University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Student Blog | Catherine


It’s Interview Season!
Posted , by Catherine
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Hello everyone!  I hope you are all enjoying the beginning of the fall season.  Along with pumpkin spice, and everything nice, the Chan residency interviews have begun.  It thought it might be helpful for share some interview tips.  Remember, interviewing for a residency is like interviewing for a job, and these tips can save to apply to when you interview at external residencies later on as well.

  • Dress for success, and strike pose.  I know you’ve heard it a million times, but I will say it again for good measure.  While you don’t need to go outside of your means to purchase an entire new outfit, it really does make a difference when you dress for the position you want.  Not only does it reflect a level a respect and professionalism, it can be helpful to get you into “the zone”. What also helps is to do a power pose.  Take 5 minutes to do a power pose before going into your interview to level up on your confidence.
  • Prepare an elevator speech.  You’ve written countless ones of how you will describe occupational therapy, but it’s also good to have one about yourself.  Writing an elevator speech about why you want the residency you’re applying for will not only have a handy go to answer if you are asked this question, but it will give you an opportunity to identity your strengths!
  • Practice talking about yourself.  If you’re like me, and feel uncomfortable talking about yourself under pressure, practicing talking about yourself can be really helpful.  Find a safe space with someone you feel comfortable and do a “mock interview”.  This can get your interview jitters out and help you feel more prepared on the big day.
  • Write yourself a LTG. I mentioned this in a previous post, but setting a clear goal for what you want to achieve during your residency will help anchor your talking points.  This will especially come in handy if you get a question you weren’t prepared to answer.  Just tie it back to your goal(s).
  • Be yourself!  While sometimes it may seem like there is a “right answer” to an interview question, it’s always best to be true to yourself.  One of the goals of an interview is find a good fit between the candidate and the residency site.  Trust the process and be yourself.

Remember, take a deep breathe, count to ten, use whatever relaxation strategy works for you, because you got this! Fight on!!

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