate Students Need to Learn“. Even if your only conflict relates to sibling rivalry or your babysitting position, conflict resolution and problem solving skills evolve in any setting. Practice weaving those 9 skills from the article into common questions they might ask (see below). Since ASHA says we should have them, then every program will be looking for those type of people and skills.
There seems to be a push to integrate technology into therapy and clinical education. If asked questions regarding hobbies, reasons you selected the university, or even what your 5 year plan is, consider slipping in a mention of technology. Perhaps you plan to purchase an iPad or attend a session on integrating the iPad into therapy so you will be prepared once you enter their program. If they see you are technology savvy, even in the slightest, this may give you an advantage to others who failed to mention this fact.
ASHA put out a document regarding the future trends of the profession. If you are applying to a research-based program or any other one for that matter, showing an interest in an emerging topic shows you are staying current with the profession. For instance, ASHA notes the impact of diversity on clinical education. Inquire or ask how their program can best prepare you for such a diverse clientele. Check out the document for other ideas.
Questions for the Interviewers
Come prepared to ask questions at the end of the interview. Don’t leave the room without at least asking one, whether it be a follow-up to one they posed, or something general related to their program. Pose a question regarding how they plan to address one of the current trends from the ASHA list. Consider asking their philosophy on online education based on ASHA’s Education models, but be prepared to explain what you mean and do some research.
Don’t underestimate the power of practicing the inclusion of these topics and general questions. Before your interview, consider finding a classmate or friend to ask you questions, include these keywords and topics, then use a rubric to evaluate (see resources)
- University of Wisconsin – Career Services (general example questions)
- Indiana-Purdue: School of Science – Interview Questions
- “Responding to the Changing Needs of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Students in the 21st Century” – ASHA
- TheGradCafe – type in the school you apply for and see if others have been accepted/rejected
- University of Rhode Island (pg 20) – Interview Rubric