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Humor and Interviews

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by pre-hawkdoc, Dec 4, 2001.

  1. pre-hawkdoc

    pre-hawkdoc Senior Member
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    OK, so I'm a complete smart ass. Probably 90+% of the thoughts that come into my head are sarcastic/off-the-wall/etc. I'll joke with anyone--profs, waitresses, the checkout lady at the grocery store. However, not everyone seems to appreciate this. Everyone I've talked to about med admissions has been like "you're going to tone down your personality, right?" So for my first interview I did (for the most part). Now, I'm reading about people who are giving interviewers responses that sound like they came out of my head (ie. "I have nice teeth" or the chicken and the egg joke) and they're getting great responses from interviewers and ACCEPTANCES.
    So...my question to all of you is: Am I making a mistake by turning down (not off) my personality for fear of turning off an interviewer? Most of what I've read recently says yes. I'd love to hear what y'all have to say about it.
    Peace out.
     
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  3. Coalboy

    Coalboy Senior Member
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    I've wondered about the same thing. I'm kind of a smartass too, but usually in a very deadpan way. I've been debating whether or not to "supress" this or not. I don't want anyone to question my seriousness, but I also don't want to come across as a cold fish. I suppose I'll just play it by ear. I can usually read whether or not people will respond well, or even play off of my humor.

    As long as you're not offensive or overly flip, I can't see how a little humor would hurt you. But then again, I've been wrong before... but only once, and I was only six years old at the time.

    See! I couldn't resist!
     
  4. Barton

    Barton Senior Member
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    I've toned it down to "respectful smartass" for interviews. I still make comments, etc., but try not to be too offensive. I have been really toning it down with old interviewers, not so much with younger people and students. I have 2 acceptances and 2 waitlists (no post-interview rejections!).
     
  5. C U in MD school

    C U in MD school Senior Member
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    i think you should think about each interview and take it from there. for example, on a recent interview one of my interviewers was from the old school. their was no way in hell was i going to walk into his office and start making jokes, etc. now, he did make few himself, which in that case i laughed and followed up. now, at another interview, the interviewer was young and was having fun. you could tell. so, we laughed, made jokes, etc. so, my point is, you cant decide on what to do until you get there and meet the person. i hope this helps. good luck on interviews.
     
  6. choker

    choker Senior Member
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    i agree with the previous post, it depends on the interviewer. if it's not a stress interview and ESPECIALLY IF THE PERSON IS THE OPPOSITE SEX, you should bring some coy humor to the discussion, especially if it is against yourself. not a "im stupid" comment, but more like self-deprecating "i can't get women," or "i can't dance" type of deprecation that other people can relate to. it has really worked miracles in my interviews so far.
     
  7. Coalboy

    Coalboy Senior Member
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    Most of my humor is that way anyway (self deprecating). After all, I am a pretty easy target.

    See, there I go again!
    :)
     
  8. tidy_kiwi

    tidy_kiwi Senior Member
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  9. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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  10. brandonite

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    I don't think Original was lying about the acceptance. I think he was just being sarcastic in that post. I'm pretty sure he was just getting pissed off at 8675309...

    Anyway, I think that if you joke around a bit (in a polite way), it shows you are confident and you have a bit of a personality. It allows you to connect a bit more with the applicant. My humor tends to be self-depreciating too, so I don't think I'll stop that completely. I wouldn't make fun of medicine or the school or anything like that - interviewers can be sensitive people - but I wouldn't want to completely change my personality just for an interview. So I usually kid around a bit with the interviewer, but in a very polite way. :D
     
  11. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior
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    Hey Brando thanks for having my back. O.K I'm just about getting exhausted from having to defend myself on SDN so I'll probably just chill out and be a spectator from henceforth. However, before I exit stage left let me say that I told both those dirty jokes to my student interviewer at Duke and I got accepted. It has been my greatest interview yet. Interviewing is too complicated an art for me to try to prescribe a rigid formula. You have to catch a feel for your interviewer, the moment, the context, and yourself. Too many variables; I wouldn't even try to begin thinking about it. I love you guys and I'll be with you in spirit :D

    Peace OUT!!!
     
  12. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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  13. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member
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    I'm the one that made the teeth comment. In the same interview, I made a joke about not knowing I was even at a medical school when asked why I wanted to be a doctor. My humor so far has worked for me, but you guys are right--you have to be able to read your interviewers. Almost all my humor has been directed toward myself. I would NEVER make fun of anyone else or tell a dirty joke!

    Looking back, I think my sense of humor has worked for me because my stats are so incredibly weird (high MCAT, but spectacularly low GPA). I think being humorous about my situation has helped put my interviewers and adcoms at ease. You know, just being up front and kinda funny about it--Yes, sir or madam, I used to be slacker, but was only POSING as a dimwit. When you have 9 Fs on your record, you gotta get them laughing with you, so hopefully they won't laugh AT you!
     
  14. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior
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    Hey Jamier2:
    No hard feelings whatsoever. You're certainly right about taking everything here with a good amount of salt. :)
     
  15. zancudo

    zancudo Member
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    I have found that my interviewers REALLY appreciate some good tasteful humor during the interview. Whenever I find an interviewer uninterested, I try to crack a joke and get him/her back in the game. Worth a try ;)
     
  16. TwoSteveSquared

    TwoSteveSquared Senior Member
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    Be yourself. If you have a great sense of humor, by all means, show your interviewer. If you are dry, don't force too much personality or you're gonna look fake. BE YOURSELF. BE YOURSELF. BE YOURSELF. Seriously. They want to get to know you, not the person who you think they will like.
     
  17. pre-hawkdoc

    pre-hawkdoc Senior Member
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    Thanks for all the great thoughts, folks. I think that most people with what we consider a "good sense of humor" also have that innate (or acquired) ability to read people and situations. This is something I'm fairly good at (lots of practice of learning the hard way when not to be a smart ass). I guess my real issue is the fear that I may read the wrong person the wrong way and talk myself out of a spot.
    On one level, I feel like "if they don't want me because of my personality, then I don't want to go there." But on the other hand, it's possible that I belong there moreso (ie. fit in better)than the interviewer who is turned off by my smart-assness.
    Also, I understand that they want to get to know me, but I'm afraid that I'll come across as not serious (about anything--not just medicine), which totally isn't the case. I just don't ACT serious about anything.
    Anyhoo, I suppose it's just a little something I'll have to ponder in the next few weeks. Thanks again for the great input.

    PS Jamie--An interviewer HUGGED you??? Sounds a bit shady to me ;)
     
  18. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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  19. pre-hawkdoc

    pre-hawkdoc Senior Member
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    Did you know him/her prior to the interview? How sentimental could it have been? You were only there for a few hours, weren't you?
    And I didn't mean to imply that it was sexual, just unusual. Or, maybe I'm just not very appealing to interviewers, NOT getting hugged is unusual and I just don't realize it.
     
  20. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    Well, here's a synopsis of my "pre-hug" time with her. First off, we had loads of stuff in common: I was a farmer for a while, as was her father. I was a carpenter for a while, as was her husband. I grew up with a single mom, as are her children.

    When I told her about my amazing 1.2 GPA from high school, and told her that I hadn't considered college until I decided to go to medical scool, she seemed to be impressed. When I told her about becoming interested in medicine while my daughter went through a liver transplant, and that my daughter later passed away, she (and one of her office assistants) hugged me. Yes, it was one odd interview, and completely unexpected.

    That's what lead up to the hug. Go figure. :)
     
  21. brandonite

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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  22. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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  23. pre-hawkdoc

    pre-hawkdoc Senior Member
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    Wow, Jamie, that's incredible. I'm sorry about your daughter--I had no idea (that will certainly give you a wonderful background in dealing with patients and families, if you want to look for the proverbial silver lining). If you've posted it before, I must've missed it. Thanks for trusting us enough to put it out here. Due to newly presented circumstances, I withdraw my previous implications of impropriety.
     
  24. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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  25. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior
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  26. DesperatelySeekingMD

    DesperatelySeekingMD Senior Member
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    Jamier2- here's another consoling hug for you...thank you for trusting us with such personal details of your life.
     

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