Interviews are only offered to the top group of applicants at each professional school; however, schools interview students for different reasons and use different criteria to determine who is a "top" candidate. Some schools offer interviews to nearly every student who meets a certain set of (usually numeric) criteria; they then use the interview to find out who the applicant really is and to determine whether that individual would make a good addition to their program. Other schools evaluate an applicant's numeric criteria, evaluation letters, and essays to determine who should be the best students for their school; the interview is then used to confirm whether an appropriate decision has been made. In the former case, as much as 80% of the applicant pool may be interviewed, whereas in the latter case, only about 10% of the applicant pool is interviewed.
Every professional school is unique in the way it handles interviews. Some interview students in small groups, some use a single interview with a faculty member or administrator, while others schedule as many as 5 interviews per applicant. At about half the schools, the interviewer has full access to the applicant's file, while at the other half, the interviewer only knows the student's name and the college that s/he attends (or attended). The strategy the applicant wants to use is different for each type of interview, so it is helpful to talk with a pre-health professions advisor about a school's interview format before going to an interview.
The interview is a formal event, and the interviewee should be as professional as possible throughout the process. It is a good idea to visit the Office of Career Development for interview hints and to schedule a mock interview.
The Albion College pre-health professions committee has compiled a list of common interview questions that may be obtained from the Pre-Health Professions Office.