Each candidate will be invited to participate in two days of interview activities.

Candidates interviewing on Jan. 8, 11, 12, 13, and 14 will attend their PA Program Overview on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.

Candidates interviewing on Jan. 20, 21, 22, 25, and 26 will attend their overview on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.

“Movement” to activities on both days will be facilitated by PA program staff.

Day 1 - UW-Madison PA Program overview

  • 12:45p.m. - Check-in
  • 1 p.m. - PA Program Overview w/ Q&A
    • Presented by Program Director Virginia Snyder, PhD, PA-C 
    • Live chat monitored by Erin McCarthy Orth, Student Services Program Manager/Admissions Director
  • Break
  • 3 p.m. - Small group meetings with current PA students
  • 4 p.m. - Preparing for Interviews and wrap-up

Day 2 - virtual admission interview

  • Each candidate will be assigned one 20-minute interview with a team composed of three PA faculty, staff, graduates, and/or community PA-Cs.
  • We ask that you check-in approximately 10 minutes before the start of your scheduled interview

What you need to know

Technology

  • We are using Zoom to conduct virtual interviews.
  • Candidates must have access to an internet-connected laptop, desktop, or mobile device with a webcam and microphone
    • If you are concerned about the strength of your internet connection make sure you check your internet speed ahead of time. 
  • Make sure the device you are using is charged.
  • Make sure you have managed your settings to prevent phone calls, alerts, alarms, and/or notifications during the interview experience.
  • Have a back-up plan in case technology fails.
  • Give yourself time before your scheduled interview to ensure everything is working properly.

Environment

  • Identify a quiet, well-lit space in which you can speak freely and participate without potential distractions.
  • Make sure the area behind you is neat and free of distractions.
  • If you use a virtual background, make sure it is appropriate, professional and not distracting to interviewers
  • Avoid sources of bright light at your back as this will cast a shadow on your face.
  • Make sure you have a  good source of light in front of you so interviewers can see you clearly.
  • Set up your interview space ahead of time, record yourself speaking, and take notes so you can recreate what will work best for your scheduled interview .

Presentation

  • Attire – We welcome an authentic representation of yourself in a professional setting.
  • Your head and shoulders should be centered in the camera view.
  • Look at the camera, not the screen.

Interview questions

  • Questions are designed to learn more about your professional and personal experiences, how they have influenced your goal to be a PA, and how they serve as a preview for who you will be as a PA student and clinician. 
  • Interviewers will be assessing professional/program-specific knowledge, critical/ethical decision-making, and interpersonal/communication skills.
  • There will be 2-3 interviewers taking turns asking you questions.
    • Although there is a list of questions for interviewers to refer to, they are not required to use them and may ask follow-up questions or for more detail about experiences.
  • Interviewers will keep track of the time and will initiate a wrap-up to the interview by asking if you have any questions and/or if there is anything you want to make sure you have an opportunity to share.

Tips for a successful interview

  • Be prepared to succinctly share with interviewers how you got to this point. 
    • By the time you reach your interview, it will have been 1-4 months since your application has been reviewed.
    • There is no guarantee that faculty/staff who reviewed your application will also be part of your interview team.
    • Interviewers will have a very abbreviated version of your CV in front of them during the interview.
  • Be prepared to share experiences in which you, your family or loved ones have been challenged by conversations about race and racism.
  • Remember to approach this experience as an opportunity, not a test.
  • It is not uncommon for candidates to get emotional. That is okay. We will help you get back on track.
  • If you are asked a question and are drawing a blank, it’s okay to ask if we can circle back to that question later in the interview.
  • It’s okay to answer questions by sharing experiences that are not related to health care.
  • And, finally, we want you to do well! 
    • Interviewing for a seat in a highly-competitive professional program can be fraught with anxiety. It is our goal to mitigate those nervous feelings, not capitalize on them.