I have a really intense fear that I’m going to bomb my interviews

Latteandaprayer

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I’ve been blessed with a couple interviews already, coming up in October (actually VITA is a lot sooner... like a week at most I plan). I just have a sinking feeling that I’ll freeze up, I won’t know how to talk, and I’ll ramble. I’ve gone through Goro’s advice post, and I borrowed a book on medical school interviews. I’m just irrationally worried about online interviews. It’s a lot harder for me for some reason to stay calm when I’m not physically present with the person.

any advice? I’m trying to force my friends to do mock interviews with me lol.
 
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I’ve been blessed with a couple interviews already, coming up in October (actually VITA is a lot sooner... like a week at most I plan). I just have a sinking feeling that I’ll freeze up, I won’t know how to talk, and I’ll ramble. I’ve gone through Goro’s advice post, and I borrowed a book on medical school interviews. I’m just irrationally worried about online interviews. It’s a lot harder for me for some reason to stay calm when I’m not physically present with the person.

any advice? I’m trying to force my friends to do mock interviews with me lol.

Relax. Easier said than done, I know. But really, the best way to tackle interviews is when you're relaxed. By being nervous you're going to think of everything that can go wrong, instead of thinking of everything that can go right. Once you've done that, I suggest going on Youtube and looking at Kevin Ahern's guide to acing a medical school interview. It has 2 parts, and they're hugely informative on how to take control of the interview. (Though this may be largely irrelevant since interviews are now online) If you're in control, then you won't be nervous!

I've conducted many interviews myself, and let me tell you I was almost as nervous as the person I was interviewing! When I was doing interviews, I looked to see if they would be a good team player, direct, creative, and how they would tackle certain scenarios. I wanted to get a sense of who they were, and if I could work alongside them. Of course, medical school interviews will be a little more in depth, but hopefully this puts you more at ease.

A lot of people say to "just be yourself" and yeah they're not wrong. But that's very hard to follow with high stakes for most people. I suggest that you interview other people and take it seriously as if you were the one who was the gatekeeper for medical school. What characteristics would you look for? Do you want them to be humble, direct, a team player? By doing this, you'll understand how to just be yourself in your own interview. Not only that, but you'll know what the interviewer is looking for... because, well you've been in that position!

Just my thoughts.
 
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Goro

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I’ve been blessed with a couple interviews already, coming up in October (actually VITA is a lot sooner... like a week at most I plan). I just have a sinking feeling that I’ll freeze up, I won’t know how to talk, and I’ll ramble. I’ve gone through Goro’s advice post, and I borrowed a book on medical school interviews. I’m just irrationally worried about online interviews. It’s a lot harder for me for some reason to stay calm when I’m not physically present with the person.

any advice? I’m trying to force my friends to do mock interviews with me lol.
Practice makes perfect!

Contact your school's career counseling office (something that no pre-med ever does in these situations) and see if they can help with interview tips etc.

IF you know of anyone who works in an HR capacity, they would also be useful to reach out to.

Friends will not be helpful; ask acquaintances. Show them SDN's Interview feedback pages to give them an idea of what med shcool Adcoms ask asking interviewees.

Check out YouTube videos for "medical school interviews". At a minimum, you'll see things of what NOT to do. Some of them are quite skin crawling.

And read these:
 
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I’ve been blessed with a couple interviews already, coming up in October (actually VITA is a lot sooner... like a week at most I plan). I just have a sinking feeling that I’ll freeze up, I won’t know how to talk, and I’ll ramble. I’ve gone through Goro’s advice post, and I borrowed a book on medical school interviews. I’m just irrationally worried about online interviews. It’s a lot harder for me for some reason to stay calm when I’m not physically present with the person.

any advice? I’m trying to force my friends to do mock interviews with me lol.

Just keep practicing you will do fine. Don't drink coffee before the interviews, coffee will increase your anxiety
 
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LizzyM

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This just occured to me; if you feel as if you would do better if you were physically in the room with the person, why not interview in a room with someone off camera who you can see while you are looking in your camera. I'm thinking, if I were interviewing someone at my zoom set up, someone who would sit next to my potted plant and be as quiet as one, too, might be the way I could focus attention on a person who would smile and nod and be reassuring. So, if you have a good friend, or a stuffed animal, or even a photo of someone dear to you that you can look at and speak to during the interview, you might find that it will help you to be more relaxed.
 
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gyngyn

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Relax. Easier said than done, I know. But really, the best way to tackle interviews is when you're relaxed. By being nervous you're going to think of everything that can go wrong, instead of thinking of everything that can go right. Once you've done that, I suggest going on Youtube and looking at Kevin Ahern's guide to acing a medical school interview. It has 2 parts, and they're hugely informative on how to take control of the interview. (Though this may be largely irrelevant since interviews are now online) If you're in control, then you won't be nervous!

I've conducted many interviews myself, and let me tell you I was almost as nervous as the person I was interviewing! When I was doing interviews, I looked to see if they would be a good team player, direct, creative, and how they would tackle certain scenarios. I wanted to get a sense of who they were, and if I could work alongside them. Of course, medical school interviews will be a little more in depth, but hopefully this puts you more at ease.

A lot of people say to "just be yourself" and yeah they're not wrong. But that's very hard to follow with high stakes for most people. I suggest that you interview other people and take it seriously as if you were the one who was the gatekeeper for medical school. What characteristics would you look for? Do you want them to be humble, direct, a team player? By doing this, you'll understand how to just be yourself in your own interview. Not only that, but you'll know what the interviewer is looking for... because, well you've been in that position!

Just my thoughts.
I could only watch 6 minutes of him pacing like a caged cat.
I found myself counting every time he said "alright?" and "ok?" Then I started counting "now."
I'll try again later!
 
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The premed advising office at some schools will do practice interviews. It’s worth asking your school’s premed advisor, if there is one.
 
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I could only watch 6 minutes of him pacing like a caged cat.
I found myself counting every time he said "alright?" and "ok?" Then I started counting "now."
I'll try again later!

158 times in case anyone wanted to know...

Definitely a hard watch, but there's some valuable information that helped me understand what adcoms may be looking for.
 
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Tyrese

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Ya, interviews to me, are the hardest part of the whole process. >_<

I'd rather be plunged into frigid Arctic waters with an anchor tied to my back, whilst trying to flee a pursuing Orca whale.... :lol:
 
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xffan624

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I’ve been blessed with a couple interviews already, coming up in October (actually VITA is a lot sooner... like a week at most I plan). I just have a sinking feeling that I’ll freeze up, I won’t know how to talk, and I’ll ramble. I’ve gone through Goro’s advice post, and I borrowed a book on medical school interviews. I’m just irrationally worried about online interviews. It’s a lot harder for me for some reason to stay calm when I’m not physically present with the person.

any advice? I’m trying to force my friends to do mock interviews with me lol.

Does your school offer practice interviews? Do you have a premed advisor who can at least get you connected with someone who can pretend to be an adcom over zoom or something? Look into it. It won't be the same but some feedback might be reassuring to you to reduce your anxiety. Also you can come up with some common questions and practice your answers in front of a camera and review them (painful I know, I hate watching myself on camera). Of course, don't practice them excessively as you don't want to rush your answers or make them sound rehearsed. These suggestions are just intended to reduce the butterflies and build some confidence.
 
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You might bomb the first couple and then get better. I got rejected from my first two interviews but I kept improving and then by the end of the interview season I was getting waitlists left and right
 
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deleted1005514

Many confuse extroversion for charisma...usually extroverts.

I’m not even remotely an extrovert and I find his videos useful. He calms down after the minute mark and actually gives useful advice, however, to each his/her own.
 

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If it makes you feel any better, I bet a lot of the interviewers are nervous about online interviews too. It’s much easier to have a face to face chit chat with a stranger than a conference call.
 
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Angus Avagadro

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An interview is like an oral exam.
It's a talking test and the best way to prepare is to talk. The more you practice, the more confidence you will garner. Good luck and best wishes!
 
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Latteandaprayer

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You might bomb the first couple and then get better. I got rejected from my first two interviews but I kept improving and then by the end of the interview season I was getting waitlists left and right

You get one shot with VITA and a good portion of my school list is using it
 
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Little bit of advice, not sure if it will help:

1: listen to Goro
2: wear a full suit/professional dress, make this the only thing you have to do for the day. You are a professional.
3: RELAX: and if that’s not possible, act relaxed. It’s a unique online situation that no one is comfortable with. Don’t force humor, don’t force professionalism, go with the flow
4: “Be yourself”; schools want to find someone who will match their current class. Right now, from my knowledge, that’s someone who is “easy going”, “creative “, is a “nerd”, and likes a challenge. That is every medical student. If you stand out from this, that’s a bonus.
5: honestly don’t worry unless you are a psychopath: interprofessionalism is all the rage. Can you play nice with others? Are you arrogant? Can you speak in front of people? Do you have friends? Are you painfully awkward (still ok just acknowledge it and say you are working on it)
The biggest advice which sounds ridiculous is don’t worry. You have made it this far, you are doing something right.
 
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Little bit of advice, not sure if it will help:

1: listen to Goro
2: wear a full suit/professional dress, make this the only thing you have to do for the day. You are a professional.
3: RELAX: and if that’s not possible, act relaxed. It’s a unique online situation that no one is comfortable with. Don’t force humor, don’t force professionalism, go with the flow
4: “Be yourself”; schools want to find someone who will match their current class. Right now, from my knowledge, that’s someone who is “easy going”, “creative “, is a “nerd”, and likes a challenge. That is every medical student. If you stand out from this, that’s a bonus.
5: honestly don’t worry unless you are a psychopath: interprofessionalism is all the rage. Can you play nice with others? Are you arrogant? Can you speak in front of people? Do you have friends? Are you painfully awkward (still ok just acknowledge it and say you are working on it)
The biggest advice which sounds ridiculous is don’t worry. You have made it this far, you are doing something right.
Agree w/the above, and also you can always Google "interview tips." This has served me well.

To add to this:
1) SMILE! The most important thing that you can do is smile.
2) Make sure that your suit fits well.
3) Practice! Common interview questions include "Why medicine (as opposed to another health profession)?" "Why this school?" and "Why do you want to be a doctor?"
4) Even better, practice in front of a mirror so that you can monitor your facial expressions and gestures.
5) Your undergrad may have a career center that does mock interviews; sometimes these are recorded and that can help as well
6) Be confident. Believe in yourself. You came this far to blow it.
7) Maybe talk over the phone/in-person with someone just before your interview as a "warm-up," if you are shy.

GOOD LUCK! :D
 
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