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conversational interviews - uneasy feeling

zurned

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 27, 2005
302
38
    Some interviews are pretty conversational. Like hte interviewer starts off with small talk instead of asking you the generic questions. For example, weather, traveling to the city, sports, movies, etc. Now, the weird thing about these free flowing conversations is that they're not conversations at all. A normal conversation is just 2 ppl talkin to pass time and get to know one another or wutever. Granted, interviewers want to know you also, but they're judging and gauging everything you say and how you say it. In a normal conversation, the other perrson usually does not judge the type of person you are, some ppl can care less.

    So usually when I walk into an interview and i start small talk with the interviewer, I'm always worried about what I'm saying, which is totally the opposite of what an everyday conversation is. How can they use small talk to judge the type of person you really are if what we say is skewed on interview day?
     

    NapeSpikes

    Believe, hon.
    10+ Year Member
    15+ Year Member
    Mar 27, 2004
    1,651
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    1. Resident [Any Field]
      zurned said:
      Some interviews are pretty conversational. Like hte interviewer starts off with small talk instead of asking you the generic questions. For example, weather, traveling to the city, sports, movies, etc. Now, the weird thing about these free flowing conversations is that they're not conversations at all. A normal conversation is just 2 ppl talkin to pass time and get to know one another or wutever. Granted, interviewers want to know you also, but they're judging and gauging everything you say and how you say it. In a normal conversation, the other perrson usually does not judge the type of person you are, some ppl can care less.

      So usually when I walk into an interview and i start small talk with the interviewer, I'm always worried about what I'm saying, which is totally the opposite of what an everyday conversation is. How can they use small talk to judge the type of person you really are if what we say is skewed on interview day?
      If it's just small talk, why would you skew it?

      I think this conversational tone is an on-going trend in med school interviewing. Much like how nowadays, part of the admissions criteria in most places emphasizes compassion and humanitarianism instead of only pure numbers, it seems like interviews are going away from the interrogative "stress interviews" to a more conversational style.

      Yes, they are judging you, but I think it has more to do with how you carry a conversation and how well-spoken you are than if your opinion on the weather is in accord with the school's mission statment or whatever. Really then, it matters little in what you say about trivial topics, but how you say it, and how comfortable you are speaking with a stranger. Patients are going to judge you, too.

      I'm not saying this is a better route than the old-fashioned stress interviews, but since it looks like this trend is here for at least a little while, we might as well sit back, relax, and imagine we are conversing with a familiar, adult buddy--you know, like a friend's parent or a former favorite teacher or someone. Be respectful, but be yourself during small talk. Then when the real questions come, sell, sell, sell! :)
       
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