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Horrible interview skills

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by idiotface, Dec 31, 2016.

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  1. idiotface

    idiotface

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    Just received my first post-interview rejection...
     
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  3. idiotface

    idiotface

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    Can I describe my interview and someone please help me understand what I am doing wrong? Its as if Im threatening the other guy during the interview. What could possibly warrant me not getting a single offer after over 40 job applications, some of which were cashier and other simple things and 35 med school applications? That's 0/75... The only things that I got were positions that didn't require serious interviews. Does anyone want to help
    EDIT: Those things that I got that didnt require serious interviews were either volunteer or paid job in my university. So what's the conclusion? Oh, yeah. I suck.
     
  4. ScottTenorman54

    ScottTenorman54

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    Shoot. But keep it as objective as you can, leave the self-deprecation out of it because that'll make it hard to tell what actually happened.
     
  5. idiotface

    idiotface

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    Okay, well I had two 20-minute interviews with two different faculty. Prior to the interview, they made these short profiles about the interviewers available to us. I briefly looked at them, but decided that I won't remember the stuff during interview time. During the entire tour, I was the only one asking questions or so I felt that. I felt like I easily asked 80% of the questions of the 8 interviewees there. I don't know why I felt like I was the only one talking. Anyway, skipping ahead to the interview...my first one was with a Hispanic doctor. He basically asked me all about my MCAT, grades, and stuff on my resume and why I wanted to go to the med school. I talked about my MCAT and why I took it multiple times. I told him because I thought the course was expensive and I thought I could prepare by myself adequately. Eventually, I had to take the course and I finally did well. We didn't talk too much about my grades, just my GPA. At some point, he asked about my parents and what their level of education and occupation are. I said my mom is on permanent disability, so she didn't have her former occupation any longer. I told him about my dad's job and that he has a master's degree. I think after that I had to explain why wanted to go to the school. I think I said a few things, such as the area seems relaxed and not too hectic like the suburbs and cities I am used to. I also talked about a cool program there that offers heart screening for children and related it back to the fact that my dad had a couple heart attacks and I don't think anyone should go through the turmoil that comes with it. Lastly, I also cited affordable living as a major reason for wanting to attend. I compared housing prices there to housing prices where I lived. Also, we talked about my clinical stuff and my research. I also explained the new clinical and new research I'm currently doing. That's all I remember for the first one. The second one is a little bit more interesting.
    For my second interview, the guy was almost opposite in style from the first and asking completely different questions. Whereas the first one was very talkative and constantly saying OK, the other one let me talk quite a bit and even went long periods without saying a word. That was a bit unnerving. He got right into it by asking about stuff on my resume. The first thing he talked about was the essay contest I won. I briefly explained what that was all about. He said that was fascinating. I told him how I'm keeping myself busy in the gap year with my new research and volunteering and he said that's smart. He asked me about the club that I had a leadership position in and I talked about that, as well. He asked me about the honor society that I was a part of, but I didn't talk that much about it. Here's where I think things may get a little interesting. He asked me about the shadowing that I did and I talked about the wide range of diagnosticians I shadowed (NP, several MD's, PA) and how I learned how to interpret some of the tests, such as tympanometry. Then, he asked a good question: "Do you like pediatrics?" Here, I didn't lie. I plainly said pediatrics wasn't really for me and I'd prefer some specialty where there are more complex and unique cases. I didn't want to necessarily deal with recurring cases of sinus infection and colds. Then, I began to meander a little bit and I said but primary care here would have a bunch of unique cases because they get patients from all over the state. Then, I said I may want to do something like cardiology, but I remain open to all of the specialties. Then, I talked about how people think they will go into one specialty but end up doing something different. I said that there's plenty of time to decide and he agreed with me. He asked me about my ride here and I told him it was a 7-hour drive and it was quite an adventure and I saw a bunch of beautiful scenery along the way. He asked if I was a travel person and I told him that I traveled only a couple times in my life. At some point, he asked why I wanted to go here. I said pretty much the same thing although I added that I like how the students are presented on the website and the fact that they are shown with their own unique hobby or interest. I told him my interest was basketball. I talked about how the basketball team for the university is nationally ranked and there are intramural basketball teams I could play on and they could be fun things to take advantage of. He said that most students want to come to med school just to study, even though we generally want them to be more balanced. Idk how the conversation got to this, but I talked about how disappointed I was after watching the Super Bowl because Matt Ryan lost to Brady. I momentarily forgot Brady's name and he said it, which confirmed that he followed sports. This basically gave me permission to talk more about it. I went on to tell him about my love for basketball and that it started earlier in my life when the Nets got to the Finals two years in a row. I remarked that it was hard to stay a fan of a team that was doing so poorly and there was no one on the team I particularly like. I told him I do like the Warriors with Steph, Klay, Draymond, and KD. He agreed with me that they are great. That's about it. I heard the knock on the door and that meant it was time for me to wrap it up and so I did. I shook his hand and said I hope to see you in the future, Dr. _____.
    Side note: When both of them asked me if I had questions for them, I told them I learned a lot during the tour and the previous night because I took advantage of student hosting.
    Man, I blew it, I really wanted to go here.
     
  6. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Lifetime Donor SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    Good grief, this post makes me cringe a bit. I honestly think your biggest issue there was that you just kept rambling on and on until you stumbled into some social minefield or another. FWIW, most doctors have the problem of talking too much, which is why lawyers make mincemeat out of them on the witness stand. In all seriousness, knowing when to shut your mouth is just as important of an interview skill as knowing when to talk. :-/

    OP, you have two separate issues here: wanting to be more independent, and wanting to go to medical school. They are not the same thing. Given that medical school is not a good place for you to "find yourself," I suggest that you work on resolving the first problem first, and then come back to applying to medical school in a year or two if you still want to go. In other words, you don't have to go to medical school in order to be independent. Go get a job and an apartment, and start living your independent adult life, now. If your parents try to interfere, then move away if you have to. Get a therapist if you want to, or don't. But regardless, medical school is NOT therapy, and getting into medical school will not magically fix your self-confidence or make you independent. Unless you take steps to change these things for yourself, you will still be the exact same person in medical school that you are right now.
     
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  7. idiotface

    idiotface

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    If I get a job that pays low and believe me, it will pay low (I recently applied to a bunch of jobs and could only get a cashier job) then I will barely be able to support myself and where will I have the money to go back to school or apply to medical school. I live in Bergen County and the cost of living is extremely high. You may suggest student loans if I want to go back to school, but if I don't have the money to pay off the loan as soon as I leave school, that thing will gain interest rapidly. How will I have the money to spend on med school applications, which easily cost 5-10 thousand dollars. I worked at Rite Aid and made about 300 every two weeks!!!!!! In case you don't know, that's not enough just for rent in the most crime-ridden areas in NJ, let alone food, gas and utilities. And I'm scared to leave my family alone. My mom has psychological disorders and doesn't know how to anything around the house. The heat in the house is not working and she doesn't cook food for my little brother and her car broke and I have to pick up my brother every day to bring him to the apartment my dad and I live in. My family is separated. My dad is an immigrant who doesnt know how to read or write and he needs me to order his heart medication that's sustaining his life and pay all the bills and do anything that requires anything that needs a brain. And my parents are separated, before it used to be my dad did the handy work and my mom did the technology and paying bills stuff. Together with their combined skills, they made one half of a married couple. Now, my dad left and my mom cant manage the house. So I'm afraid to go somewhere more affordable by myself. And the money we DO have is frozen in a savings account so my parents can retire comfortably, so I'm hesitant to spend it to go back to school or to use it for rent for my own place. So what should I do? I realize I eventually have to leave my family, but I at least want to make sure I will be able to support myself. Is anything I said here incorrect, like about the loans and cost of living and so on? Did I forget a possible solution? Please let me know.
    As for the interview, I know it seems like I was rambling... but I wanted to be myself and talk about what I like. But I suppose that's not appropriate, huh? Interviews are performance-based and scored, and thus you have to play it like a game, which means sometimes you have to be disciplined, correct? I can't go off on tangents even if I am trying to be myself. Am I correct in saying this?
    Thanks for helping, I appreciate it.
     
  8. idiotface

    idiotface

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    Furthermore, one solution I neglected to mention is getting a PhD. I could leave and be able to support myself because they give a stipend and there won't be any student loans to worry about. However, I didn't want to do that because I'm not a hands-on or lab person, so I don't think research is for me. And I don't want to do a PhD in something other than science because it may be a useless degree. Also, I don't like anything except for math and science. Lastly, sometimes it's hard to get a good job with a PhD; it's more of a sure thing if you have an MD. Should I get a PhD just to get out of the house and be independent? I feel like that's quite a long route (5 years) to take just to achieve independence. I suppose I could apply for a PhD, but that would require a whole year to apply again. I don't want to wait another year, and my parents don't look like they want to support me much longer.
     
  9. ScottTenorman54

    ScottTenorman54

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    Could be the rambling. Were you super nervous? Did you make eye contact, were you smiling? Did you ever get around to doing some mock interviews? Only definitive thing I picked up on was asking questions to the interviewers at the end - you've gotta ask something. It's supposed to demonstrate interest or whatever, but it's really just one of those things that everyone does and you need to do it too. Don't ask something dumb or really obvious, if you've had all of your questions answered, just ask about their opinion of the school/hospital/area, their own med school experience, etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017 at 9:53 AM
  10. LordLana

    LordLana BS/DO

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    @idiotface

    I'd like to offer some help and advice as well! This is coming from someone who just successfully interviewed for two DO programs. Lets get to it. I wrote a total of...5 pages of interview notes, detailing solid answers to possible interview questions I researched for hours online. Revise those notes, then begin practicing. Deliberate memorization isn't necessary. Read it over 10~20 times, then 5 times looking at yourself in front of the mirror. At random points throughout the day, recall the question topics and test your fluency at answering the questions.
    This worked really well for me, and should for anyone who follows it. If you still aren't comfortable with your preparation results, definitely have your pre-med advisor practice with you.
    If this still doesn't work, and you've repeated two application cycles, I suggest applying to less competitive fields, preferably non-interview.

    Sorry, why weren't you able to allocate time for the scribe job again?
    Do you have student debt right now as a bachelor graduate?

    Even with your personal dilemmas, considering the financial situation in your family, I strongly advise you get into a graduate school, whether it be physician assistant, anesthesiologist assistance, accounting, finance, nursing, whatever. Get a solid pay job over $60,000/year.

    I definitely understand your struggles, and very strongly empathize with you. Unsupportive and financially incapable parents, thinking coercion will be successful in pushing you into the doors of a medical school. Anyhow, secure a seat in a graduate school. Take out a hefty loan, and crack grad school. Are you parents willing to support your financially, even a little bit, for study at a non-medical graduate school? Do you have any connections from which you can get financial or academic assistance from?

    Best Regards


    EDIT: "If I get a job that pays low and believe me, it will pay low (I recently applied to a bunch of jobs and could only get a cashier job) then I will barely be able to support myself and where will I have the money to go back to school or apply to medical school."

    If I were you, I would secure a job that pays a minimum of $25,000 annually. Do anything you possibly can to get it. What is the subject of your bachelor's degree? Get to a point where you can offer support to your family and yourself to a certain extent; then take out loans from the bank. This will not be hard, given that you have a stable occupation.

    EDIT: Feel free to private message me if you'd like to talk more directly on platforms such as Whatsapp or Skype. I'd love to help more

    @Goro You're a real pain in the ass. Don't give up a guy so easily. Everyone has their flaws, even if it's juvenile and annoying. facedesk
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017 at 7:25 PM
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  11. idiotface

    idiotface

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    Ahh, all good questions! I was not nervous in the beginning, but towards the end I became nervous. I think I may have not worded something the way I intended to and thus I began to reflect upon it as the interview went on. Thinking that I had not said something the way I wanted to led to a steady increase in anxiety towards the end of the interview. I failed to make eye contact during part of my answers. I naturally do this to think of how I am going to answer a question. When I was offered a question, I did maintain eye contact. I am not sure if I was smiling as I fail to self-monitor such actions very well, but I did smile in the beginning and in the end. I may have smiled occasionally throughout the interview, but subtle smiles, not very outright. I did one mock interview that lasted an hour and was extremely unhelpful due to the fact that most of the questions being asked had nothing to do with medical school. None of them even had to do with medicine. I think one of them was "When were you excited?" Such questioning in a medical school mock interview is baffling.The pre-med committee in my school is not helpful at all, we don't graduate many MD's- especially not undergraduate. Rarely, some of the post-bacs here end up in MD school. As for undergrads, which I was, there was one MD last year and one this year and it could be two this year if I get in. Most are Caribbean or DO or never get in lol. I actually did ask one question in the end. I asked if I could get placed into one of the three campuses for my third and fourth year. I don't know if you consider this a good question or not and I may have asked this to both of my interviewers. Okay, I will consider that for the next interview and ask them about their opinions on the medical school or something similar to that.
    Thanks.
     
  12. idiotface

    idiotface

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    Sure, I suppose I can adapt your method of interview preparation. I was unable to commit to the scribe job because I was expecting to begin medical school by the following August. As of now, I do not have student debt. My undergraduate education costed about $21,000 due to state school tuition, no room and board, scholarship, and graduating early. Grad school costs a lot of money, whereas PhD school gives money. That's why I wanted to do PhD as a backup. With grad school, I fear I won't be able to get a good job and pay off loans right away and interest will build. My parents can hardly support the family currently, grad school tuition is likely not an option. I do not have any connections that can support me. I have a BS in biology, which means less than nothing. Why would I take out loans after getting a job that pays 25k? Ok, thanks for the help. I actually dont have Skype, but I do have Whatsapp. Maybe I should get Sykpe. Thanks for defending me with Goro, but I think we just had a miscommunication. I realize now that he said "we are done here" to address my ignoring of his advice, not the reasons why I want to be a doctor. I thought he may have been clearer if he just quoted that one part of my post, where I only responded to his advice about getting a therapist. I was expecting a response to my reasons to pursue the medical field, so I thought they indeed were.
    As an update, I had more mock interview stuff today with my pre-med advisor and it was largely useless. It took about an hour and she spent like 20 minutes harping on the fact that I don't know enough about eastern medicine and herbal remedies and thus I cannot do an MMI properly. Bear in mind, the MMI questions I obtained from the internet posed a scenario in which a patient wanted to try alternative eastern medicine. Therefore, we didn't get through much of it. Also, it wasn't very realistic because she was reading the scenarios off to me and I didn't get to read it by myself. Subsequently, it was hard for me to retain everything or completely understand what was going on. She didn't understand that this made it difficult for me. And I don't think I ever really got to say an ideal answer. When I was trying to search for an ideal answer, she would just interrupt and say something I didn't understand or just criticize what I was saying. So the interview troubles continue...
    P.S. What are non-interview fields? These exist?!
    Thanks for the help!
     
  13. ScottTenorman54

    ScottTenorman54

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    You've got a weird undergrad premed office, dude. Nothing you can do about that though. If you're looking to adapt LordLana's method of preparation, I've attached a list of questions that a friend and I put together over the course of our undergrad of all the interview questions from any position we ever applied to, including med schools. Could serve as a starting point. Best of luck for the next one!
     

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  14. idiotface

    idiotface

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    Sorry, I meant to say "adopt" not adapt. Thanks for the compilation of interview questions. The range of questions in my first interview did not extend beyond the document you made. But there are a bunch of questions here that would freeze me up if I were to receive them in an interview, like "if you could be any object, what would you be?" The questions about healthcare would have been so much more difficult if they were asked years ago. Now it's easy; all you have to say is that "we have a president who wants to repeal the ACA," since that's the biggest issue right now. As for books to put on the president's bedside, I don't know a good answer. All I know, is that my favorite novels are Lord of the Flies and Rumble Fish. Also, how is medicine like riding a Ferris Wheel? It's more like climbing a mountain... As for the hero question, my hero is Barack Obama. He was someone who got out of a terrible situation, got an education, and rose to the highest office in the country. And when he was there, he did what he could to help underserved people with the ACA. Also, he is always well-spoken, composed, and respectful. Some of these other questions I'm sure I could manage some answer. Also, you could add to the list the questions where they ask what you have been doing in the gap year. They love to ask that. Thanks for the compilation; it should be of use as I prepare for interviews in the future.
     
  15. ScottTenorman54

    ScottTenorman54

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    Will do. Don't stress about the wackier ones, think of them as a little break from the monotony. I can't imagine an MD/DO interviewer asking about ferris wheels with a straight face!
     
  16. idiotface

    idiotface

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    Okay, thanks.
     

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