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Personal Statements & Grad School Interviews

Personal Statements

Whether you are writing a Personal Statement, Letter of Intent, Biographical Sketch, or other type of application for a graduate program, professional school, fellowship/scholarship/award, or employment opportunity, CaPS can assist you.

Before taking advantage of the resources below, we strongly recommend you write the first draft on your own, according to the specifications provided by the institution or organization. Your style of writing in the letter is a reflection of your character and personality, and you would not want that tainted by following a textbook format.

Once you have given your letter a first attempt (and there will be many to follow), take advantage of the following resources to ensure it is at its best upon submission.

Books & Websites

Personal Statements Books

Graduate School Essays

Graduate School Interviews

Common Pre-Selection Interview Questions:

  • Why do you believe this program is right for you?
  • Tell me about yourself
  • What are your career goals?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What are your strong points?
  • Why do you think you are the right candidate for our program?


The following websites contain pre-selection interview questions and answers.

  • Professional and Graduate School Interview Questions (University of Wisconsin-Green Bay)
    A list of sample questions including, personal characteristics, academic experiences, extracurricular activities, weaknesses, goals, leadership skills, field specific questions as well as questions applicants might ask an interviewer.
  • Interview Questions (GradSchoolTips.com)
    Sample interview questions and answers such as: Describing yourself, why should you be a good candidate for our program?
  • Graduate School Interviews for All Programs (Salisbury University)
    What graduate schools look for, tips for interview, and links to health professional graduate school interviewing information.
  • Graduate School Preparation - The Interview (Wartburg College)
    Pre-interview suggestions and typical interview questions.

Please note that CaPS and McGill do not endorse any particular websites/services; the listing is for your information only.