narla_hotep

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I feel like 7 minutes seems very long for one question... Imagine being the interviewer and listening to an entire presentation for that long when all you've asked is a one question and need to get on with the rest of the interviews.
 
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GBCrzzyy

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I would try and make it as concise as possible in the interview but elaborate on it in either the PS or secondaries. that way you can get the full story in writing for them to read and if you want, you can offer the full story at the interview. Depending on how budgeted their time is, they may or may not be fine with it. Have the long and short versions ready.
 
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Lost In Transcription

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Please don't tell a story. That's what your PS is for.

Just answer the question in one sentence, then take two or three more to build on that. Then give them time to ask you questions about it.
 

Mansamusa

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An interview is a conversation. If someone talks at you for 7+ mins that's not a conversation, that's a lecture.

I'd pull a Kanye on you if you were going on for 7+ mins. "Imma let you finish, but it's gonna have to wait til your reapplicant interview next year cause you're boring me."

It's good to be proud of things, but your interviewer will have a human attention span (and most interviewers want to talk about themselves- give them time to do this). Cut it down to be clear, concise, and engaging. Practice talking to friends and see how engaged you can keep them and get advice on how to cut your stuff down. Remember that they have also read your app, so you don't need to repeat stories from that
 

terra330

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7 minutes is too long. Give them the cliffs notes version. They'll ask you to elaborate on a point if they feel its necessary.
 
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Catalystik

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I read somewhere that my answers to each interview question shouldn't last more than 3 minutes long so that I don't begin to ramble. I've noticed however that my answers to "why medicine" and "tell me about yourself" have been 7+ minutes but I truly don't feel like I'm rambling. For why medicine, I have a very heartfelt story that needs build up to tell and for tell me about yourself, I'm involved in a bunch of different projects I'm proud of.

Is the 3 minute rule set in stone and should I cut down?
Please don't stab yourself in the foot by giving such a prolonged response. Adcomms have an idea of the material they want/need to cover and you'll be keeping them from doing their job properly. If you add in a boredom factor, . . . . well, just don't. I agree with the comment that if an elaboration on your story is desirable, it will be asked for. Participating in a dialog is fine. A prolonged monolog, not so much.
 
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futuremdforme

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Seven minutes? You are rambling. For longer questions, I'd aim for 2 minutes. Some questions could even be 1 min. It's hard for interviewers to pay attention if you go on and on, and you might also prevent them from asking all of their questions if you speak for that long on each question.
 
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Mongoosie

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Give them a synopsis of your lengthy "heart felt" stories. It is an interview after all, and it's best that you answer the questions as concisely as possible so that the interviewer doesn't go cross eyed.
 

CyrilFiggis

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I understand that some people get anxiety about interviews and feel the need to prepare answers, but don't have the whole thing rehearsed. If you're rambling on for 7 minutes, the interviewer is going to cut you off after 3 and then you're going to be flustered and lost since you didn't get to the point. Not to mention that for a 30 minute interview, you just wasted 25% of it telling them what they should have already heard in-depth in your PS and Secondaries.

The point of an interview is to get to know you better. If your answer with a totally prepped and canned answer, that doesn't help your cause. Have 2-3 bullet points and go from there. Also, make sure that your answers help the conversation move forward. An interviewer will remember you better if the interaction was genuine and not just a Q&A. They are your only advocate in that room when its time to make a decision and you don't want them struggling to remember who you were, or remembering you as the boring rambler.
 

prettylittlebird

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What really helped me was having a long and short versions of each answer I prepared for typical interview questions. For example, I had a long-winded explanation of "Why Medicine" that went on my secondaries/PS and then a short, concise summary of why I wanted to be a physician (like a few sentences tops). The reason this is helpful is that it allows the conversation to flow more naturally. The interviewer can take in what you have to say and ask you questions based on that instead of having to listen to 7 minutes of an explanation, tuning out and then asking a really irrelevant question because he/she forgot the really good question they wanted to ask you halfway through your monologue.
 

LizzyM

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Please! Don't go over 90 seconds, end with a smile that says, "ask me more". If the interviewer wants more details, they will ask. If not, they are free to move on to the next question. Most interviewers are doctors. Most doctors don't let patients talk for more than 20 seconds without interrupting. Do you expect the interviews to be any different?

Most TV ads are 15-30 seconds with a few going to 60 seconds. A lot can be transmitted if you cut out the extraneous bull---.
 

CyrilFiggis

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You also want to make sure that you let the interviewer talk. They always ask, "So do you have any questions for me?" I never did because if you have a dialogue the conversation naturally evolves and allows you to dovetail to other topics.

This is especially useful when you want to write Thank You letters. I interviewed the week after Thanksgiving and my interviewer mentioned that his family was going to Chicago for Christmas. When I wrote my letter, I made sure to wish he and his family a happy holiday and to enjoy their time in Chicago. Those little touches show that even though the interview was about you, you were listening to to them. These are what make a good interview great.
 

Goro

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There is no way I'd let you babble on for 7 mins during an interview. You're going to have to do better.

I reject babbling idiots outright.

I feel like 7 minutes seems very long for one question... Imagine being the interviewer and listening to an entire presentation for that long when all you've asked is a one question and need to get on with the rest of the interviews.
 

TheStallion16

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Please don't tell a story. That's what your PS is for.

Just answer the question in one sentence, then take two or three more to build on that. Then give them time to ask you questions about it.
How can you possibly answer the "Why Medicine?" Question in one sentence? I answered it through a descriptive, heartfelt story in my PS. Is it bad to say what you wrote in your PS when asked that?
 

Lost In Transcription

reports of my assimilation are greatly exaggerated
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How can you possibly answer the "Why Medicine?" Question in one sentence? I answered it through a descriptive, heartfelt story in my PS. Is it bad to say what you wrote in your PS when asked that?
I think the elevator talk length of time is a good way to answer it. Dont just repeat your PS story- that's an awkward way to answer a simple question.

Just state the thesis of your PS basically.

Remember this is a chance to give them another side of your perspectives.
 

prettylittlebird

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How can you possibly answer the "Why Medicine?" Question in one sentence? I answered it through a descriptive, heartfelt story in my PS. Is it bad to say what you wrote in your PS when asked that?
Q: Why medicine, TheStallion16?
A: I want to help people.

Then you elaborate with a few more sentences like "because of my experience with the healthcare system I am confident..." or "volunteering in the NICU helped solidify my desire..." whatever. These are not the best examples because they're pretty cliche but whatever you get the idea.
 

Pusheen

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Agree with people saying that 7 min is too long.

I would suggest doing a mock med school interview with your school's career center. If you're out of school, they will often still offer the service to alumni. Even if they dont know the first thing about medical school, they can help with things like length of answers, quality of answers, ect.

Really, I think everyone should do as many mock interviews as possible before such a high-stakes interview like this.
 

CyrilFiggis

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I'm not a fan of mock interviews. I agree that it can be helpful to those people who have interview anxiety, but for the most part I found it useless. It's more important that you're just not sitting alone at your desk answering these questions in your head. Take your friend or roommate out for drinks or dinner and bring some flashcards with potential questions (just no answers). Forget all the pomp and presentation of the interview and answer the way you would to a friend. Be casual and concise.

If you word vomit, fine. Just worry about finding your voice while answering these questions. Be comfortable with yourself and your answers. This isn't an oral exam, it's a conversation. You're also likely to get questions you can't prep for. I walked into a interview and the first thing I was asked was, "So, have you read any interesting books lately?" Be prepared for anything. The easiest way to do this is to be comfortable with yourself.
 

redferrari

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I would honestly lose interest if I listened to someone ramble for 7 minutes. Also, keep in mind that many interviews are 30 minutes, and that's a lot of time for one question.