All roads to optometry school lead through the admissions interview. This is the campus visit and sit-down with school or college representatives that you’ll be invited to attend if they think you would be a good fit after reviewing your OptomCAS application materials. If you get “the call” — these days it is usually “the e-mail” — it means you are considered a competitive applicant. It doesn’t mean, however, that you’re guaranteed to be accepted into the program. You’ve got to do well on your interview day. Here are some tips to give you an idea of what to expect and what admissions officials do and don’t like to see.
1. Start with the Basics
- Be on time for the appointment. The admissions interview/campus visit at schools and colleges of optometry is typically an all-day affair that begins in the morning.
- Dress professionally. Showing up in jeans and a sweater doesn’t make a great first impression.
- Know the specifics of the day. Each institution handles the admissions interview differently. Some do one-on-one: one student and one faculty member or administrator. Others interview by committee, and current students may be part of the process. Schools’ interview periods differ as well. You might get your invitation as far in advance as a year before you would enter the program or it might come closer to that date.
- Act professionally. Believe it or not, there are real-life examples of applicants behaving badly on interview day, including one who argued with the campus tour guide about the accuracy of information. “What you do is just as important as what you say,” advises Teisha Johnson, MS, Senior Director of Admissions at Illinois College of Optometry (ICO).