Interviewing

Congratulations on getting an interview! If you’re on this page, you’re probably preparing. You’ll find that there are hundreds of interview guides advising you, and I think you should read them. I won’t bother to reinvent the wheel. Instead, here’s a quick summary of my approach.

Understand the interview: While designed for UK medical admissions, Medical Interviews: A Comprehensive Guide to CT, ST, and Registrar Interview Skills: Over 120 Medical Interview Questions, Techniques and NHS Topics Explained by Olivier Picard was an incredible read. A British registrar gifted me the book, and I found myself returning to its chapters throughout the year. Find a book or a video series of your liking that explains and analyzes both individual and multiple-mini interviews.

Practice, practice, practice: You need to practice your answers to the many possible questions that could be posed. Simulate the interview environment; ask friends or mentors for help. At first, you’ll stumble, but then you’ll sound rehearsed or robotic. Keep practicing until you sound fluent and natural.

Prepare for your visit: As you iron your classy suit and polish your shoes, browse the school’s website and materials to answer: “Why this school?” Takes notes on one page of your notebook, and on the other page, write down questions you hope to ask. Also don’t forget to book accomodations (e.g., with a current student, old friend, or hotel) and transportation.

Read over your application: Make sure you read over your application critically to be prepared to answer in-depth questions about your experience or even concisely present all of it to a blind interviewer (i.e., one who did not have access to your files). If you can connect your experiences to values prioritized by the school, as discovered in your website investigation, you may make the interviewer’s job of arguing your case in front of the admissions committee easier. Be also aware that another reason to read your application is to ensure consistency. You got an interview invite because the committee member was impressed with your application; now, they want to see if the person they liked on paper is the real deal in person.

Remember this is a day to assess fit: You are qualified to be interviewing, and many interviews are less about evaluating you for your academic potential but more about understanding your personality to see if you’re a good fit at the school. It’s also your job to assess whether you think you will feel comfortable at the school.

Be kind, be yourself, have fun: Please be gracious and kind to your fellow applicants (consider: these are likely to be your future classmates or colleagues), and of course the staff and faculty. Be the best version of yourself and be confident in yourself. As one of my friends shared with me: “You may be the smartest, prettiest, most talented peach on the tree, but some people just don’t like peaches. And that’s fine.” If you got an interview, the admissions committee probably likes peaches. The hard part is over; enjoy the adventure and fun of an interview day!

Don’t forget to say thank you: Ask for each of your interviewer’s contact information, and be sure to email them a personal thank you note within two days. Express your gratitude for their time and consideration, and be thoughtful in recounting something you learned, about yourself or the school, through your conversation with them. You could also take the opportunity to reflect on a difficult question and explain how you now would answer the question. Reiterate why you are still enthusiastic about the school. Keep it concise but gracious.

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