Tips on Preparing for your Video Interview

Many people get nervous when they learn that CIPA’s application process includes an online video interview component.  Stage fright is natural, but please know that our Admissions Office is not expecting perfection.  A few “ums” and “tongue-tied” moments will not sink the interview for you.  We view the video as a valuable opportunity to learn more about you—to see a bit of your personality, your passion for policy, and your approach to graduate study.  Ideally, we would like to have the opportunity to meet with each of you one-on-one, but with hundreds of applicants located around the globe, that’s not a realistic or environmentally friendly option.

How does the interview work:  After all of your other application material has been received, our Admissions Office will send you an e-mail containing login information and detailed instructions for completing the interview.

While you’re waiting for that interview link to come through, my first piece of advice is to RELAX.  Think of the video as an additional opportunity (beyond the limits of the written word) to show us how and why the CIPA MPA program is a good fit for you.  Prepare for it as you would prepare for a live, in-person visit with faculty and staff.

  • Take time to think about why you decided to apply to CIPA in particular: What will you bring to the program?  What opportunities at CIPA will help you advance your career objectives?
  • You might practice a possible question in front of the mirror for a few minutes—checking your posture and making sure you have good eye-contact. A sample question might be:  Describe an experience you had that contributed to your desire to study public policy.

Avoid writing out scripted answers to questions that you anticipate.  We want to see you respond in a natural, off-the-cuff way.  If you read from a script, it will be obvious and you will sound stiff.

When it comes down to pressing the link and recording your interview, here are a few additional pointers to consider.

  • Choose a quiet location with minimal background noises.
  • Dress professionally. This is an interview and you want to take it seriously.  Wear what you would wear to meet with a faculty member in person.
  • Remove gum from your mouth!
  • Turn off cellular devices. You don’t want beeps and dings going off during the interview.
  • Plan to conduct yourself as if you were sitting across the desk from us.

Now, take a deep breath or two, and remember my first bit of advice:  RELAX!  You’re going to do great!

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