• Scariest Story Contest

    Now that it's getting close to Halloween, we're running a contest to hear your scariest stories! These can be scary stories that you've experienced or stories that you've heard and the story with the most reactions will win!

    JOIN CONTEST

How much do interviews count?

karat

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2005
86
0
  1. Medical Student
    I feel like adcoms may already like you a lot (and are almost certain to accept you) but just want to meet you to make sure...and to rule you out if you're some kind of socially awkward freak. Do you guys agree that the interview really is just their chance to make sure you're a nice person beyond how you appear on paper?

    Obviously, I know there are exceptions to this rule (WashU, Columbia, etc.) but I think for most schools that are not very, very selective, being granted an interview is almost 90% in.
     

    pseudoknot

    Full Member
    15+ Year Member
    Platinum Member
    Jan 1, 2004
    2,922
    6
    43
    Hershey, PA
    1. Attending Physician
      No, most schools accept about one half to one third of their interviewees. There are numerous threads on this topic, mostly filled with uninformed speculation, but the percentage accepted is quite telling. Keep in mind also that even if a school accepts 50% of its interviewees according to USNews, that figure includes people accepted off the waitlist.
       

      HopefulUGACVM

      Member
      10+ Year Member
      5+ Year Member
      Mar 23, 2005
      75
      0
        karat said:
        I feel like adcoms may already like you a lot (and are almost certain to accept you) but just want to meet you to make sure...and to rule you out if you're some kind of socially awkward freak. Do you guys agree that the interview really is just their chance to make sure you're a nice person beyond how you appear on paper?

        Obviously, I know there are exceptions to this rule (WashU, Columbia, etc.) but I think for most schools that are not very, very selective, being granted an interview is almost 90% in.

        I had a friend with an amazing GPA, amazing MCAT scores but she misanswered one question on her interview (what are some of your weaknesses) and did not get in. She had basically the same app the second time around just improved her interview skills and got in early decision this year.
         
        About the Ads

        RustNeverSleeps

        Walker, Texas Ranger
        10+ Year Member
        5+ Year Member
        Aug 12, 2004
        331
        0
        1. Medical Student
          HopefulUGACVM said:
          I had a friend with an amazing GPA, amazing MCAT scores but she misanswered one question on her interview (what are some of your weaknesses) and did not get in. She had basically the same app the second time around just improved her interview skills and got in early decision this year.


          Did someone from admissions tell her that was why she didn't get in, or is she just assuming? To have a question like that keep her from getting in, she would have had to have shown an amazing lack of judgment in answering it...
           

          silas2642

          silas2642
          10+ Year Member
          Jul 24, 2005
          2,283
          16
          1. Resident [Any Field]
            RustNeverSleeps said:
            Did someone from admissions tell her that was why she didn't get in, or is she just assuming? To have a question like that keep her from getting in, she would have had to have shown an amazing lack of judgment in answering it...

            Yeah, I mean there's like no "wrong" answer to a lot of these interview questions unless it's like, "yeah, I have a real weakness to drugs and alcohol" or something like that.

            Part of me thinks that they're looking for honesty, people who can connect to others, have strengths and weaknesses, and who are going to be a good fit in their school.

            But no matter what anyone says, the interview is important, because that's when they get to see YOU.
             

            RustNeverSleeps

            Walker, Texas Ranger
            10+ Year Member
            5+ Year Member
            Aug 12, 2004
            331
            0
            1. Medical Student
              silas2642 said:
              Yeah, I mean there's like no "wrong" answer to a lot of these interview questions unless it's like, "yeah, I have a real weakness to drugs and alcohol" or something like that.

              Part of me thinks that they're looking for honesty, people who can connect to others, have strengths and weaknesses, and who are going to be a good fit in their school.

              But no matter what anyone says, the interview is important, because that's when they get to see YOU.


              I agree. I doubt it was one specific moment in the interview that decided her fate. She might have simply had an okay interview -- nothing wrong with it, but nothing to really set her apart, either. Or, the interview may have been completely fine -- unfortunately, having good interviews and stats is not enough to guarantee an acceptance. The tough thing about applying to medical school is that since there are so many qualified applicants, many very qualified people do not get in, particularly to a specific school.
               

              seadizzle

              Senior Member
              10+ Year Member
              7+ Year Member
              Oct 18, 2005
              257
              5
              1. Non-Student
                silas2642 said:
                Yeah, I mean there's like no "wrong" answer to a lot of these interview questions unless it's like, "yeah, I have a real weakness to drugs and alcohol" or something like that.

                My weaknesses?

                Well, when I come under stress I make this vigorous chopping motion with my right hand.
                 

                gary5

                Senior Member
                7+ Year Member
                15+ Year Member
                Sep 25, 2003
                1,089
                2
                  1/3 scores, 1/3 secondary, 1/3 interview. So yes, interviews are important. You can have great numbers but if you interview poorly, you're done. Schools can easily find people who shine at all three.
                   

                  osli

                  Senior Member
                  10+ Year Member
                  5+ Year Member
                  Oct 14, 2005
                  1,279
                  7
                  45
                  1. Medical Student
                    gary5 said:
                    1/3 scores, 1/3 secondary, 1/3 interview. So yes, interviews are important. You can have great numbers but if you interview poorly, you're done. Schools can easily find people who shine at all three.
                    And that forumula is as arbitrary as any other. I know of some schools that put a tremendous weight on the interview, others where it is a chance to make sure their numbers lineup is what they really want.

                    For example, many DO schools place great importance on the interview. Maybe they follow your 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 formula. I know of others that are very "numbers" oriented, and your initial application bears by far the most weight in getting an acceptance... well over 50%. In those cases, I've been informed that a good interview will rarely move you up by much (say only 1 point on a scale from 0 to 10), but a bad interview might move you down (say a couple to a few points).

                    But most obvious I think is that different shcools approach admissions in quite different ways.
                     

                    HopefulUGACVM

                    Member
                    10+ Year Member
                    5+ Year Member
                    Mar 23, 2005
                    75
                    0
                      I did not say she said the "wrong" answer. She is a good friend of mine so I want to be careful of how I word it... but she called me afterwards, explained the situation and said she bombed the interview. Which I can say with confidence that I agree.

                      She did not just allude to her weakness, but gave examples as well. Then she stressed about her answer and stumbled all over the place. It wasn't an OK interview... it was pretty bad from what she had told me.

                      Otherwise she was a shoe-in applicant and is a very social person and should not have had an issue with the interview at all, she just fumbled and couldn't recover. Her interview this year was stellar as was the rest of her application. I am very proud of her achievement (getting in this time around).
                       

                      RustNeverSleeps

                      Walker, Texas Ranger
                      10+ Year Member
                      5+ Year Member
                      Aug 12, 2004
                      331
                      0
                      1. Medical Student
                        gary5 said:
                        1/3 scores, 1/3 secondary, 1/3 interview. So yes, interviews are important. You can have great numbers but if you interview poorly, you're done. Schools can easily find people who shine at all three.

                        I can tell you that at my school that is not the formula at all. It is a lot more complex, and academics count for much more than the secondary and interview combined. In general, every aspect of your application is important to med schools, but I think different schools value different attributes and weight them accordingly. However, I agree that the interview is important -- a poor one can stop you from moving forward in the process (for instance, going before the admissions committee).
                         

                        AtomicLush

                        New Member
                        10+ Year Member
                        Oct 31, 2005
                        1
                        0
                        1. Non-Student
                          HopefulUGACVM said:
                          I had a friend with an amazing GPA, amazing MCAT scores but she misanswered one question on her interview (what are some of your weaknesses) and did not get in. She had basically the same app the second time around just improved her interview skills and got in early decision this year.

                          I just don't understand...did she only apply to one school? If she has an amazing GPA and amazing MCAT scores, I would think she would have gotten more interviews than the one that she bombed? No?
                           

                          HopefulUGACVM

                          Member
                          10+ Year Member
                          5+ Year Member
                          Mar 23, 2005
                          75
                          0
                            Yep, just one. Not everyone applies to 30 med schools ;) . This was her top choice, had her sight set on that particular school and didn't get in first try. She applied early decision this year and decided that if she didn't get in early decision she would try elsewhere this time around but only to 2 other schools. Its not always a bad thing to not get in first time around. She took that time to do other things and is thankful for the break.

                            Otherwise don't ask me anything else about med-school interviews as I am not even a med school applicant, I am a vet school applicant (and there aren't even 30 vet schools in the US)... and my top choice for vet school does not even interview.
                             

                            TheMightyAngus

                            Full Member
                            10+ Year Member
                            5+ Year Member
                            Jun 14, 2005
                            1,191
                            5
                            1. Medical Student
                              RustNeverSleeps said:
                              I can tell you that at my school that is not the formula at all. It is a lot more complex, and academics count for much more than the secondary and interview combined.

                              What school do you attend? At almost every school I've been to someone from the admissions committee has said some version of, "by virtue of you being here, you can be assured that the admissions committee feels you are academically qualified for our program."

                              Anyone else have similar impressions?
                               

                              RustNeverSleeps

                              Walker, Texas Ranger
                              10+ Year Member
                              5+ Year Member
                              Aug 12, 2004
                              331
                              0
                              1. Medical Student
                                TheMightyAngus said:
                                What school do you attend? At almost every school I've been to someone from the admissions committee has said some version of, "by virtue of you being here, you can be assured that the admissions committee feels you are academically qualified for our program."

                                Anyone else have similar impressions?


                                Yes, most if not all people who interview are academically qualified to attend the school. However, when in the whole med school process is simply being qualified enough? Even though everyone who has interviewed is probably able to do the work, med schools still want to select the most exceptional of the people they interviewed (for instance, people who would excel at their school rather than just getting through). In other words, even though everyone in the interview pool is academically "good enough," med schools often preferentially select people with higher grades, scores, etc. from this group. (Of course, other factors come into play in the final decision as well -- recs, research, ECs, interviews, etc., which is why med school classes are not simply the people with the best academic stats)
                                 

                                Law2Doc

                                5K+ Member
                                Moderator Emeritus
                                10+ Year Member
                                Dec 20, 2004
                                30,880
                                10,057
                                1. Attending Physician
                                  RustNeverSleeps said:
                                  Yes, most if not all people who interview are academically qualified to attend the school. However, when in the whole med school process is simply being qualified enough? Even though everyone who has interviewed is probably able to do the work, med schools still want to select the most exceptional of the people they interviewed (for instance, people who would excel at their school rather than just getting through). In other words, even though everyone in the interview pool is academically "good enough," med schools often preferentially select people with higher grades, scores, etc. from this group. (Of course, other factors come into play in the final decision as well -- recs, research, ECs, interviews, etc., which is why med school classes are not simply the people with the best academic stats)

                                  This is definitely not true everywhere. At many places once you have made the interview level, you have a decent (or even equal) chance at getting a seat with a good interview, notwithstanding that you might have lower grades/scores than some of the others being met with. Very few schools waste their time interviewing someone with lower stats unless they have some decent chance of winning a seat -- the resources used for interviewing (often clinicians with busy schedules), are simply to valuable to waste on someone who likely won't be given an offer no matter what. And some schools weight the interview very highly because they have already used the other stats in deciding who gets to the interview stage. Bottom line -- don't treat the interview like a formality, where you can expect to be admitted so long as you don't act foolish. There will be people who are phenomenal interviews who will get spots even if their stats were not as high as others who got passed on.
                                   
                                  About the Ads
                                  This thread is more than 15 years old.

                                  Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

                                  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
                                  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                                  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                                  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
                                  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
                                  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                                  7. This thread is locked.