closed file interview ?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Jessica, Nov 24, 2001.

  1. Jessica

    Jessica Senior Member
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    For anyone familiar with closed file interviews, how much detail is appropriate to go into when the interviewer asks "Tell me about yourself?" I don't want to start rattling off my entire life story and bore them to death with a 10 minute monologue. Any suggestions?
     
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  3. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member
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    When I was asked this question, I immediately asked them if they were more interested in my recent history, where I grew up or something else. In most cases, they were either interested in recent history or wouldn't answer. (SO, I do not know how helpful this approach is.) When they don't answer it's because they want to see what YOU think is most important to tell them about. So, think about how you would like to start an interview - what is something interesting about you that would get the interview going (e.g., a launch point for questions, a tie into something else). There are so many ways to answer the question; I think if I were to go through an interview now, I would start with something unique (and/or interesting) about myself. For example, I could have started by talking about all the different places I lived as a child (more than 7 in 12 years) and how it shaped my ability to be comfortable with anyone and be able to converse with anyone I encounter OR I could start by talking about my experiences being a health care consultant and how that influenced my understanding of medicine today.

    Also, you can usually read an interviewer pretty well. If they get bored, you'll see it. Usually, they will interrupt you if you go ff on some tangent they are not interested in. So, I would think that if you started with something interesting, it would generate questions for the interviewer and get the interview started really well (i.e., there won't be dead space after you feel like you've been babbling for 10 mins).

    One other thing about closed file interviews, if there is something you do not want to address or bring up - DON'T. The closed file interview is desgined to get to know about you as a person, your experiences told from your point of view, your personality, etc. It's not a time to rehash every grade on yout transcript or MCAT scores or why something didn't go well - unless you want to talk about it. Just remember, they know nothing about you, so you are directing the content of the interview.

    Hope this is helpful. Good luck!

    -- Becky
     
  4. Jessica

    Jessica Senior Member
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    Thanks Becky - very helpful! I appreciate your advice :)
     
  5. sundevil1

    sundevil1 Senior Member
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    Jessica,

    I've had one closed file interview so far and it was pretty laid back. Becky has definitely given you some good advice. The beautiful thing about the closed file is that both a 3.0, 27MCAT and 4.0 40 MCAT can leave the same interviewer with the same impression. Talk about what you think will leave the best impression with the interviewer and what you want them to know. I don't recommend talking for 10 min. straight, in any interview. Really try to bring up points that will stimulate a conversation and questions that you would like to lead the interviewer to. Sometimes closed file makes having a conversation hard because the interviewer doesn't know anything about you so just make sure to come with a few different topics in case the conversation dies out.
     
  6. Kadyra

    Kadyra Will drive for music.
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    I agree with sundevil. Arizona has closed file interviews. I'm a reapplicant this year and I have interviewed with them twice getting that question both times. I think telling the interviewer about the events in your life and the hobbies that mean the most to you is a good idea. Since people don't normally have monumental events every day of their lives, this will let the interviewer get a picture of who you are and what you're about. It can also lead them on to other questions. Stuff like that :)
     
  7. tidy_kiwi

    tidy_kiwi Senior Member
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