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How to answer the question "Is this school your top choice"

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Bath&BodyWorks, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. Bath&BodyWorks

    Bath&BodyWorks New Member

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    I was at an interview today and asked by my interviewer if this school was my top choice. While I would definitely consider attending if accepted, but it is definitely not my top choice. Therefore I told him that right now I don't have a top choice but I am very interested in the school. Was this a bad answer? Is it expected of you to say "yes" when being asked a question like this during an interview. I just don't feel right about lying, but at the same time, I would like to be accepted :D Does anyone have any opinions concerning whether saying "no" to a question like this would hurt your chance at admissions?
     
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  3. Shredder

    Shredder User
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    at my top 1 and 2 i said it was my top choice, bc i felt i could muster up some sincerity in saying it. below that ive just said that i have not generated any ranking yet bc i havent seen all of the schools. i thought that was legitimate, and partially true. of course saying a schools not ones top choice is foolish so it seemed like a sensible way to skirt the topic. it would take a very objective person with little ego to accept a flat out no for an answer. its only human. i think of it as very analogous to asking ppl out to dances--some girls might be confident and others insecure, but you never know.
     
  4. CTG

    CTG Senior Member
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    I think you did the right thing. Honesty and sincerity is important. The only thing is, that's such a sucky question. At one school I was asked to list all the places I've interviewed at and that made me really uncomfortable because I wasn't sure how my answers would be taken. They shouldn't do that!!!! Agree? Anyone?
     
  5. BaylorGuy

    BaylorGuy Enter witty comment here
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    Always say yes....your Number 1 medical school is the one that accepts you.

    Honesty and sincerity are very important and does go a very long way, but when it comes down to these choices, yes is a good answer.
     
  6. zurned

    zurned Senior Member
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    I think this is the perfect answer, too bad i didnt think of it till after my interivews: So far, of all the school's i visited, this is my top choice. I think this is a good answer b/c it sounds very honest, i mean how can u decide if you havent seen otehr schools yet. And also, it shows them that you do really enjoy their program without and it shows that you are going to make a well informed decision when the time comes.
     
  7. minnie2240

    minnie2240 Senior Member
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    I had the same exact situation happen to me. They interviewer literally wrote down every school I applied & received interviews from. He then proceeded to ask me what my top choice was and to ask if I would go to school x over school y (even when x & y arent the school I was interviewing at).

    As the school wasn't my top choice, I didn't feel comfortable flat out lying and saying yes. Instead I said I am still unsure but its school x but I am really interested in your school yada yada. I would definately go there over a number of other schools I have applied to. It wasn't my top choice so far and I couldn't lie.

    I hope he appreciated the honesty and I won't hurt me as I tried to show him that I really was considering the school.
     
  8. Jon Davis

    Jon Davis I killed the bank.
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    Never, ever feign interest in a school for any reason. Interviews can see through it. That being said, I recommend saying something to the effect of having a strong interest in the school and weighing it out afterwards. They can't expect you to have a ranked list in your mind if you havent completed a full survey. If it is your top choice, I agree with saying flat out that it is your top choice.
     
  9. blebl34

    blebl34 Senior Member
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    Every school I interview at is my top choice and I'll attend if accepted.

    (This was advice given to me at an interview by the dean himself)

    Think about that one...
     
  10. badlydrawnvik

    badlydrawnvik Senior Member
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    this also happened to me, i did not think it was right for an interviewed to ask me to name every school i've interviewed at and been accepted to. first i tried to be general with "oh i've interviewed at some schools in philly and boston and new york" and then he pushed me to actually name schools.
     
  11. Jon Davis

    Jon Davis I killed the bank.
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    I would lie and say this school is my first interview. Who would be the wiser?
     
  12. OwnageMobile

    OwnageMobile is just a moniker.
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    same thought ran through my mind.

    I guess this doesn't work if you are asked the schools to which you applied. I've been told that denying the interviewer any of your information is bad. Period.
     
  13. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    You need to have the mindset during every interview that this is your top choice, and you are excited to be interviewing there. Not only does that help you seem excited and enthusiastic during the interview, but that way when asked a question like this you can honestly say "yes" (because it's true, for at least that day...). Lots of schools reject people they are sure are going to attend elsewhere, because schools keep track of what percentage of people offered a spot actually come, and don't like to think that they need to offer more spots than other schools just to fill their class. So if you interview at a school and give them the sense that you hope to attend elsewhere, you may be done.
     
  14. Jon Davis

    Jon Davis I killed the bank.
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    You've been brainwashed. You don't have to tell them anything about what schools you have applied to. It is none of their business. However, most people just generalize where they have applied. I do it too.
     
  15. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    While you don't have to tell them anything, it is sometimes easier to just be candid. I'm not sure I'd call it brainwashing. Generalizing is okay, if they don't follow up seeking specifics -- eg. say you are looking at other similar schools in the same geographic area. But be sure to follow it up with something you particularly like about the school you are visiting. And try not to sound evasive.
     
  16. Orthodoc40

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    They can see all the schools you applied to on your AMCAS application anyway. Is this a test? If they ask me, I'm just worried I won't remember them all! :laugh:
     
  17. jebus

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    No they can't. Search the forums, this issue has been discussed ad naseum.
     
  18. Jon Davis

    Jon Davis I killed the bank.
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    We've crossed this bridge umpteen times. I feel like burning it now.
     
  19. minnie2240

    minnie2240 Senior Member
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    Yes they can. At one of my interviews, I actually saw the guy look at the list of schools applied. You gotta be honest.
     
  20. Saluki

    Saluki 1K Member
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    Then, why the heck do they ask? I was asked at one interview how many I'd applied to and I said around twelve. It's more like 20, but eight of them I hadn't sent in secondaries to yet; I hope they don't think I was trying to trick them...
     
  21. Elastase

    Elastase StanfUrd bound!!!
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    I really wouldn't worry about it...they are more interested in a lot of other factors during your interview and your application as a whole.
     
  22. CTG

    CTG Senior Member
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    but then that makes you look as if no one else wants you, how is that supposed to be a good thing?
     
  23. BaylorGuy

    BaylorGuy Enter witty comment here
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    Best advice ever.
     
  24. Jon Davis

    Jon Davis I killed the bank.
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    You're thinking too hard. Do whatever you want.
     
  25. CTG

    CTG Senior Member
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    I just have a problem with flat-out lying like that. You don't know how they'll take the truth either way, so you might as well just tell the truth. There's no "thinking" to it, it's just my natural reaction.
     
  26. BaylorGuy

    BaylorGuy Enter witty comment here
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    Lets also keep in mind the words of advice that interviewers have given us about "You would be a perfect fit at this place" or "I'll see you next year," etc. The problem is that not everyone is honest....heck, those who are honest are in the minority...its sad, but that's the way it is.
     
  27. CTG

    CTG Senior Member
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    I agree that a lot of people probably do lie often, but that doesn't make it right or ok. Not to say I'm 100% perfectly honest 100% of the time....but I really do try to be and I am most of the time. I read this book several years ago (can't remember the title right now...I'll let you know if I think of it) about the most common lies people tell and why they tell them....then it went into this explanation of why, despite what most people intuitively think, telling the truth in each of those situations is either no worse or actually better than telling the lie. It really makes you realize how stupid and pointless lying is in almost every situation. And then when someone finds out you were lying, then you're in deeper s*** than if you had just told the truth in the first place. I know this is totally off topic, but I think it's an interesting discussion to have. I've gotten to the point where lying really irritates me, especially when it's about something relatively insignificant. Now there are times when I believe it's acceptable to lie, like when you're protecting yourself (i.e. random creepo on the street asks where you live or where you're going or what your name is, etc.)....but most times it's unnecessary and causes even more trouble in the long run than if you had just told the truth. I love debates, so if anyone wants to refute this point (in a FRIENDLY way) I'd be happy to respond.
     
  28. jebus

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    I see what you're saying CTG, but I disagree with you. I think as the stakes get higher I become less likely to lie. Over insignificant stuff - who cares if I lie? (As an aside, there's a great little book called "On Bullshît" that almost parrots what you say to a T.) It sounds like you object to lies about small things because those lies are wholly self-serving - what people are lying about in those lies doesn't matter because those people are just interested in presenting themselves in a certain way. Truth be damned.
    I think that's precisely the point. To make this discussion salient to med school admissions, all I want to do during an interview is present myself in an appropriate light. I want to endear myself to the interviewer and make his/her time worthwhile. I want to come off caring, motivated, intelligent, interested in what the interviewer has to contribute to my understanding of medicine and their school, and interested in the school. I don't want to make a philosophical point or prove that I'm right about issue X, but I do want to exhibit a sincere interest in their school. I think most of us agree that on this question (where else are you applying) we can fudge the truth a little without compromising our integrity and our morals largely because the stakes on that question are so low. Yes, it's stupid. Yes, it's pointless. But it's also wholly self-serving and that is, unfortunately, the name of the admissions game.
     
  29. Pretty POHA

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    I think this is a terrible question to ask at an interview!!! I probably would side step it as much as I can!! Like "it's not really any of your business, now is it?!"
    That's not true, I probably wouldn't say that. However, I MIGHT respond with "Before I answer that, will you tell me which one of your candidates has been YOUR top choice?" Or perhaps I'd say, "Frankly, whomever will give me the best education is my top choice, and since I haven't attended anywhere yet, it's really difficult to say."
    Such a lame question. That's like asking your lover right before sex if you're their best lay. Whatever! That's lame!!! Hypothetically, you wouldn't interview somewhere you weren't interested in attending. Apparently they're just as much competition between the schools are there are between the candidates!!! Remember this! It's not just a seller's market!
     
  30. Jon Davis

    Jon Davis I killed the bank.
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    So you're calling me lame for asking you that last night? Sheesh! It's over hunny. Haha. :laugh:
     
  31. Pretty POHA

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    *quiver*
    Is that Gacy in your avatar? If so, you're freakin me out!
     
  32. Jon Davis

    Jon Davis I killed the bank.
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    Umm, do you want it to be? Actually it is Gacy. One psycho clown he was!
    Should I dump it?
     
  33. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    I decided before I started not to rank any school that I wasn't accepted to. Otherwise, how upset would I be if I wasn't accepted to a school I'd already decided was my "top choice"? I explained this in at least one interview as the answer to this question.
     
  34. discus

    discus Senior Member
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    Man, MoosePilot, you're so good at determining how to respond! I swear I took your advice on a similar topic that you suggested some time ago and it worked! What you suggest is EXACTLY how I would try to respond/dodge an uncomfortable question. Hats off to you! :laugh:
     
  35. JJKR3

    JJKR3 Junior Member

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    I was just asked this question over the phone today when checking my status. It caught me completely off guard and I ended up saying something to the effect of "yes, it is among my top choice." An answer that clearly makes no sense. but then i went on to ask the woman some questions and later on did try to compensate and tell her it was my top choice yada yada. The first time she asked I immediately thought how unsure I am about that... but as I talked I thought (I know someone else said this before) at this point, EVERY school is my top choice and I would consider myself blessed to be accepted at any--esp. this one. :)
     
  36. beefballs

    beefballs MIDWEST
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    yep I agree with this, If you really want a get out of jail free card say that every school you applied to you would be delighted to attend, if pressed further say that deciding what school to attend is something you will not take lightly and will wait to decide until after you have seen what school have to offer.

    btw although I was shocked when I got this question, evaluate me on me not whether the school will lose me to someone else
     
  37. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    Thanks, I'm really glad it helped. I probably took it from someone else on SDN and used it uncredited. Stealing from one person is plagiarism, stealing from multiple people is research, right? :laugh:
     
  38. sanford_w/o_son

    sanford_w/o_son locl jnky-gota thred man?
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    when they ask this question, it could be not just to find out what is your likelihood of accepting an offer. they might also be trying to get a big picture about where they rank among other schools in the minds of applicants (maybe even in relation to particular stats/profiles). so it could have something to do with mere curiousity, or how they should make secondary and interview decisions in the future.
     

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