Applying for an advanced education program takes time, practice, and patience. Psy.D programs are especially competitive and therefore may take extra preparation time. Because of how long the education takes to complete, along with the intricate clinical experiences needed for program completion, interviews are often part of the application process.
Psy.D online programs are also extremely competitive when it comes to enrollment. With many varying concentrations and program requirements, it’s important to do some research before entering an interview. Those who are screening applicants are going to look for a true interest within the field as well as your background relative to your concentration or aspired career. Here are some questions relative to Psy.D applications and how you can possibly answer them.
1. What makes you a good candidate for this program?
This is a tough question because it’s extremely broad. You’re going to want to answer that you are a good candidate for the program because you’re going to work hard and contribute in the classroom as well as in clinical experience, however you want to look more long-term than this. Identify specific goals that you want to accomplish and figure out a way to relate these to the program you’re interviewing for. Figure out what special opportunities this program offers that others don’t. Once you’ve done this, you can tell the interviewer about how those opportunities are going to enable you to further your career in a certain way and will help you reach your goals. This sounds like an easy question, but it actually requires you to do your homework.
2. Do you have any field experience?
Who knows you better than you do? Nobody. If you do have experience, you’re in a great position to answer this question. Make sure you lay it all out on the table. Don’t just list the job or volunteer opportunities you’ve had, but also what specific tasks you were given during them. If you don’t have experience, avoid making excuses for what the reasoning is. Just try to spin the experience you do have into a light that makes it sound relative to getting your Psy.D. You may have worked with little kids, been a camp counselor, or even coached a recreational sport. You can talk about a time you had to relate to someone and give them advice, explaining how interactions like those made you want to further your advanced education in psychology.
3. What are your research interests?
Before you begin your Psy.D, it’s hard to know exactly what you want to do. If you have a concentration in mind, that’s great. Explain to the interviewer exactly why that is what you’re interested in and what your curiosities on the subject are. Odds are, you’re going to have to write a dissertation, and while that might be far away, having topics in mind shows that you have a real passion for the subject. Don’t worry if you don’t, although it might be a good idea do some research before the interview.
4. Why did you choose us?
Do your research, but don’t regurgitate information you read on their website. Be honest and casual for part of this question. If the cost/quality of education ratio is the best one out there, don’t be afraid to say that. If the location is ideal, you can mention that too, but don’t forget to talk about the educational portion of the program. Take a look into notable alumni and their achievements. Also look at where the university does their clinical experience. These can be huge factors in choosing a school.
Entering a program to earn your Psy.D is one of the most competitive processes in advanced education. Psy.D online programs are now available and are equally as competitive as blended learning or traditional learning methods. Prepare for your interview, but also be yourself!