5 Tips I Learned From Being The Interviewer

Some people are naturally good at interviewing, and others have a really hard time with it. There are so many different aspects of the interview in general, but underneath it all, there’s no getting away from that nervous feeling and those butterflies. 

I want to give you some perspective from the other side, because I've been on the other side of the interview. There are 5 tips that you need to know from the viewpoint of the interviewer.

  1. Just be normal 

Be a likeable human being - as simple and cliche as that might sound. Be confident. SMILE! Use your hands when you talk and look them straight in the eyes when you answer. Be a person that you would like. People like doing business with other people they connect with and like. Don’t overthink it. Shake their hand when you see them for the first time, don’t overlook the simple/little things. It’s all about the first impression.

Think to yourself - what kind of student would you want to accept into your physical therapy program? BE that person!

  1. They know more about you than you think 

Before you even get there. Before you even step in the door. They know more about you than you think. They can tell. They've seen hundreds of applications. They've seen thousands of pre-PT students. From mentoring students for five years to being in the position I'm in now with different companies, when I interview people, I can tell a lot about those people. Before I even get on the phone with them or interview them. 

I can tell a lot from how they write, from what people have said about them, from the questions they've asked me, from their ability to follow instructions, if they've done the research throughout our company... 

For you guys, the letters of recommendation, the essays that you've written, even down to your stats and the classes, they know more about you than you think. This could be a good thing. And that's pretty much why they're inviting you to the interview. But maybe there's some things they're looking for that might not have been so good and they want to ask you questions about it.

The point of this is that you're sending a message with every little thing that you do. Every little thing that you write, every little email that you send, every little thing that you think is not important. You are basically sending a message to that interviewer, to that person on the other side. You are sending a message to them, whether you think you are or not. 

  1. They can smell if you’re fake or not

They can smell it from a mile away. They can hear it from a mile away. Before you even walk in the door. And this is simple, because you guys do the exact same thing. You guys have that exact same experience. You can smell when somebody's fake. You can tell when somebody's trying to scam you. You can tell when somebody's trying to sell you a used car that doesn't work. You can tell. You have a gut feeling and they have it as well. 

They've seen thousands of pre-PT applicants. They can sniff it out by the way you answer certain questions. You have to be real. You have to be yourself. You have to come across as authentic. 

So that’s number three. They can just tell. They can tell if you're fake. So you have to be authentic with your answers, with your responses, with your why. It really does have to become a part of you, or they're just going to see right through it. 

  1. “How well do you really know us?”

Think about this - you're applying to our school and we are seriously considering you as a student. I've used this analogy in a lot. We're about to get married here. You're about to spend a good deal of money with me. A lot of time. I'm going to give you this degree that changes your whole life. We're about to be joined for three years and connected for the rest of our lives because you went to our school, because you went to our institution. 

Like I'm forever connected to Andrews University, because I have two degrees from there. And that just how it is. 

How well do you know this institution? How well do you know the school? How well do you know this company? Have you done your research? Do you know things about this program that others don’t? Research every school prior to your interview - you will thank yourself tremendously.

  1. “How can you make our program better?”

What is the program lacking? What can we use? How can we get better? Then, based on that research that you've done on us, how can you make us better? How can you elevate us? What can you bring to our institution? What can you bring to our family? 

Make yourself extremely valuable. Make yourself a hot commodity - make them think, “Okay, Andrew, he's bringing something crazy. Karl, he's bringing something crazy! I don't really care about all this other stuff, all of those ‘stats’ that they have, there's something else about them that we have to let them into our institution.” Make yourself standout and seen as an asset to their program!

-Casey Coleman, PT, DPT

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