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If you’ve decided to take the next step and apply for graduate school, you’re probably ready to get to work. As easy as it is to be excited about starting this new path, here are parts of the process that are important not to rush, including your admissions interview. Whether you’re applying for our Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Sustainable Solutions, Master of Public Administration (MPA), Dual MBA/MPA Degree in Sustainable Solutions, or sustainability certificate programs, making a good impression is integral to your application’s success. Here, we offer some tips and tricks to prepare for your graduate admissions interview.

Convey your accomplishments and strengths

Though it seems an obvious suggestion, many applicants tend to shy away from boasting about their accomplishments to appear humble. Showing an interviewer what your journey in life has taught you, both professionally and otherwise, is crucial to standing out. An easy way to approach this conversation is to explain why you see yourself as qualified for this program. Everyone’s professional experience is unique, so connecting the moments you’re sincerely proud of in your life with the program or institution’s objectives will help your interviewer understand what you intend to do with your degree should you be accepted. Remember, success can look different to everyone, which means this is a great opportunity for you to define what personal success is to you.

Conduct research

You’ll want to be able to reply to your interviewer confidently with concise and well-thought-out answers, especially when they ask you what you know about the program you’re applying for. The following advice will help you do so:

Get background information

First, ask for background information about your interview, like how long it may last or who you will be interviewing with. Knowing the typical speed of interviews will help you pace your answers accordingly, while information about your interviewer may allow you to work helpful insights into your responses.

Review the curriculum and policies

An interviewer’s job is to determine if you would be a good fit for the school’s program based on their impression. Researching certain courses or professors you believe would combine your goals with those of the program will show your dedication to the institution you’re applying to.

Think ahead

In crucial moments where your goal is to make a good impression, being at your best both physically and mentally is important. It may seem like common sense, but many applicants get hyper-focused on reciting their credentials and end up overlooking simple ways to prepare. Some of these steps include:

Take care of yourself

Most individuals know to dress the part for their interview, but the first impression you make can be equally impacted by your health. Some easy ways to set yourself up for success are to get a good night’s sleep the night before, stay hydrated, and be sure to eat before your interview.

Pick good timing

If you have the flexibility to influence what time your interview is scheduled, think about how a certain time may affect your performance. For example, if you work odd hours and aren’t used to being alert first thing in the morning, an afternoon interview might be your best option.


When in doubt, get your muscle memory working by preparing with commonly asked interview questions. Approaching some regularly discussed topics before they come up can help you provide quick and confident answers in the moment.

Rock your admissions interview at Presidio Graduate School

Put our tips to use to help give you confidence while preparing for your graduate admissions interview. Our graduate sustainability degrees and certificate programs are geared toward helping students and working professionals alike drive positive change within their organizations and further their careers. For more information, contact us today to learn more about how our degree and certificate programs can advance your career.

About the Author / Merry Richter

Merry served as the Director of Marketing & Communications at Presidio Graduate School and the Editor of the Presidian Blog from 2020 to 2021. Her posts share happenings at Presidio, alumni and student stories, and helpful resources and stories of impact.

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