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Once you have submitted your application to a first-professional OT, PT, or SLP program at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS), you may be invited to come to campus for an interview. While the application shows that you’re academically competitive, the interview is a chance for you to demonstrate your professionalism, enthusiasm, and communication skills.
Interview Days are held approximately once a month on each of USAHS’s five campuses. Those interested in our Residential OT and PT programs are invited for weekday interviews, whereas prospective Flex students are invited for a weekend date. The day begins with a presentation by program directors, followed by a Q&A. Student ambassadors give campus tours, and lunch is provided. The interview lasts about 45 minutes and is held in small groups of three to four applicants and one faculty member. We conduct group interviews because rehabilitative professionals almost always practice in teams. Thus, the interview is more of a conversation than an interrogation. And it’s a chance for us to see how you interact with others.
Our team spoke with Senior Enrollment Advisor, Erin Sheehan, who shared 11 tips for how to interview successfully with USAHS.
Preparing for Interview Day
- Be prepared to talk about yourself and your journey. Think about how to convey your passion for your chosen educational and career path. Tell us the story of the personal journey that has brought you this far. If you’ve overcome adversities along the way, be sure to tell us. Such stories give us a good feel for how you will take on the challenge of graduate school.
- Explain how your chosen program will fit with your lifestyle. Our first-professional programs, including our Flex programs, are intensive. Tell us how you have prepared for graduate school. Are you able to step away from work and balance your studies with your other commitments? Also, does USAHS’s innovative learning methodology, which includes a substantial online component as well as hands-on classes and labs, mesh well with your learning preferences and lifestyle?
- Display your communication skills. The interview is a chance for you to show how you can participate harmoniously in a group—by participating fully and expressing yourself without dominating or interrupting others. You want to look like a team player.
- Demonstrate your professionalism. Professionalism is one of the main qualities we look for in our students, so be prepared to exemplify it during your interview. Professional dress is expected, as is appropriate language and etiquette in a group setting.
- Show your enthusiasm. Tell us why you chose to apply to USAHS and what excites you about the school, program, and your chosen career path. Appearing disinterested or distracted (e.g., playing with your phone) will not help your chances of acceptance.
- Come with questions. Interview Day is also your opportunity to interview us. Ask us about the curriculum, facilities learning methodology, faculty, student life, events on campus, etc. Asking questions shows you’ve done your homework and that you care about USAHS. And it gives you a chance to see if USAHS is a good fit for you.
- Make every effort to attend on the date you’re scheduled for. If something comes up and you absolutely can’t make it, we will try to get you into the next Interview Day. But it’s best to keep your original commitment if possible.
- Arrive on time. Make sure you get yourself plenty of time to travel to campus. If you’re flying in from out of town, it’s best to arrive the night before to minimize disruptions that can be caused by delayed flights.
- Explore the area. Take the time to explore not only campus, but also the surrounding city so you have a feel for the area and what you would enjoy about living and studying there.
- Don’t bring your mom into the interview. You might laugh, but it’s been tried! We welcome family members to visit campus and the surrounding area, but don’t try to bring them into the interview. Remember that maturity is one of the qualities we are looking for.
- Enjoy the process. Don’t stress!. “Applicants are typically so nervous at first, but by the end of the interview, everyone is laughing,” Erin says. “Interview Day is a fun way to get to know the school and faculty and make sure it’s the right place for you.”
Make sure to get your application submitted—and we look forward to meeting you at Interview Day!
The largest PT and OT graduate school in the United States, the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) offers hands-on degrees in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology. Practice with mock patients in our state-of-the-art simulation centers and learn anatomy with our high-tech tools. Prepare for clinical practice with patients across the lifespan, as well as advanced roles in research, practice leadership, and policy making. Residential and Flex (weekend-focused) tracks available.