The application interview is an aspect of our admissions process that differentiates us from most other professional and graduate schools. This is a requirement for all applicants who meet minimal admission criteria for the MSW, MSSP, NPL and DSW programs. You will be contacted by the Admissions Office or the program to schedule an interview if your application is complete and meets basic standards for admissions. The components of a complete application vary depending on program requirements, but always include official transcripts and three recommendations. Interviews are conducted at the School or via Skype.
I am often asked by prospective students how they can prepare for the interview and what to expect. The interview is a two-way process - it gives us the opportunity to learn more about you while at the same time enabling you to gather more information about the program, the School, and the University of Pennsylvania. Depending on the program, you will be interviewed by the director, senior associate director, associate director, or a part-time member of the program’s faculty. Admission interviews are usually 30 to 45 minutes in duration. The interviewer will tell you about the program and ask questions pertaining to your application. The interviewer is responsible for anticipating questions from the faculty reviewer and /or the Admissions Committee who ultimately make the final decision about your application. Therefore, some of questions posed to you might be redundant to what you have written in your application essay.
How you can prepare for the interview
Although there is not a lot of preparation needed for the interview, I suggest you consider the following:
- Review your essay and be prepared to discuss what you wrote;
- Prepare questions to ask the interviewer;
- Be on time (arrive at the School or sign into Skype a few minutes early);
- Dress professionally (wear what you feel is appropriate for a job interview);
- What you feel you bring to the program;
- Relax and be yourself …..really!
We wish you all the best as you prepare for your admissions interview at Penn!
Mary Mazzola, Ed.D., MSW
Associate Dean, Enrollment Management and Global Outreach