Bearie

7+ Year Member
Nov 5, 2009
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Medical Student
I feel like I should be preparing, but have no idea how. I guess they ask mostly about me and things on my CV? I know to get basic sense of program, but some I honestly don't anything about except for not very helpful website. Any ideas of "default" questions to ask when you can't think of any?
 
Dec 23, 2012
28
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Status
Medical Student
Just be yourself! I've been on three interviews now, and really all they want to see is who you are as a person. They generally know the things you have accomplished and are more interested in getting a sense if they would envision themselves working with you on a regular basis. Be prepared to talk about your personal statement or any red flags if there is something big that happened in your life. Other then that, definitely know "why" that program so pick a few things that program excels at and how it's a good fit for you. So do some research to figure out what those things will be. Always be prepared with a few questions.
 

Psychotic

5+ Year Member
Sep 17, 2013
731
397
where the sun do shine
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Get a good night's sleep, eat something before going to interviews (even the ones that say they will have some breakfast stuff - don't go in and stuff your face, maybe grab a juice or a coffee), and just be the best version of yourself you can muster at 8 am.

I haven't done any "prep" other than to look over the info they sent, scan their website, and make note of the interview day - look over the names of the interviewers - get a feel for the flow - but I don't do anything beyond that, like googling them and their practice and research interests. The interviews aren't that long (most common length is 30 mins, and I have had a couple of 15 minute 'speed dating' style interviews) and they do most of the talking, and they spend a lot of time selling the program. A big chunk of the day is group presentations, some breaks, lunch with residents, walking tours. It is exhausting to be "on" for the entire day, but that is your challenge and goal, to be on your toes, ready with a smile.
 
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Bearie

7+ Year Member
Nov 5, 2009
156
0
Status
Medical Student
Just be yourself! I've been on three interviews now, and really all they want to see is who you are as a person. They generally know the things you have accomplished and are more interested in getting a sense if they would envision themselves working with you on a regular basis. Be prepared to talk about your personal statement or any red flags if there is something big that happened in your life. Other then that, definitely know "why" that program so pick a few things that program excels at and how it's a good fit for you. So do some research to figure out what those things will be. Always be prepared with a few questions.
What if if program doesn't really excel at anything or anything particularly of note? I'm interviewing at some of the famous northeast places, but also some community hospitals close to home. I really am interested in the community programs, but it seems theyre not very interested in me? I say this because all the academic programs invited me to interview but only a handful of the community programs. I was going to honest and just say something to the effect of location is important to me bc x and y legitimate reasons and you just happens to be around? Is this a bad idea (i will of course be more diplomatic in my wording)? How do I express "genuine" interest?
 
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Bearie

7+ Year Member
Nov 5, 2009
156
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Medical Student
also, this is far from the case, but assume an applicant is awesome, like has already contributed more to psych than freud, and applies to the worst community hospital ever... why wouldnt that hospital invite for interview and rank highly knowing worst case they just get the person they ranked one lower? how important is it for program to know if theyre your top choice or two and how to express that?
 

Psychotic

5+ Year Member
Sep 17, 2013
731
397
where the sun do shine
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Resident [Any Field]
also, this is far from the case, but assume an applicant is awesome, like has already contributed more to psych than freud, and applies to the worst community hospital ever... why wouldnt that hospital invite for interview and rank highly knowing worst case they just get the person they ranked one lower? how important is it for program to know if theyre your top choice or two and how to express that?
The smaller community programs want to fill their openings in the match, and they have a good idea who is most likely to show up for the interview and rank them high enough to match, and they don't have an endless number of interview slots to waste them on applicants who will likely have many more "better" places to rank highly. So it is not surprising that the more provincial community programs are more skeptical of superstar applicants with no apparent links to the area.

I have been rejected by or not heard from 2 community programs in my own home state (although I attended college and medical school out of state and thus haven't demonstrated any institutional loyalty to my home state, I suppose), yet I am flying all over the country interviewing at some pretty great places - no, it doesn't always make sense, but that is my best attempt at explaining the seeming discrepancy.
 

OldPsychDoc

Senior Curmudgeon
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Dec 2, 2004
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At our program we comb through the apps several times looking for those local ties--permanent addresses, local or nearby med schools, even undergrad institutions-- and prioritizing those applicants, but often times they're really not apparent from how your info is displayed in ERAS. It's not like it shows up that your family lives across the street from the hospital, or you went to high school here, or your future in-laws are here and your wife really wants to live close to home...especially if you went to out of state colleges and med schools.
If you really want to check out everything close to home, then by all means drop a note early on and let us know that you have ties and what your specific interest is! (But honestly, now is getting pretty late...and you're likely to be wait-listed.)

We've trained plenty of excellent psychiatrists who chose to stay local and train with a more clinical focus--just because they wanted to--rather than pursue University-based programs that they clearly would have been competitive for. Nothing wrong with that. But psychotic is right: we only have so many slots to grant for interviews.