5 Ways to Ace your Optometry Admission Interview

School of Optometry

Applying to optometry school is an exciting time of exploration and discovery. Soon, you will be taking the next step toward a fulfilling and rewarding career in optometry – but first, you will need to tackle your admission interview.

During the interview, you will meet with an admission counselor and a faculty member to talk about your educational and professional goals, as well as your qualifications. It’s the perfect time to share what makes you unique as an applicant.

Check out these tips for the best ways to ace your interview:

1. Exhibit passion

Why do you want to become an optometrist? Perhaps you experienced issues with vision in the past and feel inspired to help others, or maybe you have a special interest in the ocular system. Exploring, understanding, and most importantly, being able to articulate the reasons you want to enter the field is an important part of your admission interview. By explaining exactly why you want to enter the field in a concise and engaging way, you can help your interviewer get to know you and your career aspirations.

HOW TO PREPARE: Grab a pen and ask yourself the question, “What has inspired me to pursue a future as an OD?” and write down the major phrases that come to mind. Take a look at what you wrote and choose the strongest phrases to use at your interview.

2. Share insight into your shadowing experience

One of the best ways to discover if the optometry field is right for you? Shadow an optometrist to get a glimpse of the field. During your interview, you will have the opportunity to share insight into your shadowing experience. Use the opportunity to explain how the experience helped you gain a working knowledge of the professional and helped you identify that the field was the right fit for you.

HOW TO PREPARE: If you haven’t shadowed an optometrist yet, check out our tips for making the most of your shadowing experience. If you’ve already shadowed an optometrist, write a reflection about your experience, so that your insights from the experience are top of mind when you interview.

3. Explain how you give back

Good doctors care about service, not only for their patients but for the broader community as well. At MCPHS, our students are highly involved in a variety of community service opportunities, including hosting eye exams for local community members and traveling to Nicaragua to provide vision services to underserved populations. During your interview, be sure to highlight the ways in which you already volunteer, and also explain the ways you will continue to give back in the future.

HOW TO PREPARE: If you already volunteer, be sure to think about the best ways to verbally communicate how you give back. If you want to expand your volunteer experience before you apply, search for ways to give back in your local community, especially in a medical context.

4. Show us you can lead

At MCPHS, we are proud to empower students to become future healthcare leaders, and one of the ways we do this is by identifying students with a passion for leading and making an impact. During your interview, share some ways you exhibit leadership abilities, including volunteer, work, and professional experiences.

HOW TO PREPARE: Make sure that your resume is up-to-date with any and all relevant leadership experiences, so that you can speak to them during your interview.

5. Speak to your time management skills

Students in the optometry program at MCPHS tackle a full course load, clinical rotation experiences, and extracurricular activities, in additional to personal obligations. How do they do it? Time and stress-management skills. During your interview, you will be asked about your time management skills and abilities and how you strive to meet and exceed your educational and professional goals.

HOW TO PREPARE: Think about one or two specific examples of when you have experienced a busy schedule or stressful situation, and explain how you used time management skills to tackle the challenge.