12 Questions to Ask Graduate School Admissions Interviewers

Tyler York

From asking about mentorship resources to what support is offered post-graduation, here are 12 answers to the question, “What questions should you ask in a graduate school admission interview?”

What Mentorship Resources are Available For Students?

An uncommon question to ask during a graduate school admission interview might be about the mentorship resources available for students. It’s important to know that you’ll have access to dedicated staff or faculty who can help guide your research, provide feedback on your work, and connect you with other experts in the field. By asking this question, it demonstrates a genuine interest in furthering your studies at the particular university and indicates enthusiasm to continue exploring avenues of collaboration while studying there.

Do You Offer Scholarships?

One of the most important questions to ask is whether the program offers any scholarships. Such financial assistance could significantly reduce tuition costs and other associated expenses with attending the institution, making it absolutely vital to inquire about prior to committing to a certain school or program. Scholarships may also be exclusive to certain departments or not publicly advertised, making it imperative to probe for alternative sources of financial aid upon addressing the admissions representatives.

Asking about granting opportunities early in the process can save applicants time and money by better enabling them to make an informed decision when considering different programs.

Antreas Koutis, Administrative Manager, Financer

Is This Program for Me?

This is a simple yet effective question to ask in a graduate school admission interview. It will help you get a sense of whether the program is a good fit for your personality and goals. Additionally, it will give you an idea of whether the faculty and staff are supportive of students from diverse backgrounds.

You can ask this question in any way that makes you feel comfortable – you can be straightforward, you can ask it as a hypothetical situation, or you can ask it as a summary at the end of the interview. As long as you keep it genuine, it will help you get a sense of whether the program is right for you.

Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely

How Can I Best Represent This Program After Graduation?

During a graduate school admission interview, don’t forget, it’s not all about you. The school and program have staff and alumni with reputations to maintain. Of course, you’ll benefit from the degree, but the school also wants to continue to build their positive brand. Ask something like, “How can I best represent this program after I finish?” They may talk about recruiting or alumni donations, and showing this type of self-awareness will help you stand out from other applicants.

Logan Mallory, Vice President of Marketing, Motivosity

What Makes This Grad Program Unique?

When interviewing for graduate school admission, it is important to ask specific questions that demonstrate your interest in the program. One uncommon yet effective question you could ask is “What is one unique attribute that makes this school’s grad program stand out?” The interviewer will likely give you an insightful perspective on how their particular program differs from other schools and why students should consider attending there.

This type of question shows the admissions team that you are familiar with their school culture and values, which can create a positive first impression.

Carly Hill, Operations Manager, VirtualHolidayParty.com

What Work-study Opportunities Are Currently Available?

From my own experience, I’d recommend asking about any work-study opportunities available. Gaining an in-depth understanding of a subject isn’t just about studying the theory – first-hand experience can be invaluable! Making sure to explore both avenues was really helpful for me. So, not only will this give you an opportunity to gain valuable experience and make a positive impact or contribution in your field, but it can also help you financially if it’s offered as part of a paid program.

Overall, this question shows that you are ambitious and take the initiative when investigating potential schools. It also shows that you are not only serious about learning more on particular topics within your field, but that you understand why it’s important to have real-world experience outside of academia too. With those two sides combined, plus having inquiry skills around potential employment options at hand, this is sure to impress your interviewer!

What Are Alumni Doing Six Months After Graduation?

What are alumni doing six months after graduation? It’s important to ask this question in a graduate school admission interview, as it can provide insight into the type of career opportunity available after graduation. You may even be able to get in touch with alumni from the program and hear firsthand what they’ve been doing since they graduated.

This could help you gain an understanding of how successful graduates have been and if the program is truly worth investing in. Additionally, it’s useful to understand what types of internships and job placements may be available during or after the program. Asking alumni about their experiences can help you evaluate the institution’s track record for placing students in successful roles.

Asker Ahmed, Director and Founder, iProcess

What Are The Most Important Qualities for Success in This Program?

One question you may consider asking in a graduate school admission interview is: “What do you see as the most important qualities for success in this program?”

This question can help you understand what the admissions committee values in a candidate and how you can align your experiences and goals with their expectations. It also gives you an idea of the program’s focus and priorities and whether they align with your interests and career aspirations. Moreover, it shows that you are interested in the program’s academic and professional objectives and are willing to align with the program’s goals.

By understanding what the admissions committee values, you can tailor your responses and application materials to highlight how you possess these qualities and how you can contribute to the program.

Nina Paczka, Community Manager, Resume Now

How Can This Program Help Me Apply What I Learn in a Way That Will Benefit My Community?

A graduate school admission interview often involves asking thought-provoking questions to assess the candidate. An uncommon question you should ask is, “How can this program help me apply what I learn in a way that will benefit my community?”

This query allows the admissions board to determine how committed the applicant is to using their connection to the school as an opportunity. Moreover, they can see if the individual has taken initiative and considered ways that they could use their educational advancement for good.

Grace He, People and Culture Director, teambuilding.com

Do You Offer Research Grants/Funding?

The biggest part of your graduate school studies will be conducting research work in your areas of interest or expertise. Research is time-consuming, and above all, it costs money to go out there and get the data you need. As such, it is important to know if there are funding opportunities for research and what the conditions are.

Most graduate schools will typically provide funding in terms of research grants. In some cases, the grants may only be used to cover partial expenses in your research. Also, the availability of funding will depend on your research focus. Either way, you need to know all this information beforehand.

Logan Nguyen, Co-founder, MIDSS

What Are Your Program’s Job Placement Rates?

You should ask this question because it will give you an idea of how successful the program’s students have been in finding jobs after graduation. Also, make sure that the job placement rate is high enough to make the program worth completing (preferably above 80%). Ideally, you should look for a program that offers both good job placement rates and a strong network of alumni to have a strong support system during and after your graduate program.

Dov Breuer, COO, Fixlers

What Support Does the Program Offer After Graduation?

One important question to ask in a graduate school admission interview is, “What kind of support does the program offer for students after graduation?” This will help you gain insight into what services and resources may be available to assist you with job placement, lifelong learning opportunities, and career development.

Understanding the kinds of support programs offered by the school can help you make an informed decision about whether or not the graduate program is right for you. It can also help you to determine if the school will be able to provide you with the resources and assistance necessary to have a successful career after graduation.

Yusuf Shurbaji, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Prismfly

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