How many interviews are good odds to match?

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May 3, 2015
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What is a good average of interviews to end up being matched during Phase 1?

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As little as 1 will do
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Have you heard about people only having two interviews matching. I know it only takes one but feeling kind of down about it and knowing that there are 28 people competing for 4-6 spots. So less than 20% chance
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Depends on how strong a candidate you believe yourself to be and how good a vibe you got from your interviews... You can't win them all, but all you need is one...

Only having two interviews doesn't necessarily mean bad odds. My experience was with fellowships, not with residencies - there were only three programs that interested me enough to apply, one didn't even invite me onsite, but for the other two I was their top choice and got their first offer. With match, where a candidate cannot receive multiple offers, you don't even have to be the program's most preferred candidate - if those who are higher on the list than you get matched to another program. Good luck!
I believe if you look at match statistics ~80-90% people match to their top 3 choices. I would probably say 3 or more. But I agree with others that as little as 1 will do. Having more interviews sure makes you feel better until the match day though
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Have you heard about people only having two interviews matching. I know it only takes one but feeling kind of down about it and knowing that there are 28 people competing for 4-6 spots. So less than 20% chance
I personally know someone who matched with 1 interview, but then there's people not matching with 5-6 interviews. It really depends on how well you get on with the program during the interview and how you feel after. It's a difficult feeling to describe, but you know it after.
I matched with 1 interview. I tell everyone, all you need is one.
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The only stats I have previously heard of were in this paper: Student Characteristics Associated with Successful Matching to a PGY1 Residency Program. - PubMed - NCBI

"applicants who were offered ≥50% of interviews were more likely to match (83.9% vs 68.1%, p=0.01)"

...but that cutoff was somewhat arbitrary as addressed in their discussion.

Obviously the more the better, and go with where you fit best. Worry more about what you can control (including preparation for Phase II if you choose to do so).
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I spoke to a resident who applied to 10 programs and only got 1 interview offer. Hence, that was all she needed to become a PGY-1.
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As little as 1 will do

It's like saying the last bun I ate was the one filled my stomach full, the 3 before that....emmm, I didn't need them.
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For several jobs I had, I literally only needed one. As in, one position of interest - one application - one on-site interview (or panel of interviews) - one offer. They were good jobs, too, really allowing me to grow professionally.

But then, I actually *was* that speshul snowflake every pre-pharmer thinks they will be. :)
Here's a run of my interview experience as far as I could remember - from industry. This is off the top of my head so some may be left out and I'm also leaving out my first job out of school which was retail.

1. Probably applied to 10 different postings before getting an on-site interview at a big pharma for a contractor job. Didnt get that or the next interview...third was the charm at a mid size generics company.

2. Applied to 1 CRO and got the job after 1 interview.

3. Next one I think I got after 2 misses.

4. Got a lucky break and landed a permanent position at a place I wanted to be since I was a student. It was pretty much my dream job at the time. It was a long process...about 3 months from the time I applied until I got invited for an interview. When I got the offer I left a place that had just converted me from contractor to perm 2 weeks prior. Burned the bridge but have zero regrets 12 years later.

5. A memorable and interesting interview with a biotech which I didnt get - very google style problem solving questions including a few abstract psychological test questions.

6. An interview which required a writing sample which was easy but I ended up not getting an offer - suspect it was due to a former coworker who was there who gave a neutral recommendation. I was admittedly a somewhat mediocre of a worker in the early years of my career.

7. A 6 hour interview (about 8 interviewers for 30-60 mins each) which I did not get due to similar reason as above.

8. Got an offer from a biotech known to be quite difficult to get into. Did not like the environment once I started.

9. Got rejected...then got called back for another interview 5 months later and got an offer.

10. A panel interview with 2 all-female panels. Some of the junior interviewers seemed to try to outdo each other with tough questions in front of their managers. Did not get an offer.

11. Applied to 1 place and got an offer. Think this is where I really blossomed and the best of me started coming out. When my the department head left they recruited me to their new company.

12. A very challenging panel interview at a well known biotech. Got an offer.


- it only takes 1 good interview. The more interviews you do increase the chances of a fit plus they're good practice. But it is definitely possible to go 10/10 for bad interviews.

- do your best in every workplace to leave a good impression with your coworkers. You never know when that will make the difference

- there are all kinds of interviews. Some ask for a writing sample or a presentation, some are panels (which I find the toughest), and most were with at least 6 interviewers and 2-3 hours minimum - at entry to mid-manager level. As you go for more senior positions they can be quite a bit longer and you have to come back for multiple rounds.
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