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Counseling Psych Interviews!?


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Hi guys,


I have gotten 1 interview and it so happens to be that this school has been my top choice since applications back in the fall. There's a lot riding on it for me and I want to be well prepared. In doing so, I wanted to ask if you could share about your experiences, interview questions, faculty interaction...etc etc

Edited by DaDocStruggle
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The one counseling psych interview I had was a group interview. They matched you with 4 other people and you did one interview with a panel of 4 or 5 grad students, and then another with the 4 professors. They would switch which person went first for each question. The grad students asked us things like "what would be the most challenging thing about grad school [here] for you?" and a lot of other social interview questions. The profs asked us one question each and they varied in difficulty. Some were standard "tell us about your research" and others were crazier, although I don't have any examples.

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How long is the interview? I have a lot of friends who did clinical/counseling interviews for the Master's program at my university, and they all said that you just try to be as human as possible. What I have to offer is advice from a professor in the department, based on how she acts during interviews and what she expects. 


One of the things I saw in her mock interview was  asking a student, "What was the last book you read for fun?" and the student was advised not to answer anything that makes them seem like their whole life is the field they are going into. For example, if they answered (and keep in mind I am just totally making this up!) "Well I recently read the Interpretation of Dreams cover to cover because I think it will help my future research in neo-Freudian theory," the professor said that she would look upon that almost negatively because they want to know that you have a life/interests outside of the program, or else you'll burn out quickly. And hey, if you recently read Eat, Pray, Love, the professor may have read it as well and wants to discuss it further. It's a very casual question but they take it into consideration!


Another question that she asked was, "If you had to submit a thesis proposal right now, what would the topic be?" One thing that she did say was that you are totally fine if you take a pause to answer a question. They don't expect you to immediately have all of the answers. They want you to think carefully about it. She stated that she respects a student that can say to her, "That's an excellent question, let me take a moment to think about it" or something along those lines. They also cover the very basics, such as what your primary research interests are and what you plan to do with your degree. 


She said they (profs) also carefully watch how you interact with other students during the process because this could very well be your future cohort, and they want to ensure that nobody is trying to outdo anyone else. They are also very careful to watch how you treat pretty much every staff member. One student that was totally glistening perfect on an application was invited to an interview and treated the secretaries in the department with no respect at all, so he was not admitted. This is, of course, if you have the chance to interact with all of these people.


The interview knowledge that I have spans over the course of a weekend-long interview. Students are interviewed by every professor, in groups as the previous poster mentioned, and are sometimes expected to know the interests of them, because you very well may not work with your top POI. The students and professors also had outside-university interaction. I think all potential applicants met at a professor's house for a very casual dinner-party-style event, where the pressure of academia is a little less prominent. 


Like I said, this is just what I know from students/professors within the department. I hope it helps some! Good luck!

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