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Do our interviews MATTER?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by wexy, Oct 27, 2002.

  1. Of course they do, but maybe not in the way we think:

    So after traveling many hours to interviews, i am getting the impression that basically they are screening mechanisms to weed out freaks/people who lack social skills, etc, not to necessarily find out more about us.

    Many of my interviewers have told me that once we make it to the interview round, we have the grades to get accepted. They just dont want to give seats to psychopaths. This seems to be confirmed by statistics, since most schools offer spots to 40-60 % of those they interview, especially early interviews.

    So do our answers matter? Or should we be concentrating on acting like calm, composed, normal people? Do interviews actually give us an Edge? Or do they just make sure we arent 'psycho'?

    Personally, I find it frustrating to travel for 20 hours to attend an interview, where i get a 30 minute interview closed file, and at the end the interview says its just to make sure i am normal.

    what do you guys think?
     
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  3. dpy

    dpy Senior Member
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    One of the things they definitely look at is to make sure you're not a psychopath, but they're also definitely looking for more. After going to a couple of interviews, I noticed that most (>95%) of the other interviewers are very social, easy to get along with, and not psychotic at all. I'm sure you've noticed the same in your interviews too...and honestly, no matter how psycho you are, who's going to say, "I want to be a doctor so I can euthanize all my patients."? :eek:
     
  4. nero

    nero Senior Member
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    i think that most schools do indeed have most of their class already selected before the interview, and the interview is just to insure you are sane......i think the interview can have a huge impact on the studnets who are borderline and competing with other kids with similar stats, ec, lors, say 30-40% of the class...obviously this # is made up, but i'd be willing to bet that a large chunk of interviewees are a sure in before the walk in........


    nero
     
  5. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    Although it depends on the school, the interview can be just as important as the rest of the application (grades, GPA, research experience, service committment, etc.). The interviewers are not "just making sure you are not psycho". Some schools only accept 30 percent of their interviewees (I can't imagine that the other 70 percent are psychos and hence are rejected).

    Many schools give you a "grade" after the interview(s). This grade is then averaged into you other grades (from GPA/MCAT, etc.) to give you a final score. This score is then adjusted at an admissions commiteee meeting as the interviwers present your application to the committee. Then the schools accept applicants with scores above a certain level. The committee uses this score to prepare the ranked waitlists (upper tier, lower tier, acceptable pool, etc.) later in the application cycle.

    I am not sure what you mean that the school has most of their class already selected before the interview but the interview has a huge impact on the students who are borderline...seems kind of contradictory. The interview can have a huge impact (positive or negative) for any applicant.
     
  6. siempre595

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    I don't see how the class can already be selected, most schools interview way more people than they could even hope to take. Personally, I think a great interview can get you from "near wait list to acceptance" whereas a bad one can push you the other way, or totally out the door. It's more than sanity, but obviously that should be there. If you get an interview at a school it's because you either made it through the computer rejection system, or someone who read your app finds something interesting about you (grades/mcat/ everything else). Interviews mean you are a very real candidate, they wouldn't waste their time on you if it didn't. Of course if you walk in there and be a jerk, you might not have to be psycho to get booted.
     
  7. nero

    nero Senior Member
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    yeah i agree with the above psters, but i wold imagine that some, maybe not most, but some are preselected...i think there was a discussion about this in another thread, on how certain studnets, are unofficially accepted even before they interview.........just my opinion though, i have no evidence...

    nero
     
  8. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    I'd imagine that for early interviewers, what you're saying is correct. It's more of a screening to make sure you're not "psycho." However for later interviews, the interview really does matter. And most of the people don't have early interviews. (if you won the Rhodes or something like that, you can be preselected with a late interview :))
     
  9. Last year, I have been through numerous interviews and felt that it really depends on the school. For instance, I thought I did a great job with Yale and Silverman even had me in his office and talked to me for over half an hour after the interview was over. I thought the conversation went well but in the end I was rejected. At JHU, I had the feeling that before they interviewed, they knew they wasn't going to accept me; so they had this guy named Koig, who is psychiatrist, to interview me and he didn't really give a dam* of what I was trying to say. He simply went through the list he had in front of him and that was it. I had an extensive research background, I would at least appreciate someone with an appreciation for research, not some plain psychiatrist who didn't give a rat a$$ for research. At GW, the same thing, I was stuck with boring psychiatrists, who as if knew my entire life just basing on my answer to his generalized question about my childhood. Then I went to the school that accepted me, the atmsphere at the interview was entirely different. I knew they were interested in me because they asked a lot of stuff in area that I am good at. In retrospect, I really believe that the interviews were merely a formality.
     
  10. gramcracker

    gramcracker Emergency Medicine Attending
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    Agreed, Retro... I really think it depends on the school.

    Some schools I think they've already got a pretty good idea if they want you, and the interview is just a confirmation that you have social skills, that you'd fit in the with the students, or whatever.

    At others, I think the interview is just another piece of your file. They see how you interviewed, and then review your whole file; the interview can either help or hurt you.
     
  11. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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    So are you suggesting that 40-60% of med school applicatns ARE psychopaths?

    I really really doubt this. The question then is why do 40-60% of interviewed applicants get rejected? Is it because their interviews sucked? Their grades just weren't high enough?


    I personally think that one reason for the interview is to see who cares enough about the school to fly 20 hours for a 30 minute, closed file interview.

    And don't forgot that while the school is trying to figure out if you're right for them, you should be looking at the school and asking if the school is right for you. I don't think I'd ever accept an offer without first seeing the school.
     
  12. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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    what about schools that only offer acceptances or waitlisting to those who interview. I know for a fact that this is the case with Wake Forest this year. Although the waitlist could be so huge that being placed anywhere but the top is effecively a rejection.
     
  13. wfu2005

    wfu2005 Member
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    I'm not familiar with any school that will accept a student without an interview. Some do phone or regional interviews but you pretty much have to interview. At many schools the hardest part is getting the interview. Look at the stats and see what percentage of people that interview get accepted, not just attend. Some schools it's 10%, meaning that they screen you and if you're decent they'll interview you. Others are 50-60% meaning that they screened you hard, and you've made it into the inner circle. Also look at what % of applicants get interviews.

    usually, if lots of people get interviews then interviews will play a bigger role, if not very many people get interviews, then it is most likely a "are you psycho" interview, which in my opinion is what Wake does.

    By the way, I'd say 40-60% of MED STUDENTS are psychopaths, so more than likely at least that percentage of applicants are.
     
  14. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    What school offers acceptances or waitlists without interviewing?
     
  15. Veilside

    Veilside Senior Member
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    none to my knowledge. there may be special programs like early decision plans for specific undergrad students, but even those i think require interviews.

    i also think that depending on the schools, the weight of the interview regarding acceptance and just exactly how the adcoms factor in the interview into the admissions process vary tremendously. columbia, for instance, is notorious for interviewing a lot of people, and they accept only a small percentage of that. buffalo, on the other hand, accepts 80+% of the interviewed applicants.
     
  16. I had 5 interviews last year and nobody took me. Now I could be wrong, but I am neither socially awkward nor abnormal looking (actually I'm quite sexy).

    I think it's a crap shoot. Interviewers want to know how much you want it and if you're gonna be a fungi.

    CHEERS
     
  17. uclachris

    uclachris Doctor Doctor Member
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    a fungi?

    Sounds like you are a fun-guy... (sorry an old bio joke) and deserve to be in med school.

    C
     

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