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CRYING during interview...

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CMW1120

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Hello!

I was speaking with my mom today about my experience volunteering at MD Anderson. I never cry when I encounter patients but when I talk about certain personal encounters with family or friends, I usually get choked up or teary eyed.

I'm now wondering what might happen when I interview at medical schools in the future. The experiences I have had with patients, families, mission trips, alzheimer patients, etc has been life altering and impacting. Some of them are difficult to talk about.
If I teared up, what would the admission committee think?

I would never want them to think I can't handle the pressures of medicine...
 
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Lunasly

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I'd say try and grow a set and push through it. :p
 

Mithril

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I would probably try not to cry during the interview. It might be seen as a sign of weakness. Yeah, definitely don't risk crying.
 

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Hello!

I was speaking with my mom today about my experience volunteering at MD Anderson. I never cry when I encounter patients but when I talk about my personal encounters with family or friends, I usually get choked up, teary eyed, and tend to cry.

I'm now wondering what might happen when I interview at medical schools in the future. The experiences I have had with patients, families, mission trips, alzheimer patients, etc has been life altering and impacting. I tend to get emotional when I talk about them.

If I teared up, what would the admission committee think?
I would never want them to think I can't handle the pressures of medicine--I definitely can. I just seem to get emotional later! :)

This is the most beautifully crafted discreet way of asking whether it impresses your interviewer if you fake cry or not. Outstanding
 

CMW1120

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I would probably try not to cry during the interview. It might be seen as a sign of weakness. Yeah, definitely don't risk crying.

Yeah, I definitely see how they might think that but its also human nature. It might be hard to refrain from showing emotion. Well, crap.
 

Mithril

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It's also human nature to be judgmental about someone crying when talking about experiences related to a job for which they are interviewing.
 

CMW1120

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This is the most beautifully crafted discreet way of asking whether it impresses your interviewer if you fake cry or not. Outstanding

It's definitely not fake. I have seen many people go through traumatic and painful situations that have effected me.

It's called compassion.
 

tobi44

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Hello!

I was speaking with my mom today about my experience volunteering at MD Anderson. I never cry when I encounter patients but when I talk about my personal encounters with family or friends, I usually get choked up, teary eyed, and tend to cry.

I'm now wondering what might happen when I interview at medical schools in the future. The experiences I have had with patients, families, mission trips, alzheimer patients, etc has been life altering and impacting. I tend to get emotional when I talk about them.

If I teared up, what would the admission committee think?
I would never want them to think I can't handle the pressures of medicine--I definitely can. I just seem to get emotional later! :)


I don't think you should cry if you can help it, it will probably make your interviewer feel awkward.

A good thing to do might be to practice mock interviews with someone or by yourself in front of a mirror. Pick a few experiences that were most important for you. Practice speaking about them naturally and without getting teary. Take a look at the interview feeback from SDN and use them as practice questions. Most anything can get better with a little practice, even something like this
 
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boobelle

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Hello!

I was speaking with my mom today about my experience volunteering at MD Anderson. I never cry when I encounter patients but when I talk about my personal encounters with family or friends, I usually get choked up, teary eyed, and tend to cry.

I'm now wondering what might happen when I interview at medical schools in the future. The experiences I have had with patients, families, mission trips, alzheimer patients, etc has been life altering and impacting. I tend to get emotional when I talk about them.

If I teared up, what would the admission committee think?
I would never want them to think I can't handle the pressures of medicine--I definitely can. I just seem to get emotional later! :)

I suppose it depends on what you're talking about...what worries me is you seem to describe is crying when talking about most of your patient/family encounters. While I'm sure some of them may have been deep and powerful experiences, frankly they can't all have been. Being unable to talk about your experiences without crying would raise a red flag about your ability to set boundaries and function professionally. (Keep in mind there's a big difference between showing and acknowledging emotion and being unable to discuss an experience without crying.) It's great and important to be touched emotionally by what and who you encounter, but it's dangerous to be unable to process those experiences appropriately...particularly since the experiences you'll have as an MD will be much more significant and hit you harder than those you've had as a premed.

It might be worth considering why you're having such trouble discussing these encounters...it sounds like you might be more internally conflicted or having more trouble handling your emotions than you might think. Learning how to process the emotional impacts of medicine is an important lesson and will help you ultimately be a more compassionate physician.
 
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NeuralNetwork

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It's definitely not fake. I have seen many people go through traumatic and painful situations that have effected me.

It's called compassion.

Ask yourself this: Would you want your doctor to cry in front of you when you came in for a checkup?
 
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Mac Blade

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troll-face.jpg
?
 

CMW1120

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It's also human nature to be judgmental about someone crying when talking about experiences related to a job for which they are interviewing.


Yeah, true...

The one question I know that might get me is if they ask: "Why do you want to pursue medicine?"

My passion for medicine sparked when my mom was battling leukemia and was given 1 year to live. That diagnosis devastated my family and it's still upsetting to talk about it.

I don't know. I guess we will see. I have some time...
 

CMW1120

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I don't think you should cry if you can help it, it will probably make your interviewer feel awkward.

A good thing to do might be to practice mock interviews with someone or by yourself in front of a mirror. Pick a few experiences that were most important for you. Practice speaking about them naturally and without getting teary. Take a look at the interview feeback from SDN and use them as practice questions. Most anything can get better with a little practice, even something like this

Will do, thank you!
 

CMW1120

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Ask yourself this: Would you want your doctor to cry in front of you when you came in for a checkup?

Well of course not but the interview is completely different. You're being asked personal questions about specific events in your life, hardships, experiences, etc.
 

phnerd1105

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Yeah, true...

The one question I know that might get me is if they ask: "Why do you want to pursue medicine?"

My passion for medicine sparked when my mom was battling leukemia and was given 1 year to live. That diagnosis devastated my family and it's still upsetting to talk about it.

I don't know. I guess we will see. I have some time...

Not to sound insensitive or anything (really), but you should learn how to talk about it more. If its your passion, that means you have taken the experience, learned from it, and are able to move forward and do something about it.

At every school you interview at, you will be asked "Why medicine" and you will have to explain this situation over, without crying about it. Crying might show that you get heavily affected by experiences in your past, and you can't move forward from them.

Again, I understand that it was and still is a difficult situation. I'm really not trying to be an ass, so sorry in advance.


A good thing to do might be to practice mock interviews with someone or by yourself in front of a mirror. Pick a few experiences that were most important for you. Practice speaking about them naturally and without getting teary. Take a look at the interview feeback from SDN and use them as practice questions. Most anything can get better with a little practice, even something like this

This.
 
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shaggy alfresco

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Yeah, true...

The one question I know that might get me is if they ask: "Why do you want to pursue medicine?"

My passion for medicine sparked when my mom was battling leukemia and was given 1 year to live. That diagnosis devastated my family and it's still upsetting to talk about it.

I don't know. I guess we will see. I have some time...

Not to sound like a douche but man up. I bet at least 50% of people here have had a mother/father/sibling/grandparents/best friends who've battled (and died) to a significant medical illness. Of course we all are extremely emotional when it happened but while your decision to enter medicine can certainly be influenced by emotional events, the committee probably wants to see that you've logically gone through and thought about it. I'd be reluctantant to accept someone who I thought was basing his or her decision in an emotionally fragile state.

Also it may come off as fake. If it doesn't, it may still convey the wrong image of how you decided to be a doctor.

So don't.
 

Mac Blade

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Seriously?
Hey, to be fair, when I asked I didn't know all pertinent information. Having a close family member diagnosed with terminal illness is an extremely painful and emotionally draining experience, trust me, I have a similar -though not as traumatic- experience. Ok, given that, I can understand your extreme emotional connection to medicine (at least to some degree). Where I thought you might be a troll is when your post implied that everyone who doesn't cry upon reflection of clinical volunteering lacks compassion.
 

CMW1120

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Hey, to be fair, when I asked I didn't know all pertinent information. Having a close family member diagnosed with terminal illness is an extremely painful and emotionally draining experience, trust me, I have a similar -though not as traumatic- experience. Ok, given that, I can understand your extreme emotional connection to medicine (at least to some degree). Where I thought you might be a troll is when your post implied that everyone who doesn't cry upon reflection of clinical volunteering lacks compassion.

:thumbup:
 

tabascosauce

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this is a legit q. shame on the posters who think this is trolling.

it is hard for me to imagine a situation where crying is advantageous during an interview.

u will be seen as either weak or fake.

harden your heart and swallow your tears.
 

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I started crying during one of my interviews and it ended up being one of the best interviews/conversations I ever had. My interviewed asked me about my mom and I began to talk about how she came to the U.S. alone wanting a better life and how she sacrificed everything for my sisters and I to have good education and opportunities. When I started talking about how hard I'll work so my mom has a good retirement I really began to tear up and cry but it was definately from the heart! I think my interviewer appreciated my honesty and he shared some personal stuff too. At the end of the interview he said.."Don't worry...i'll get you in this school" and I had an acceptance 2 weeks later!
 

Suncrusher

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If you don't want to come across as distant or cold while talking about something that is moving or tragic, there are other options. Try fake-pausing-to-collect-your-emotions instead of fake crying.
 

CMW1120

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I started crying during one of my interviews and it ended up being one of the best interviews/conversations I ever had. My interviewed asked me about my mom and I began to talk about how she came to the U.S. alone wanting a better life and how she sacrificed everything for my sisters and I to have good education and opportunities. When I started talking about how hard I'll work so my mom has a good retirement I really began to tear up and cry but it was definately from the heart! I think my interviewer appreciated my honesty and he shared some personal stuff too. At the end of the interview he said.."Don't worry...i'll get you in this school" and I had an acceptance 2 weeks later!

Congratulations on your acceptance! I'm glad to hear that your sincerity was rewarded. I see that you are from Texas and you got into UTHSC! Awesome!

I should have known that a Texan would be the one to respond with encouraging and compassionate feedback! It's appreciated down here.
:)
 

shaggy alfresco

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If you don't want to come across as distant or cold while talking about something that is moving or tragic, there are other options. Try fake-pausing-to-collect-your-emotions instead of fake crying.

I was interviewing someone once (in IT) and they totally did the fake pause-and-clear-throat move. I wanted to laugh right there. Suffice it to say, she wasn't invited back.
 

Kaustikos

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this is a legit q. shame on the posters who think this is trolling.

it is hard for me to imagine a situation where crying is advantageous during an interview.

u will be seen as either weak or fake.

harden your heart and swallow your tears.

Truer words have never been spoken.
 

theshellyb

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I started crying during one of my interviews and it ended up being one of the best interviews/conversations I ever had. My interviewed asked me about my mom and I began to talk about how she came to the U.S. alone wanting a better life and how she sacrificed everything for my sisters and I to have good education and opportunities. When I started talking about how hard I'll work so my mom has a good retirement I really began to tear up and cry but it was definately from the heart! I think my interviewer appreciated my honesty and he shared some personal stuff too. At the end of the interview he said.."Don't worry...i'll get you in this school" and I had an acceptance 2 weeks later!

I had a very similar experience in my interview at Cornell (minus the instant acceptance, hah). My mom had an incredibly difficult childhood and has still managed to be an amazing parent and wife and has given my sisters and I everything she never had. When I started talking about it, I cried a bit. The interviewer pushed me some tissues. It was definitely not ideal, the interviewer had been pretty cold and distant throughout the whole thing so he just sortof kept that going on. I apologized, he said it was ok, I composed myself, and moved on. I was waitlisted. :rolleyes:

Just wanted to second the idea of practicing talking about it a lot so that you don't get overwhelmed thinking about the gravity of what you're discussing. Good luck!
 
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I was actually afraid I might cry during my interview. I volunteer for hospice, and the patient that I had been seeing for 2 years (yes, quite unusual considering the patient was in hospice care) passed away a week before my interview. I had talked about the patient in my personal statement, and them asking about the patient would have been fair game. Thankfully they didn't ask. I think the best thing to do would be to try to avoid the subject or practice talking about it so you won't be emotional.
 

CMW1120

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I had a very similar experience in my interview at Cornell (minus the instant acceptance, hah). My mom had an incredibly difficult childhood and has still managed to be an amazing parent and wife and has given my sisters and I everything she never had. When I started talking about it, I cried a bit. The interviewer pushed me some tissues. It was definitely not ideal, the interviewer had been pretty cold and distant throughout the whole thing so he just sortof kept that going on. I apologized, he said it was ok, I composed myself, and moved on. I was waitlisted. :rolleyes:

Just wanted to second the idea of practicing talking about it a lot so that you don't get overwhelmed thinking about the gravity of what you're discussing. Good luck!

Thank you so much! Congratulations on your acceptance! :)
 

CMW1120

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I was actually afraid I might cry during my interview. I volunteer for hospice, and the patient that I had been seeing for 2 years (yes, quite unusual considering the patient was in hospice care) passed away a week before my interview. I had talked about the patient in my personal statement, and them asking about the patient would have been fair game. Thankfully they didn't ask. I think the best thing to do would be to try to avoid the subject or practice talking about it so you won't be emotional.

Aw, sorry to hear about your loss. I worked for a hospice company so I know how close you can become not only with the patients, but with the families as well. I'm glad they didn't ask about that situation and that everything went well. I wish you the best in the future!
 

thepoopologist

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It's definitely not fake. I have seen many people go through traumatic and painful situations that have effected me.

It's called compassion.

Fine, but keep in mind that you are interviewing for a graduate school position, not for the Miss America crown.

The effect of your theatrics will depend on the interviewers level of cynicism and the level of your physical attractiveness.
 
I

iralex801

Fine, but keep in mind that you are interviewing for a graduate school position, not for the Miss America crown.

The effect of your theatrics will depend on the interviewers level of cynicism and the level of your physical attractiveness.

Hahaha. I completely agree with this statement. I am cynical person so for most cases I would assume it was fake, but I would feel more compassion if she was attractive.

However, to the OP, I think tearing up wouldn't be that bad. But if you do break down, just hope hes not a cynic. If it helps, from reading your post, I personally believe you cry because you are compassionate not because your trying to fake it to gain leverage and I believe I am a pretty cynical person (guess not cynical enough because I believe the OP).
 

CMW1120

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Hahaha. I completely agree with this statement. I am cynical person so for most cases I would assume it was fake, but I would feel more compassion if she was attractive.

However, to the OP, I think tearing up wouldn't be that bad. But if you do break down, just hope hes not a cynic. If it helps, from reading your post, I personally believe you cry because you are compassionate not because your trying to fake it to gain leverage and I believe I am a pretty cynical person (guess not cynical enough because I believe the OP).
:thumbup:
 

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I would avoid it if possible.

Genuine and compassion is all well and good. However, at an interview you should be putting your best foot forward, making a good impression, making the interviewer like you, and making good conversation.

Crying will do none of those things.

Yes, some people will respond well to it, but for a lot of interviewers it could come across badly. Either they may think you are fake, feel awkward, or cause a huge interruption in the flow of the conversation.

If I were you I would talk about it enough that you can discuss it without getting severely choked up/outright crying. The best thing you can do in an interview is have a pleasant fluid conversation. Crying will mess that up.

I interviewed a girl once who randomly in the middle of the interview told me about an issue with an eating disorder, she started crying. While I understand while she brought it up - bringing it up and crying made for a really awkward moment because there was really no where to go after she said it - without resorting to actual 'interview questions' which I hate.

Your interviewers are human, and you can easily make a bad impression. Be yourself but avoid things that are likely to make them feel negatively toward you.
 

CMW1120

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I suppose it depends on what you're talking about...what worries me is you seem to describe is crying when talking about most of your patient/family encounters. While I'm sure some of them may have been deep and powerful experiences, frankly they can't all have been.

Learning how to process the emotional impacts of medicine is an important lesson and will help you ultimately be a more compassionate physician.

I should have been more clear. Your right, not every encounter has been deep and powerful. There are only a few topics that would cause emotions to rise. I think the most difficult one would be talking about my mothers battle with leukemia. It has been a life changing experience that has definitely made me stronger. In regards to other experiences, I think I would be ok. The road to getting a medical school interview is difficult, rigorous, but EXTREMELY exciting! That's a ton of emotions to juggle under pressure.

All will go well. I have time to practice and time to grow.

No worries. Thanks.
 

CMW1120

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I interviewed a girl once who randomly in the middle of the interview told me about an issue with an eating disorder, she started crying. While I understand while she brought it up - bringing it up and crying made for a really awkward moment because there was really no where to go after she said it - without resorting to actual 'interview questions' which I hate.

Your interviewers are human, and you can easily make a bad impression. Be yourself but avoid things that are likely to make them feel negatively toward you.

Aw, poor girl. I definitely see how that can be awkward. Hopefully that will not be me. :)

Thank you for your advice!
 
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235009

Remember this:

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVlwH7-05Fk[/YOUTUBE]

it elicited two responses:
1. she was faking
2. she's weak and won't be able to handle the pressure

just like hillary clinton you're a woman (i'm assuming) who is trying to get into a male-predominant profession and showing that kind of emotion in a setting like an interview might not go over well at all.
 

LuciusVorenus

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Go to 4chan.

Look through as many threads as possible.

If you don't feel like weeping, you are now safe to interview!
 

CMW1120

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Remember this:

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVlwH7-05Fk[/YOUTUBE]

it elicited two responses:
1. she was faking
2. she's weak and won't be able to handle the pressure

just like hillary clinton you're a woman (i'm assuming) who is trying to get into a male-predominant profession and showing that kind of emotion in a setting like an interview might not go over well at all.

Interesting. Thanks for sharing. I don't know if it's because I'm a woman or what but the crying didn't phase me. I thought it was sincere and conveyed passion. For me, her vague remarks and her statement about "being tired," showed weakness. In the end, that was a significant disadvantage in her career. I get it...

No crying! :)
 

willen101383

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Interesting. Thanks for sharing. I don't know if it's because I'm a woman or what but the crying didn't phase me. I thought it was sincere and conveyed passion. For me, her vague remarks and her statement about "being tired," showed weakness. In the end, that was a significant disadvantage in her career. I get it...

No crying! :)

I think what you need to consider is (as others have said above me) the level of this crying. Is it okay to pause for a second before going on? Absolutely. Maybe a little teary eyes. But when tears start spilling over the brim....that crosses the line. You are at a med school interview and you need to try to keep it together to the best of your ability...however... Med schools dont want "hard ass" doctors who cant show emotion. But they want docs who know how to balance and control their emotions on the spot when they need to....and perhaps show emotion later if need be. Got it? Pausing and teary eyes okay. Hell there are things that if I think about that make me teary eyed and I am a 27 year old guy! Good luck on your future inteviews!
 

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I am a male and every time someone cries in front of me, it is just awkward.

Women tend to be weak and emotional. May be against a female interviewer, it might not be as bad.
 

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Crying during the interview = BAD BAD idea. Practice talking about the thins that make you very emotional. Talk to strangers about it over and over again.

A friend of mine cried during her interview when talking about plights her family suffered. She was asked by to the school for a second interviewer because her interviewer had nothing to say to the committee other than she cried. After the second interviewer where she had to explain why she cried, she was put on the alternate list at that school.

She went on to get into every other school she interviewed at after that... schools that were harder to get into.

I don't think its that crying is a BAD thing. I think it just distracts your interviewers from anything else about you. Try not to do it.
 
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