In this video, Ben Oldham, Director of Enrollment, walks prospective students through the reasons we ask our applicants to participate in a group interview and how our group interviews offer an authentic experience of what it’s like to be a student at The Seattle School. Watch the video above or keep reading below to find out more! Connect with our Admissions Team to learn more about applying.
What is a group interview for grad school? What questions are you likely to be asked? And why would a school do a group interview in the first place?
My name is Ben Oldham. I’m the Director of Enrollment at the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, and I’m here to answer your questions about group interviews and more.
So, what is a group interview at The Seattle School and why do we ask you to do it?
At The Seattle School, when we conduct group interviews, it is different than what you have likely experienced in the corporate world.
Group interviews for The Seattle School are not competitive. A lot of my personal experience in doing group interviews applying for a job is that there are five of us in a room competing for one or two positions. That’s not the case at all for us. In our group interviews, we want to understand who you understand yourself to be.
Your group interview will be comprised of yourself, your interview facilitator, and four or five others who are applying to one of our degree programs. Your interview facilitator will introduce themselves, will give you a chance to get to know each other, and then they’ll prompt a conversation. Regardless of the prompt, all we ask in the group interview is that you bring yourself and the authenticity of who you are.
At the core of who we are at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology is that we are a relational learning community. We take who you are seriously. We want to hear you relate to others. We want to hear how well you are able to listen to another person. We want to be able to understand how you engage others who are different from you are, whether that is a difference of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, socioeconomic status, political belief, or theological belief.
We want to know that you are able to listen deeply to another human being and are willing to be changed by them. In short, we’re wanting to hear how well you understand yourself in relation to others. Whether you’re training to be a therapist, a pastor, or a practitioner in another field, we believe that the greatest efficacy that you will have as an agent of change is who you are.
What are you likely to be asked in a group interview?
Your interview facilitator may prompt conversation with a quote that’s important to them. The interview facilitator may choose a prompt of a recent national or political event. Your facilitator may choose a single word to prompt conversation. That word may be something like, “body.”
Why would a graduate school do group interviews?
So, now you know what a group interview is. You know what questions are likely to be asked. But why would a grad school do group interviews instead of one on one interviews? At The Seattle School, the group interview process relates right back to our pedagogy. Our pedagogy at its core is relational.
Our core values at the Seattle School are formation, integration, and sustainability. When we speak of formation, we are asking you, who you are forming to be? Who do you know yourself to be, and who is shaping that formation? We believe that who you are matters. Who you are matters not only in your relationships with others and in your self-understanding, but it matters in your practice.
In the end, through our group interview, you will experience what it is like to be a student at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. If you want your graduate study to include the kind of deep listening that our group interview requires, then head to www.theseattleschool.edu. We would love to connect with you, get to know you, and ultimately see you apply.
Visit our Applying for School page to learn more about the application process at The Seattle School.