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Nova College of Optometry - Interview experience and tips

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by kinchung, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. kinchung

    kinchung Junior Member
    2+ Year Member

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    hi,

    i'm starting at nova this fall, actually starting this sunday. my gpa was 3.15, my OAT was 370, and i had did a lot of volunteer work in research labs for 3 years, in addition to holding office positions in student organizations.

    my gpa was low, but my OAT's made up for that, and I told the interviewers that I loved out of classroom school activities. I didn't say outright, "Oh by the way, the reason my GPA was low is because I was busy doing....such and such" That probably won't impress them. If I did, they would probably think I couldn't prioritize.

    But instead, I told them a story that let them know I was multidemensional...just in case they question my low gpa. I had a deep commit extracurricular leadership/involvement as well as classwork. In reality, my resume told them, but I expressing my passion. I knew I needed to convince them that I knew a good candidate is not just motivated by high grades.

    If you are borderline on either gpa or OAT scores, I think the interview should be your make or break. Also very important, is the tour. the interview begins right when you step onto their campus, not just in the private room when you are being questioned face to face. keep that in mind when you are touring their campus.

    in the interview, they asked me to talk about myself first...so i told them what activities and interests I had over the course of the college career. they want to know who you are and how you prioritize and balance your interests with your responsibilities...

    after at least 10 to 15 minutes of lite chatter, they asked me 1 of 2 questions. 1. Why optometry? and then 2. Why nova?

    I won't go into detail about my answers, because ultimately you have to come up with your own...but these questions are the most obvious ones you can think of anyway.

    Just make sure you stay true to who you are as a person and give them a reason to pick you over the hundreds of other candidates. Make sure you let them know that you want to be an Optometrists first and foremost, and not because you don't have the grades for dental or med school.

    State specific reasons that are not related to superficial reasons. Bad answers include: "Optometrists have good pay or less work/school than dental or med school." Also don't make open statements, without backing it up. Don't say you want to be at NOVA because you think its a good school...and leave it at that. give them specific aspects of their school that you like, aspects that will help you become a better person/optometrist.

    Laugh, engage the interviewers, ask questions you can't look up online, nod, be enthusiastic/curious, use your hands when talking, make eye contact...make them like you. at the end of the day they will have seen several candidates, and they are only going to pick 1 or 2 out of ever 5.

    in the end, the interview was only 30 minutes, but it was capped at a max of 30 minutes...its very important that you present yourself as a well rounded person, who is capable of communicating a story or problem to anyone...young or old, educated or not...Do you have the qualities of a someone who will be trusted to give sound, safe medical advice and treatment to all types of people? Don't rely on your grades or scores to get you in...

    there is a website for predental students to use as a guide to how some schools are selecting their accepted students...

    http://dentistry.dissectors.com/

    ...i looked at nova's dental class, and some students with good scores/gpa's aren't getting in, while students with lower standards are accepted...book worms who can't express themselves or conduct themselves underpressure, may not be good candidates to be health professionals. Ask yourself, "are you skilled enough (articulately, intellectually, and emotionally) to not just break the bad news to a patient going blind, but also to persuade that patient, who happens to be very poor, in debt, living pay check to pay check with 5 kids to feed, to spend more money on surgery for their eyes...

    What exactly would you say? you have 1 minute to respond!

    <--- that might be an interview question at ANY school. if you can do that, then great! just don't be a too cocky in the interview! hehe. i suggest you research probable questions any med school would ask you and have your own original answers for them.

    let me know if you have any other questions about NOVA or other optometry related things. keep in mind that i will try to help you as best i can, without giving you my own personal opinions and answers to interview questions.


    ~kinchung
     
    helpmeout382100 likes this.
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  3. mthomas2

    mthomas2 Member
    5+ Year Member

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    Thanks for the info, Very helpful!
     
  4. cpw

    cpw It's a boy !!!
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    This is all great advice !! thanks for posting :)
     
  5. GaGirlOD

    GaGirlOD New Member

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    Why would you need to persuade the patient to spend money on surgery (since optometrists don't perform surgery)? Wouldn't you need to refer the patient to an ophthalmologist and let that doctor explain the importance of the surgery?
     

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