Hooray!!! You’ve been invited to interview at the Medical School you have dreamed about attending forever…..HOW EXCITING! Now that this vital step of your journey is scheduled, panic starts to set in, right? You’re asking yourself how do I compare to other applicants, what do I wear, what will impress them, what should I say?! All of this may seem very overwhelming, but the good news is that it is normal to feel this way. Almost every other candidate is probably feeling the same way so you are not alone. Let’s take a quick look at three primary areas of focus that are vital to the success of your interview.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER
Whether we like it or not, first impressions matter. You might be interviewed by one person or by an entire panel of interviewers so you want to ensure the first thing on their mind is that you look like you could be a future physician. Although it might not be the latest fashion trend, it is always best to dress and groom yourself in a conservative manner. Men need to wear suits that fit and women need to wear a pant suit, business style dress, or a nice blouse with a skirt that is at least knee length. Be sure to pay attention to little details such groomed and manicured nails and avoid wearing cologne or perfume. Although you may love the new scent, everyone may not be a fan.
PRACTICE ANSWERING QUESTIONS BEFORE YOUR INTERVIEW
You probably have a general idea of the types of questions you will be asked at your interview. For this reason, practice, practice, practice! You can even video record your mock interview and have one of your pre-med advisors review it with you to discuss your strengths and weaknesses. Take all the feedback you can get! And even though you will be nervous during your interview, try not to talk too fast. Physicians often work in a stressful environment so this is a great time to show that you communicate well under stress!
THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO LEARN FROM THEM
Interviews are meant to go both ways, although it is easy to focus on you as the interviewee who wants to get into medical school. Not only is the interview an opportunity for the medical school to get to know you more in depth, but it is also a time for you to learn more about them. Develop questions you have related to the curriculum, student professional development, as well as volunteer opportunities they offer medical students. By asking smart questions, you will establish yourself as a candidate who is serious about your academic career and also identify the medical school that is the right match for you!
And may the odds be ever in your favor!
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