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What to expect from your MHA Admission Interview

What to expect from your MHA Admission Interview
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Andrew Levine August 3, 2020

Everything you need to know about your MHA admission interview.

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Whether you are an experienced interviewer or not, an admission interview might not be what you are used to. Many MHA programs require an interview for admission. However, no two interviews are alike. Each program decides how the interview is done. Many things can differ from school to school: How you will be interviewed, who will interview you, and what they will ask.

Looking back at my MHA application process (which took place before COVID-19), I realized that each interview I had was different than the last. I hope to provide clarity about what can be expected from an MHA interview so that you can be better prepared for yours!

How will you be interviewed?

Interviews can take many forms. During my application process, I experienced in-person interviews, video chats, and phone calls. Some schools might ask you to attend an interview day. One interview day I attended started off with a campus tour with a group of applicants. Next we listened to a presentation about the program. Following that there was an interview rotation with 4 different interviewers. Last, there was a group discussion with an alumni panel and a lunch. Even if your only interview is a 15-minute phone call, you must give it all you’ve got.

Who will interview you?

It is important to treat every interviewer with the same respect and professionalism regardless of who is asking the questions. With that being said, I was interviewed by people at different levels. Here are the different people who interviewed me during my application process.

Program director

For the majority of schools, I had an interview with the program director. Often times, this is someone who might have reached out to you already so you may already have a relationship with them. You can expect a long interview from a program director as they want to learn all about you from your personality to academics to interest in healthcare.


It is very common to be interviewed by a current student or group of students in the program. There is a chance that it will be with students alone without any faculty. During these interviews, the students made me feel relaxed and comfortable. An interview with a student is a great opportunity to learn more about the type of students who are in this program and if you feel you are a good fit. Additionally, you can learn about what the culture is like among the cohort. It is also possible that a student joins the program director in an interview.


Sometimes, a member of the faculty such as a professor in the MHA program or in the Public Health department will conduct your interview. Above all else, this person will want to know about how well you will fit into the program as a student.

What will they ask?

While interview questions will vary from school to school, there were many similarities of what was asked. I have broken down the questions into three buckets: background questions, program questions, and behavioral questions. These questions can be written by just about anyone: program directors, faculty, students, and alumni. As such, it is important to think about all of these perspectives when preparing for your interviews.

Background questions

This bucket refers to questions about you. Think about why you want to go into this field and what your education and experience says about you. Some questions I was asked are:

  • Why do you want to go into healthcare?
  • What areas of healthcare interest you?
  • What is a course that you took in undergrad that you enjoyed?

Program Questions

This bucket refers to questions about the specific program. Think about why you want an MHA and specifically what makes each program special. It is vital to do research about a program before an interview. Here are some example questions:

  • Why do you want to pursue an MHA?
  • How will an MHA from our school put you at an advantage?
  • What courses are you looking forward to during your education?

Behavioral Questions

This bucket refers to your personality. The admissions committee wants to know what kind of person, student, and leader you are. Some sample questions are:

  • What type of leadership position do you assume in a group?
  • Tell me a time when you cared for someone.
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 how confident are you and why?

What if there is no interview?

Finally, some programs might make an admission decision without interviewing you. If you know that an interview is not a requirement for admission, you might consider interviewing them! Getting in touch with a program director or student will let you learn about a program and will help you make an informed decision when it is time to commit. Don’t be shy to reach out to a program director—they want to get to know you and tell you about their program!

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