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Does who you interview with matter?

Discussion in 'ERAS, SOAP, and NRMP Match' started by elr1983, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. elr1983

    7+ Year Member

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    I was just wondering if anyone thinks it matters who you interview with.....someone at my last interview mentioned that she ALWAYS interviews with the program director when we were sitting at the table waiting to interview, and one of the other applicants was like, "oh, you must be a really good applicant, then." Is there any truth to this? I can imagine a program director wanting to make a good impression on very good candidates.......on the other hand, I've often been interviewed by more junior faculty, specifically 2 people who just finished fellowship and have just started as faculty. Do less good applicants tend to be interviewed by more junior faculty? (Not to imply these faculty are lesser in any way....I've had very nice and informative talks with both of them.)
     
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  3. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    At most places they "say" it doesn't matter. Certainly if you interview with multiple people, it doesn't matter if one is more junior -- that's just logistics. But if there's only one interview and you interview with a senior resident while others interview with the PD, I've got to believe that if you really impressed them in the interview the latter is going to be a better advocate for you when it comes to ranking.
     
  4. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite!
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    Sometimes I purposely schedule myself with the weaker applicant, especially if there is some problem in their background. I'm usually the best judge of the problem, and can ask the right questions. So it can work either way. But it doesn't really hurt you -- if you're the stronger candidate, you're likely to be higher on the rank list regardless of whom you interview with. And even if the other person interviewing your day met with the PD (and assuming this is good for them), you have no idea how competetive you are compared with everyone else -- perhaps the ROL will start with the two of you ranked #1 and #2.

    Bottom line: Do not read too much into this.

    Oh, and the person who bragged that she always interviews with the PD -- if overheard by any of the staff that day, will be lower on the rank list. I sense a narcissistic personality disorder, my second favorite after borderline.
     
  5. elr1983

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    Thank you both for your responses! Yeah, I had a feeling that it probably wasn't a very reliable indication of candidate quality...it is just difficult to not get paranoid about everything in this process! And yes, I would bet on narcissistic PD for the candidate....she talked A LOT about her various publications. I'd hope the interview would weed out folks w/o much in the way of social skills, but I feel like you have to REALLY mess up or seem really weird for it to come across in an interview. I mean, how bad do you have to be to not be able to carry on a conversation for 30-60 minutes?
     
  6. 4424

    4424 Senior Member
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    once you're on the other side of things..you'd be surprised and how many people cannot carry on a conversation for 5-10 min let alone longer. there are far more socially awkward people out there than i thought when i was going through the process.
     
  7. Doowai

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    #6 Doowai, Dec 14, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  8. Sarcoidosis

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    I don't see why socially awkward people can't make good doctors.
     
  9. UCLAstudent

    UCLAstudent I'm a luck dragon!
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    They can make good doctors, but don't you think a more polished applicant leaves a better impression after an interview than a socially awkward one?
     
  10. EternalMD

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    they CAN make good doctors but from a program's point of view, these are people they will have to work with for the next 3-7 years depending on the specialty. Imagine being in the OR for hours with someone who would make the experience more painful than it would need to be
     
  11. DarthNeurology

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    Off topic, but . . . Isn't this "someone" actually the exact job description for being an academic general surgical teaching attending for some third year surgical clerkships?
     
  12. dragonfly99

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    LOL Darth! I totally agree...though I guess it's kind of mean to say so. There are some really good ones too.

    I basically agree with apd on this, although I do think there are places where an interview with the dept. chair and/or PD might indicate they are more interested in you vs. some of the other applicants. Like apd says, though, there are other reasons (including random/luck of the draw or seeing some possible problem in your application) why one applicant might get a PD or dept. chair interview and another one doesn't. Anyway, regardless of whether or not you get an interview with the PD vs. not, you have to do your best and picking your interviewers is not something over which you have control.
     
  13. BlondeDocteur

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    My favorite example of this genre was an integrated plastics applicant who met various other candidates in the pre-interview room and said, by way of introduction, "I'm X, here's my resume, I want you all to read it and then I'll take a look at yours."

    An excellent idea... in crazyland.
     
  14. DarthNeurology

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    LOL.

    This is just the whole "talking smack" that some applicants do to other applicants. I bet he/her had a great c.v. with excellent board scores and just wanted to intimidate the other applicants, probably worked on a couple of them too.

    When I interviewed I had applicants ask me embarassing/revealing questions in front of the residents when we went out to dinner, made them look bad though, so be on your toes. Not surprising that this would happen in something like integrated plastics, happens in others too.

    I remember one applicant when we were waiting for dinner with the residents basically try to talk me out of my number 1 rank and also talked about her impressive credentials. Silly if you have some common sense.

    The PD/residency staff wouldn't even know what this applicant was doing showing off the c.v. and might not even care, heck, maybe would think the guy was just too motivated to talk about his/her career and network. In business people shoot around c.v.s all the time so it isn't that weird, especially if it is just in front of peers, a sort of look at my c.v. and tell me by email what you think or something along those lines. If the interviewees get a long very well then it wouldn't matter to them, and the PD won't care if he/she doesn't know about it.

    Or alternatively, the applicant could just be obsessive-compulsive and wanting to gauge their competitiveness to others and how they could improve their c.v., i.e. a fact-finding mission, not a bad trait in a future surgeon in the end . . .
     
  15. BlondeDocteur

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    Darth, I have to admit that the fact you tried to put a positive spin on this wacko nutjob is a bit scary. :)
     

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