3 Key Application and Interview Hacks Learned from 2 Street Performers

I went to Clearwater beach and came across a lot of street performers, but there were two that caught my attention. These two had the same gifts, but they had different results from the audience. One of them drew the crowd and the other did not. The reason why this happened involves you as an applicant. 

The first performer was good, but the crowd was not feeling it. There was another performer about 100 yards away and the crowd was locked in on what she was doing. She appeared just as gifted as the first performer, so the difference was not the skill level. As a Pre-PT, we put all our efforts towards our skills. You might feel like you're a solid applicant.. but students with a high GPA have been rejected before. 

The first person that was not drawing in the crowds was very gifted, but was self-promoting. She spent more time talking about her success and her accolades. She was saying how she was a professional street performer, spent many years doing this and her message was very complicated. She used a lot of big words making it hard to follow. The second lady took care of the audience well.  She involved the crowd and was there to take care of the people. She did whatever she had to do to make sure that the audience was good. She had a very simple message and it was very light-hearted. She didn't give us a background story on how to do the trick. She kept it simple. That difference between these performers are the 3 keys. These 3 keys factor into us dominating interviews and the application.

The first key is having a gift. Whether it's a skill set, accomplishments, or your GPA. The first thing that probably comes into a lot of people's mind is the statistics. However, you might be gifted in a different way. Use your gifts accordingly. There's plenty of street performers as there are applicants, but everyone doesn't do flips. There are clowns, Pyromaniacs, and character caricature sketch artists. My point being, use what you have.

The second key is serving, not just self-promoting. Figure out how you can serve the program you're applying to. Communicate in a way that shows that you're intentional about giving the program what they want. They want a student that can work well with the rest of their students, someone that is a guaranteed finisher of the program, someone that is in love with the profession, someone that's willing to help them open their horizons and how they view things as a program. Be willing to stop thinking in terms of self-promoting and bragging about your accomplishments. 

Furthermore, be more specific about your future goals. Everyone wants to get into physical therapy for helping people but get more specific. How many people do you want to help? What type of setting do you want to help in? How long out of school do you want to help this certain amount of people? That will show that you're willing to serve the PT profession and not just yourself. Instead of saying what you accomplished, you can take the onus off yourself and put it on the people who you say you care about. Be as specific as possible to come across to your audience.

The third key is a simple message. If you want a simple message, just say what your goals are, I want to help 10,000 runners, two years out of school, run without or limited knee pain. That's a simple message that takes it off yourself and serves the people and gives back to physical therapy and your patients. You don't have to overthink this. Make the people engaged and make the people smile. When communicating with schools and writing essays, keep it simple. The admissions faculty are the audience, get their attention and make your message something that they will gravitate to so that they remember you and accept you. 


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