Why Me? Interview #1

January 24, 2009 by Jen

Next Wednesday and Thursday, I have my first official grad school visit and interview, at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia, for the Masters of Letters in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance. That’s a mouthful. 

Step one of interview prep: remember the program name.
I’ve done interviews before, and I’m not bad at them, but they scare me. Horribly. I don’t know what the interviewer will ask, how formal it will be, or whether I’ll be having an uncontrollable sweaty-palms-and-bad-hair day on that particular morning. Because really, how much better a first impression can you make than by leaving a layer of brine on the interviewer’s hand? Really.
On my calendar for today, I wrote – “prepare for MBC interview.” Haha. I have no idea what it means, but it made me feel good to write it. So for kicks, I’m taking a minute to waste time and brainstorm likely interview questions and the ways I may – or may not – be inspired to answer them. 
The Graduate School Interview

-Hi! Welcome to ___________. Glad you could make it.
-Yeah, me too. I was actually hoping to have an interview at _________, but they cancelled last minute, so I’m glad it worked out for me to come here.
-Ah, yes. Good. So, have a seat. I have your files here, and–
-Good. Good. Maybe you can remind me what I wrote in that personal statement. I think it was about 3 a.m. on coffee, so I don’t really remember except that I was cutting and pasting from this website I found…
-I see. Well, why don’t we start by asking you to tell us a little bit about you. Why did you decide to apply to graduate school?, that sort of thing.
-You mean after American Idol turned me down, and I got fired? Yeah, so I got this brochure in the mail – actually it was addressed to my next-door neighbor, but it was pretty, so I kept it. There were some really hot guys on the cover talking about how much money they were making, so I figured, hey, I’ll give it a shot. 
-Uh-huh. That’s good to know. You know, we get a lot of applicants every year, and most of them are very qualified. To be blunt, what makes you different? Why should we choose you?
-Twenty minutes and a DanceDanceRevolution. That’s all I ask.
-Interesting. So, talk to me about your goals. What do you hope to accomplish in graduate school? What are some of your long-term plans?
-Hey, let’s start with managing to wait to go to the bathroom until this interview is over. That’s turning into a pretty long-term goal, I tell you what. But yeah, I just want the glory, really. Those three little letters would look pretty snazzy on my e-mail signature. And after that, who knows? I’ve had this crazy dream about writing completely bogus textbooks and perverting eager young minds…
-Thank you. I think we’ve got just about all we need. Thanks for coming in, and we’ll be in touch.
-Great, great. Boy, I’ve got a lot of planning to do!
-I wouldn’t start ordering your change of address forms just yet…
-That’s true. I should probably wait until you start sending me my stipend. Cheers!
It’s so tempting…
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