Jan 27, 2015
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I just had mine last week. The interview portion is extremely laid back. You start the day with a question and answer session with some of the first year students. We were then split into two groups, one which interviews first and one which tours first. I got to tour the school first and get many of my questions answered by the first year student who was my group's guide (the groups all had either 2 or 3 students). I then went for my interview. It was an open file interview, so the professor knew my background. It was fairly informal. I actually don't remember most of the questions asked since it seemed more like a conversation. I do remember being asked which class I had found to be the most difficult. As with most interviews, I don't believe that they are looking for the answer itself (its not like if I had said Calculus is the most difficult I'd get in but if I said Biology was then I wouldn't), its about how well you can carry a conversation and express an idea. Since optometrists need to be able to communicate well with their patients, they are interviewing for that aspect as well as for personality and motivation. They want someone who really wants to be an optometrist and has an understanding of the field.
But don't stress about the interview part. I didn't think that it was anything to get nervous about. My recommendation is that you look at it as your interview for them. Obviously, you don't want to be cocky, but you are finding out if they are the right fit for you as much as they are assessing your fit with them.
All in all, they said that the day would feel very long but it was only about 4 hours. Breakfast and discussion with students, then tours and interviews, then lunch in smaller groups with students, then a tour of the clinic (which took longer to get to then the tour lasted).
Good luck!
 
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Jun 5, 2014
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Thank you so much for the breakdown! It helps calm the nerves when you know what to expect :)
 
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Apr 7, 2015
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I just had mine last week. The interview portion is extremely laid back. You start the day with a question and answer session with some of the first year students. We were then split into two groups, one which interviews first and one which tours first. I got to tour the school first and get many of my questions answered by the first year student who was my group's guide (the groups all had either 2 or 3 students). I then went for my interview. It was an open file interview, so the professor knew my background. It was fairly informal. I actually don't remember most of the questions asked since it seemed more like a conversation. I do remember being asked which class I had found to be the most difficult. As with most interviews, I don't believe that they are looking for the answer itself (its not like if I had said Calculus is the most difficult I'd get in but if I said Biology was then I wouldn't), its about how well you can carry a conversation and express an idea. Since optometrists need to be able to communicate well with their patients, they are interviewing for that aspect as well as for personality and motivation. They want someone who really wants to be an optometrist and has an understanding of the field.
But don't stress about the interview part. I didn't think that it was anything to get nervous about. My recommendation is that you look at it as your interview for them. Obviously, you don't want to be cocky, but you are finding out if they are the right fit for you as much as they are assessing your fit with them.
All in all, they said that the day would feel very long but it was only about 4 hours. Breakfast and discussion with students, then tours and interviews, then lunch in smaller groups with students, then a tour of the clinic (which took longer to get to then the tour lasted).
Good luck!


Hey there!
When you say that the interview was an "open file" interview, did they specifically ask you about your grades and extracurriculars? e.g. why you might have had a lower grade in a particular class? And did they ask you specific questions about your personal statement from OptomCAS and from your supplemental application?
Also, was it just the one professor who interviewed you? I have read on some older threads that there was two parts to the interview-- one with a professor/doctor and the other with a student.
I have my interview this week so just trying to prepare as much as possible-- thanks in advance!
 
Mar 1, 2015
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nw2573, I interviewed with NECO in mid-March. In speaking with the other candidates on the day-of, we all seemed to have rather varied experiences, depending on the faculty member you interviewed with. Some talked a lot, some kept it short (15 minutes), some drew questions from your file, some wanted to know more about you outside of your application.

With regards to the "student interview", yes. The lunch portion where you are grouped with 2-3 other candidates and one second-year OD student, you are being evaluated. In fact, you can find the job posting for "Student Interviewer" on Google.
 
Jan 27, 2015
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My experience during the interview was that they asked broad questions from my file, but not specific questions. I liked this since I was able to answer with responses that highlighted my strengths. I was not asked about any specific courses or grades, but was asked more open ended questions that allowed me to both emphasize my positive attributes and show that I can communicate well. This was all during the professor interview. The student interview was much more informal. The student didn't ask specific questions about anything really, we just sat and ate lunch and talked. This might actually, in retrospect, be a part where I fell short since I asked some sort of silly questions (not off topic, but not essential things to know).
Good luck with your interview, and don't stress about it!
 
Apr 6, 2015
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My interview was pretty similar to what other schools have done. He had a list of questions that he rattled off (why optometry, what was your favorite class, time you struggled to meet a goal) then asked if I had any questions.

If I could give you one tip I believe the biggest thing that helped me was being able to keep going after asking a question. Rattling off 10 questions is great but asking a question then listening and responding is big. I didnt even respond with anything legit just talked about how I have heard of zip cars before or something like that. With such short interviews (possibly) I believe its just important to hold a simple conversation then taking turns asking/answering questions.

As far as the student observer is concerned I didnt realize she even had input into the admissions process! Just be yourself listen and have interest in your peers its just a normal lunch with people your age.

Hope you enjoy it!
 
Jun 5, 2014
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Thanks so much for all the feedback everyone! I just had my interview a few days ago and well - I agree with all of you. The interview is an open file - my faculty member actually pointed out a few things in my application and asked for an explanation/clarification! It was on the longer side as well (45 mins) but more conversational... which I think was good! You get more time to make yourself stand out! :D
Student interview was pretty casual - they just want to know how you interact :) Good luck to everyone interviewing!
 

member415

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Apr 9, 2013
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My interview was pretty similar to what others have said as well. My interviewer didn't ask me specific questions about my file though, just broad. Such as what was your hardest class in college, what motivates you, what is your greatest achievement, and talk about a failure that you have recently encountered. And then there was time for me to ask questions. As long as you are able to hold a conversation and give solid answers, you should be okay! The student interview was very casual. Since it was lunch, it was very informal and they just wanted to get to you know. I hope this helps! Good luck !
 
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