This may be applicable to concentrations/areas within public health and health administration such as Environmental Health Science, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Social and Behavioral Health Science, Health Policy and Management, Health Education, Community Health, Health Promotion, Health Systems, Food-Nutrition & Health, Child & Adolescent Health, Environmental Sustainability, Maternal & Child Health, Global Health, Population Health, Disease Prevention, Physical Activity, Health Services Administration, Public Health Practice, Emergency Preparedness, Long term care, Occupational Safety & Health, etc.
- Tell me about yourself.
Tip: This may go for a few minutes (2-3 minutes). You may discuss your education and work experience. You may also give a little background on where you come from, etc.
- Why are you applying to our school?
Tip: Show how much you know about the school and how well you fit in. You may discuss a certain program/concentration, curriculum, organizations, geographical location or other features of the school that interests you.
- Why do you think you’d make a good fit for this program?
- What have you done to prepare for this graduate experience?
Tip: Undergraduate experience? Classes/Courses? Summer Internships? Job Experiences? Accomplishments? etc.
- How will you contribute to our program?
Tip: Sell yourself! Discuss qualities you possess that will benefit the program, e.g. public health/health administration work experience, research experience, courses, certifications, public health accomplishments, etc
- What concentration do you intend to pursue? Why?
Tip: Epidemiology? Environmental Health Science? Biostatistics? Health Policy and Law?, Social and Behavioral Sciences? etc. You may take a look and read about some concentrations listed above.
- What issues in Public Health/Health Administration interests you or you would like to work on?
Tip: Emergency preparedness? Food protection? Maternal health? Environmental pollution? Environmental Impacts on Community health? Disease prevention? Tobacco and smoking prevention? Medical Insurance? Fragmented healthcare system? Hospital Management? Hospital Information Network? Bioterrorism? Chronic diseases? Child & Maternal Health? Do some research and be knowledgeable on issues that interest you. Be ready to also answer to why you are interested in that specific area
- Why do you choose to pursue Public Health/Health Administration and not Medicine?
Tip: Make sure you give a concrete and meaningful reason as to why you did not choose to pursue Medicine.
- What prompted your interest in Healthcare*May be more applicable to Health Administration Interview
- Tell me about a time you engaged in a project. Would you have done something differently?
Tip: This is a behavior question. You may use the STAR technique. Describe the Situation in detail, describe the Tasks you underwent, describe the Actions you took to tackle this situation, describe your end Results (what you learnt, accomplishments). You may emphasize skills you learnt such as written and oral communication skills, competency in managing budgets, understanding of healthcare policies and regulations, data analysis, etc.
- Discuss some of your volunteering and community service activities. What did you do? What did you learn?
Tip: Health related activities should be described first. Discuss exactly what you did and learnt from the experience.
- Tell me about a time you engaged in team work.
Tip: This is a behavior question. You may use the STAR technique. Describe the Situation in detail, describe the Tasks you underwent, describe the Actions you took to tackle this situation, describe your end Results (what you learnt, accomplishments).
- What recent Public Health/Health Administration issues have you read about and what do you think of them?
Tip: Keep up with current health issues. Discuss recent publications you have read, conferences you have attended, blogs or websites that may be relevant to the issue.
- What do you think of the current healthcare arena of the country?
Tip: Make sure you research on this. Internet searches, newspaper, magazines, conferences, seminars, television news, etc.
- What do you believe are the most important/pressing issues emerging in health care management today?*May be more applicable to Health Administration Interview
Tip: Make sure you research on this. Internet searches, newspaper, magazines, conferences, seminars, television news, etc. Make sure you give something concrete and recent, don’t provide an issue that was prominent few years back.
- Could you provide some recommendations on how you would address these issues? *May be more applicable to Health Administration Interview
- What do you think about the health insurance and the idea of “universal healthcare”? *May be more applicable to Health Administration Interview
- What leadership/management experiences do you possess?*This may be more applicable to Health Administration.
- What do you believe are key characteristics of a great leader or manager in a hospital or healthcare in general?*This may be more applicable to Health Administration.
- As a potential Health Administrator, how would you reconcile business and humanitarian concerns? *May be more applicable to Health Administration
Tip: Make sure you think and practice on these types of situational questions.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Tip: Sell yourself on your strengths. Pertinent strengths may include strong analytical skills, previous experience on epidemiological and bio-statistical principles, hospital management skills or experience, health policy/law experience from internships, etc. After discussing weaknesses, make sure you discuss how you have taken proactive steps in changing your weaknesses.
- Why do you want to do a PhD?* For PhD Applicants
- Tell me about your previous research experience in public health/health administration. You Undergraduate or Master’s thesis experience?* For PhD Applicants
Tip: Prepare very well on your past research experiences. Know exactly what you did, why you did it, how you did it, and what you got (i.e. Results). Discuss certain publications and other accomplishments if you have them.
- What would you like to do your thesis on? What are your research interests?* For PhD Applicants
Tip: If you do not know what you want to base your thesis on, that is ok. But make sure you discuss certain areas you are very interested in researching. Don’t just state a name, but go to some depth on what you know in these research areas to show the interviewer you are knowledgeable on them. Display enthusiasm and passion for these areas.
- What difficulties do you expect to encounter during the PhD? (E.g. ethics, finance, patient populations, research projects, research mentors, etc)* For PhD Applicants
- What will you like to do with your degree? What are your short term and long term goals?
Tip: Provide a thorough, logical and relevant answer to demonstrate you have spent some time reflecting on the direction you want to take and how you propose on getting there. Would you like to work for Government? Hospital? Health/Medical laboratory? Healthcare Consulting? Etc. You may also consider certain companies/agencies and positions within those agencies e.g. CDC, NIH, Administrative and Management positions, Teacher/Professor etc
- Why should we accept you and not another student?
Tip: Sell yourself! Discuss pertinent strengths, skills, educational and work experiences, etc.
- Which other schools did you apply to?
Tip: You may discuss certain schools you applied to, but make sure you re-iterate how important it is for you to get into this current school you are interviewing for. Let the interviewer know what interests you about this school and how committed you are to this school.
- What will you do if you are not accepted into our program?
Tip: It may be best to explain that you may work on areas you think may be weak on your application and then re-apply for the same program. This demonstrates your commitment to the field/program.
- What had been your greatest accomplishment?
- What are your hobbies? What extracurricular activities do you participate in?
- Any questions?
Tip: Tip: It is important to ask intelligent questions. You may ask 1-3 concrete questions. Don’t ask questions that can be easily answered by the school website.
NOTE: These are very relevant questions that may help in the interview. Questions may be asked in a random fashion. Questions not included on this page may be asked during the interview.