Cadet133

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Jun 1, 2015
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Now I'm not a program director or anything but this is just my personal opinion. I feel like there is an over exaggeration of the importance of personality and interpersonal skills in matching. If they were so important would we see such high match rates for U.S Medical Students? People say that your scores and academic achievements get you interviews and your personality gets you the match but lets look at U.S students whose match rate is near 94%. Do 94% of U.S Students have such a great personality that they find it easy to match? Or is it because they attended U.S Medical school? Seems to me that the medical school and your board scores is what ultimately determines your outcome even if you had an excellent interview. The match rate for IMGs in Family Medicine who scored above 245 is near 85% while the match rate for IMGs in family medicine who scored near 210 is at 50%. Do people above 245 just seem to have such great interpersonal skills? It is kind of scary knowing that with low scores and a great personality you're chances are less than those with bad personalities and great board scores.
 

Dral

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You are assuming that the people with the lower scores had an even playing field with those with higher scores by having the same number of interviews to showcase their personality.
 
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Frederica

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Yes, personality does matter.

One of my programs interviewed someone who looked great on paper. In theory we should have ranked him in #1, but we didn't. Every single attending thought he was arrogant and one asked if we even had to rank him. We did, second to last out of 25.
 

premedk

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Hmmm...so in other words your interview can hurt you if you come off as a weirdo or arrogant, but is unlikely to help improve an otherwise lackluster application.
 
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gutonc

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Hmmm...so in other words your interview can hurt you if you come off as a weirdo or arrogant, but is unlikely to help improve an otherwise lackluster application.
Nope, it can cut both ways. As with Frederica, I have interviewed applicants who look great on paper but are such arrogant a-holes that nobody wants to work with them. Last year, after the applicant lunch, every single current fellow in my old program went to the PDs office and begged him not to rank a certain applicant. Of course, so did every single person who interviewed that person. But I've also seen an average applicant who interviewed like a superstar get moved well up the list.

But you are right that the most common outcome is that your interview will have a minimal impact (positive or negative) on your overall place in the rank list.
 

premedk

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But I've also seen an average applicant who interviewed like a superstar get moved well up the list.
How does one "interview like a superstar?" I'm a current 4th year, but I remember seeing interviewee's last year during morning report, grand rounds, etc... and all of them looked and acted the same. All were dressed up in suits, had on their friendly faces, were polite and professional in their interactions with housestaff/faculty. I remember thinking the only way any of these guys/girls stand out if they do something stupid.

I guess if there's an attending that you have common interests with and really get along with, you *may* stand out. Is there something I'm missing here?
 

premedk

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Honestly it's not something you can explain. You either have it or you don't.

The socially awkward person can be coached up through mock interviews and mentoring into an acceptable/average interviewee.

But the superstars just have something. It's hard to describe. A couple times a year you feel like you're talking to the next Steve jobs or Tom Brady or something - charismatic, passionate, brilliant, personable, whatever. Some people just have IT.
Ooooh ok, I got you. I think I know what you're talking about. Some call it a "magnetic personality"...these people immediately come off as being very likable without being cheesy or fake. In our class of about 200, I can think of maybe 3-4 students that have "it"...I can assure you I am *not* one of these people. A lot of people will try to fake "it", and it's painful to watch sometimes. I also know of just a handful of attending with such characteristics...just not a common trait in medicine.
 

Law2Doc

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...

But you are right that the most common outcome is that your interview will have a minimal impact (positive or negative) on your overall place in the rank list.
This hasn't been my experience at all. Interviews are huge, and can put people quite a few spots up or down on the list. Still might not change the end result, because if the list was, say, 100 people long and your interview moved you all the way up from 95 to 35 at a place that filled by spot number 34, you still will come up short. But from what I've seen of the process the interview was a very big deal in terms of the final rank list. We routinely moved people up or down the board, and sometimes off the board altogether based on the interview.

Where OP is confused is presuming places consider IMGs equally. At many programs, there are always a handful of guys who get courtesy interview invites or who are brought in as "let's see" candidates, often in place of cancellations -- they would have to be amazing in the interview to even make it onto the rank list at all; they were never really on equal footing, but certainly could come across as better than risking soap. So personality would matter in getting onto the list, but it doesn't hold that if they had a better personality than a US applicant a program coveted, they would leapfrog them.
 
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RedSHIFT

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If law2Doc was interviewing me I'd be screwed... I really wouldn't be able to connect to someone who has 20,000 + posts on student doctor.
 

caffeinemia

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This hasn't been my experience at all. Interviews are huge, and can put people quite a few spots up or down on the list. Still might not change the end result, because if the list was, say, 100 people long and your interview moved you all the way up from 95 to 35 at a place that filled by spot number 34, you still will come up short. But from what I've seen of the process the interview was a very big deal in terms of the final rank list. We routinely moved people up or down the board, and sometimes off the board altogether based on the interview.

Where OP is confused is presuming places consider IMGs equally. At many programs, there are always a handful of guys who get courtesy interview invites or who are brought in as "let's see" candidates, often in place of cancellations -- they would have to be amazing in the interview to even make it onto the rank list at all; they were never really on equal footing, but certainly could come across as better than risking soap. So personality would matter in getting onto the list, but it doesn't hold that if they had a better personality than a US applicant a program coveted, they would leapfrog them.
You have more than 30 spots on your rank list? Must be an easy program :p Jk Jk. I am being facetious jerkface.
 

Law2Doc

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You have more than 30 spots on your rank list? Must be an easy program :p Jk Jk. I am being facetious jerkface.
It's not uncommon if you are competing for applicants from a lot of good programs and don't want to deal with soap. There are lots of places that will interview a hundred people and rank almost all of them. Doesn't mean they'll get past the top third. If they do its mostly a reflection of interviewing the same top people as all their competitors.
 

caffeinemia

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It's not uncommon if you are competing for applicants from a lot of good programs and don't want to deal with soap. There are lots of places that will interview a hundred people and rank almost all of them. Doesn't mean they'll get past the top third. If they do its mostly a reflection of interviewing the same top people as all their competitors.
I knooooowwww. I'm just jabbing at you.