Harvard University, New York Law School and other institutions across North America have all decided to up the stakes for the application process, and graduate school applicants should take note. Instead of a traditional, written submission, students could be expected to complete a video portion, whether prerecorded or live through videoconferencing systems.
This virtual shift comes as no surprise to those who have already become accustomed to online degrees; however, the new addition requires students to take into account a number of new concerns. If you’re applying for your Juris Doctorate online or in person and have to complete a video portion, here are a few considerations to keep in mind to make your application as prepared and professional as possible:
Prepare ahead of time
Even though you might not be physically sitting in front of the admissions officers, you have to act like you are meeting them face to face. The same rules of etiquette apply, including making eye contact, addressing people by their given names, and presenting yourself with professionalism, from the way you dress to the tone of your voice. You should gear up for your meeting in the same way that you would for a face-to-face interview, going over particular questions that the interviewer might ask and being prepared to ask your own inquiries when the meeting comes to a close. One perk to video interviews is that if you’re struggling to remember to keep smiling, make eye contact or sit up straight, you can tape a reminder to your computer monitor without the admissions director having any idea about your simple trick.
You may have experienced phone interviewing before, which can limit the scope of an interview. Harvard Law School is one institution that recently made the switch from phone interviews to videoconferencing meetings, making the experience feel more like a traditional, in-person encounter.
“The interviews will give applicants additional opportunities to present themselves, and also to engage with folks here and learn more about the school,” said Jessica Soban, chief admissions officer at Harvard Law. “We expect that these face-to-face conversations will offer candidates a more personal and satisfying way to let the Admissions Office learn about their strengths.”
The whole package counts in a videoconferencing interview, from a person’s public speaking skills to their level of professionalism in appearance and mannerisms. By researching and preparing, you can help make your interview a success and ultimately submit a stellar application to earn your Juris Doctorate online.