How do adcoms factor in different interviewers and different styles?

Smelt

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For example, some docs or MS4s who interview can be super bubbly and enthusiastic with most people that they interview, which leads me to believe they are more likely to be positive in giving feedback and/or more strongly advocate for an applicant. Other interviews may be more critical of interviewees or more muted in their enthusiasm. Are adcoms aware of these personalities and does this matter at all? Or is it just sometimes the luck of the draw?

Obviously having more than one interview helps the committee, but anything beyond that?
 

Goro

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For example, some docs or MS4s who interview can be super bubbly and enthusiastic with most people that they interview, which leads me to believe they are more likely to be positive in giving feedback and/or more strongly advocate for an applicant. Other interviews may be more critical of interviewees or more muted in their enthusiasm. Are adcoms aware of these personalities and does this matter at all? Or is it just sometimes the luck of the draw?

Obviously having more than one interview helps the committee, but anything beyond that?
Read this:

Interviews from behind the curtain

Some interviewers are hardasses, and others are softies. They balance out in the Adcom meetings. With hardsasses, our committee will many times try to mitigate the damage they do to candidate's chances.

And yes, we're very much aware of each other's personalities, especially with long time service on the Committee.

A good (or bad) advocate is worthless if they don't show up to the committee meeting and give thier input, or worse, write very little in thier comments section.
 
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aldol16

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It's kind of like life, honestly. You can try to mitigate the effects but usually you can't eliminate them. As a doctor, you're going to get polite patients and rude patients. You have to deal with them both. Medicine is still a very people-oriented profession.
 

TheBiologist

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It's kind of like life, honestly. You can try to mitigate the effects but usually you can't eliminate them. As a doctor, you're going to get polite patients and rude patients. You have to deal with them both. Medicine is still a very people-oriented profession.
I agree with this. also, adapting to the person "above" you is probably a skill you will need in life, even if it's unfair sometimes
 
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LizzyM

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Most of the adcom knows most of the interviewers, or gets to know them quickly as the season progresses... we know who "loves everyone" and who is more discriminating (I mean that in a good way, in other words, making fair classifications of the applicants rather than just lumping everyone into the "excellent" bin). We also know their quirks and will sometimes discard a comment as unrealistic (e.g. suggesting that a near perfect applicant is too green and would be more mature next year... as if that applicant would reapply next year rather than being snatched up by a peer institution if we take a pass).

We "consider the source" when reviewing interview reports.
 
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Lawper

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It's kind of like life, honestly. You can try to mitigate the effects but usually you can't eliminate them. As a doctor, you're going to get polite patients and rude patients. You have to deal with them both. Medicine is still a very people-oriented profession.
I agree with this. also, adapting to the person "above" you is probably a skill you will need in life, even if it's unfair sometimes
Regardless, there has to be a compensating factor. If an interviewee is paired with a very obnoxious and insensitive interviewer, it is unfair for them to be dinged harshly by the adcom just because the interviewer asked offensive questions.

It's another reason why multiple mini interviews are becoming increasingly common to reduce individual interviewer biases.
 

Lawper

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Read this:

Interviews from behind the curtain

Some interviewers are hardasses, and others are softies. They balance out in the Adcom meetings. With hardsasses, our committee will many times try to mitigate the damage they do to candidate's chances.

And yes, we're very much aware of each other's personalities, especially with long time service on the Committee.

A good (or bad) advocate is worthless if they don't show up to the committee meeting and give thier input, or worse, write very little in thier comments section.
Most of the adcom knows most of the interviewers, or gets to know them quickly as the season progresses... we know who "loves everyone" and who is more discriminating (I mean that in a good way, in other words, making fair classifications of the applicants rather than just lumping everyone into the "excellent" bin). We also know their quirks and will sometimes discard a comment as unrealistic (e.g. suggesting that a near perfect applicant is too green and would be more mature next year... as if that applicant would reapply next year rather than being snatched up by a peer institution if we take a pass).

We "consider the source" when reviewing interview reports.
So basically, interviews add a degree of randomness to the application process. There is no way for an applicant to know the quirks of the interviewers they are paired with, the comments they write, and the adcom evaluation.
 

Goro

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So basically, interviews add a degree of randomness to the application process. There is no way for an applicant to know the quirks of the interviewers they are paired with, the comments they write, and the adcom evaluation.
Yup. The same thing hold true with patients, BTW.
 

LizzyM

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So basically, interviews add a degree of randomness to the application process. There is no way for an applicant to know the quirks of the interviewers they are paired with, the comments they write, and the adcom evaluation.
I don't use the word random in the same way you do. If you want to say "subjective", I would agree that it can be subjective. There is no need for the applicant to know the quirks of the interviewers or the comments they write. The applicant should interact with the interviewer in the most natural and relaxed way they can ("be yourself" as the Genie said to Aladdin) and trust that the adcom will take into account the variation among interviewers when assessing the interview report.
 
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Lawper

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I don't use the word random in the same way you do. If you want to say "subjective", I would agree that it can be subjective. There is no need for the applicant to know the quirks of the interviewers or the comments they write. The applicant should interact with the interviewer in the most natural and relaxed way they can ("be yourself" as the Genie said to Aladdin) and trust that the adcom will take into account the variation among interviewers when assessing the interview report.
Idk I think it's more than just subjective. Everyone has personal biases but I don't think admissions decisions are made purely on reasonable grounds. People probably act on impressions and feelings, and they use these arbitrary sentiments to influence their decision.

For instance, if an interviewer is in a bad mood because of personal problems, the ideal move is to recuse themselves from interviewing duties to avoid biasing their judgment. However, the interviewer can still continue their duties and project their frustrations on the interviewee and negatively evaluate them. And nothing stops adcom members from taking interviewer's comments into account, since after all, the objective is to select against applicants.

These outside biases are what contribute to the randomness/arbitrariness of the process. It also likely explains why people get rejected at one school (pre or post interview) and get accepted at a peer school on a full ride.

Of course there is nothing an applicant can do but doing their best on interview day and hoping for the best/preparing for the worst. That doesn't mean the randomness doesn't exist. It's just that the random/subjective/arbitrary aspects are uncomfortably managed until acquiring that acceptance and matriculating.
 
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Goro

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Idk I think it's more than just subjective. Everyone has personal biases but I don't think admissions decisions are made purely on reasonable grounds. People probably act on impressions and feelings, and they use these arbitrary sentiments to influence their decision.

For instance, if an interviewer is in a bad mood because of personal problems, the ideal move is to recuse themselves from interviewing duties to avoid biasing their judgment. However, the interviewer can still continue their duties and project their frustrations on the interviewee and negatively evaluate them. And nothing stops adcom members from taking interviewer's comments into account, since after all, the objective is to select against applicants.

These outside biases are what contribute to the randomness/arbitrariness of the process. It also likely explains why people get rejected at one school (pre or post interview) and get accepted at a peer school on a full ride.

Of course there is nothing an applicant can do but doing their best on interview day and hoping for the best/preparing for the worst. That doesn't mean the randomness doesn't exist. It's just that the random/subjective/arbitrary aspects are uncomfortably managed until acquiring that acceptance and matriculating.
It's a human process. No matter how one can try and quantitate it, human beings are infallible, and thus, so is the process.

You should also look at it from the wise @gonnif's viewpoint...this is a process comparable to the Olympics, and the difference between 0.1 secs can means a gold vs a silver vs a bronze vs not winning, or not even making it onto the team.

And stop raising the prospect of the so-called "bad day" interviewer. We note stuff like this in the Adcom meeting, and will actually try to rescue people from a "bad mood."
 

LizzyM

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Again, maybe it is my professional training but I would not call this "random". It may be biased but it is not random. In fact, if there is someone with PMS or a Monday morning hangover or whatever, their crankiness is not going to be random but, in fact, non-random and almost predictable that some applicants will get "Dr. Jekyll" and when that will occur during the month. It is "luck of the draw" for the applicant and maybe there is no deliberate attempt to send certain applicants to specific interviewers but that isn't always random either and applicants may be matched with reviewers because of something the two have in common.
 
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