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How to Prepare for Interviews

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by BNSN, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. BNSN

    2+ Year Member

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    I would like some input from current applicants and current students with regards to how to prepare for an interview.

    I have had one MSTP interview so far (UTSW) and have 6 more interviews over the coming 2 months (UPenn, Case, UAB, Rochester, Northwestern, and Hopkins MD [rejected MSTP at Hopkins :(]).

    My UTSW interview was ok. I prepared for it it by being able to:

    1. Answer why their school was good for me. I mentioned specific faculty I like, how the school is good at the type of work I am interested in, clinical facilities, etc

    2. Discuss my research and its limitations.

    3. Answer why MD/PhD, not just MD or PhD

    4. Talk about why my area of interest [neuroscience, molecular psychiatry] is fascinating to me.

    Is this the sort of thing I should be doing? My UTSW interviews gave me some confidence, but they only had 3 30 minute interviews. My UAB interview coming up has a total of 10 interviews, so I am worried they will be different and tougher. For example, would an interviewer ask me what is the most interesting scientific paper I have read recently? What my fav journals are, etc?

    Any advice on what I should do for interviews would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  3. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
    Administrator Physician PhD Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    Most of those 10 will be research interviews where a PI is trying to interest you in their work. I don't know for UAB specifically, but typically only 2 or so out of those 10 will really evaluate you with the topics you've brought up already.

    I wouldn't stress just because there's more interviews. The same questions will come up, but not from all 10 people. Just try to look interested, ask intelligent questions if you can, and not fall asleep at the early ones!
     
  4. CancerKiller007

    CancerKiller007 mudphud wannabe
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    Well do not read too much into how you did or did not do. It is just very unpredictable.

    A few pointers if I may:

    1) Breath

    2) In many cases, "I do not know" is perfectly valid answer. No matter what you do...do not BS them. They are expert at cutting through the bull and you would do much more damage by BSing them than just saying you do not know.

    3) Silence is fine. Do not need to feel every single second with conversation. I tend to talk a lot and that gets me in trouble from time to time.

    AND the most importantly, you need to know that if they gave you interview...they already liked you or they would not have invited you. They already think that you are a rock star, now all you have to do is be yourself and you are in. They do not give courtesy interviews. Just relax and all will be fine!
     

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