Yale graduate school interview questions are very close to your typical graduate school interview questions or even professional job interview questions. They can range from common personal questions like “tell me about yourself” to behavioral interview questions such as “what would you do in X situation?” The Yale graduate school interview is a very important part of your overall application and can determine whether you get into grad school at Yale, so it’s critical to prepare yourself as best as possible. In this blog, we have some sample Yale graduate school interview questions and answers, plus some tips on how to prepare for a grad school interview at Yale.

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Yale Graduate School Interview Questions How to Prepare for Yale Graduate School Interview Questions FAQs

Yale Graduate School Interview Questions

Yale graduate school interview questions are quite similar to other Ivy League graduate school interview questions. Yale uses graduate school interviews as a final assessment of top candidates, to make final admissions decisions, so the interview questions are designed to get to know applicants better and learn more about you than can be found in your application.

Many of Yale’s top graduate school programs use admissions interviews, including Yale Medical School and Yale Law School. While the Yale graduate school interview questions will vary depending on the specific program you’re being interviewed for, many of them will be similar to common graduate school interview questions. Yale’s PhD programs also conduct admissions interviews. For example, the MD-PhD program at Yale Medical School has interview questions specific to its program.

Yale approaches graduate school interview questions the same way as a job interview. You can expect to be asked about your academic history, your motivation for applying to graduate school and your career goals and interest in your field of study. Also be prepared to talk about any professional experience you have in your field, including research and clinical experience, fieldwork and internships you may have participated in.

Next, we have some samples of Yale graduate school interview questions from specific graduate programs:

Yale Graduate School Interview Question #1 – Yale Graduate School of Art

The Yale Graduate School of Art selects some applicants every admissions cycle for interviews. Only applicants who pass the initial selection stages will be invited to interview, and will be required to submit their official transcripts. Applicants will need to prepare and submit a portfolio of their work, to be presented during their interview. The interview for Yale art school applicants is a vitally important part of the selection process, so students should be prepared to discuss and present their best work!

Sample Questions

  • Tell me more about [portfolio entry].
  • Why do you want to study at the Yale Graduate School of Art?
  • Who is your favorite artist? Which artists influence your work?
  • What do you consider your best work or best project?

Yale Graduate School Interview Question #2 – Yale Divinity School

The admissions committee at the Yale Divinity School does not require admissions interviews but encourages students to schedule one if they are invited to interview. Even though the interview is considered optional, it’s still a good idea to attend one to make a strong, in-person impression on the admissions committee and help strengthen your application.

Sample Questions

  • What first drew you to apply to the Yale Divinity School?
  • Why do you want to study theology at the graduate level?
  • What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
  • Can you tell me about your experiences working with diverse communities?

Yale Graduate School Interview Question #3 – David Geffen School of Drama at Yale

The David Geffen School of Drama at Yale offers both in-person and virtual interviews to applicants. Interview invitations usually come once the admissions committee has finished reviewing your initial application and portfolio submission, as interviews are one of the final steps in the admissions decision process.

Sample Questions

  • What kind of performances have you done outside of school?
  • Why do you want to attend our school?
  • Why do you want to be an actor?
  • Tell us about the last play you went to see.

Yale Graduate School Interview Question #4 – Yale School of Music

The only graduate program at the Yale School of Music which requires an admission interview is the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) program. The interview is on top of the requirement to audition and take the necessary exams. All interviews are held online and last around 30 minutes. Note that not all applicants will be interviewed, depending on the number of applications received.

Sample Questions

  • Why the Yale School of Music?
  • What is unique about you?
  • How do you imagine yourself getting involved in music at Yale?
  • What do you like to play/sing? Which composers are your favorite?

Yale Graduate School Interview Question #5 – Yale School of Nursing

Applicants to the Yale School of Nursing PhD program may be asked to interview during the admissions process. Typically, only the most competitive applicants will be asked to interview, so if you receive an invitation, this is a positive sign!

Sample Questions

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you want to do a PhD in Nursing?
  • Tell us about your most memorable patient experience.
  • What aspects of Nursing have you found most challenging during your practice?
  • What do you think the greatest achievement one can have as a nurse is?

Yale Graduate School Interview Question #6 – Yale School of Public Health

Just like the Yale School of Nursing PhD program, the School of Public Health offers PhD interviews to its top candidates. Be prepared for personal questions about your career goals and motivations, as well as questions about your opinions and knowledge of your field.

Sample Questions

  • Who has served you well as a mentor or role model for you in your career?
  • What are the most important challenges to global health currently?
  • What do you think about healthcare reform in the US? How is this guided by your own experiences working in the field?
  • If you were able to, how would you change healthcare in the US? Do you think that this change is realistic or possible?
  • When did you first consider a career in public health?

Yale Graduate School Interview Question #7 – Yale School of Management

Admissions interviews at the Yale School of Management are held for most of the MBA programs. MBA interviews are conducted throughout the rolling admissions cycle, so note that your interview invitation may be extended late in the application cycle. Your interviewer will be either a current Yale MBA student, a recent alum or a member of the admissions committee, but your interviewer will only have access to your MBA resume, not your entire application. For your interview, you can expect some common MBA interview questions as well as some MBA behavioral interview questions.

Sample Questions

  • Walk me through your resume.
  • What are your interests outside of work?
  • Tell me of a time when you took the risk and the outcome. What did you learn from it?
  • Tell me about a time when you took the lead on something.
  • Tell me about a time when your expectations were not met.

How to Prepare for Yale Graduate School Interview Questions

#1 Don’t forget thank you notes

Yale graduate school specifically emphasizes sending thank you notes to your interviewers after a grad school interview, so don’t forget this step! It only takes a few minutes to send a thank you note to your interviewers, but it makes a positive post-interview impression and shows you read the application instructions thoroughly!

#2 Practice your interview answers

Practice answering common grad school interview questions at least a few times before the actual interview. One of the best ways to do this is to use mock interviews, which simulate the real interview setting as closely as possible.

So, if your interview is video or online, set up a webcam and record your answers a few times. Watch the video to determine where you slip up or if you have any awkward body language or nervous tics. If your interview is in-person, ask a friend or a grad school admissions consultant to act as your interviewer and provide feedback on your answers and comportment.

Mock interviews help you address any weaknesses, banish any nerves and basically make sure you interview answers are as strong as possible going into the interview room.

You can also look up interview questions at other Ivy League schools to practice with, such as examples of Harvard graduate school interview questions.

#3 Research your chosen grad school program

The first step to acing your interview is to be prepared for different types of questions. Since many questions will ask about your motivation for studying at the graduate level or why you’ve chosen a particular school or program, you need to have good, solid answers to these questions, especially at an Ivy League graduate school. Research the Yale graduate program you’re interested in and take some notes on what appeals to you about it or why you would choose it over another top program. Reflect a bit on why you’ve chosen a particular field or why you want to study at the graduate level and how it will advance your goals. Take those ideas and shape them into your interview answers.

#4 Get professional interview prep help

Every applicant can benefit from grad school application help, especially when it comes to the interview. Your grad school interview is a high-pressure situation and it can make or break your entire application. Getting expert interview prep help can make the difference for students who have never had an admissions interview, don’t interview well or who want to be as well prepared as they can be. 


1. Does Yale use graduate school interviews?

Yes, some Yale graduate school programs use admissions interviews to make final admissions decisions. Graduate school interviews at Yale are an important part of candidate selection, so it is important to be well prepared and know how to answer Yale graduate school interview questions!

2. Which Yale graduate school programs use interviews?

Yale law school, Yale medical school and other top graduate school programs at Yale use graduate school admissions interviews.

3. Do all applicants get an interview invitation?

No, not every applicant will receive an interview invitation since there is a large number of applicants every admissions cycle. Applicants who are selected for an interview are typically on the shortlist for admissions.

4. Is it a good sign if I get a graduate school interview invitation?

Yes; if Yale graduate school invites you to an interview, it is a good sign that you are being strongly considered for admission and admission officers want to learn more about you.

5. What are typical graduate school interview questions?

Typical graduate school interview questions include personal questions like “tell me about yourself”, questions about your career goals and motivations for studying at the graduate level, as well as questions about your professional experience and interest in your chosen field. You may also be asked behavioral interview questions during a grad school interview.

6. Does the graduate school interview at Yale matter?

Yes, Yale graduate school places some importance on the grad school interview, as they are usually used to assess the shortlisted applicants and make final admissions decisions. If you are invited to interview, you need to make a strong impression to secure an offer of admission! Acing the interview can help offset weaknesses in your application, for instance if you want to get into an Ivy League grad school with a low GPA, the Yale grad school interview can be one way to offset low grades.

7. How can I prepare my Yale graduate school interview questions?

To prepare for Yale graduate school interview questions, mock interviews are the best tool to help you prepare. Set up a mock interview which mimics the real interview setting as much as possible so you can practice your answers and dispel any nerves. You can also talk to a grad school advisor for professional feedback and advice on your interview performance.

8. How long will my graduate school interview last?

Graduate school interviews typically last between 30-45 minutes, although some programs may have extended day-long campus tours that include interviews with faculty, alumni and admissions officers.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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