SteelEyes

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Feb 22, 2005
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I posted this as a reply in another thread, but I thought it might be more useful as a new thread. I will be graduating from med school this may, so I have experience both with med school admissions and residency interviews.

1. Take a stand! When asked a difficult question, it seems politically correct to straddle the fence, but I think this is a bad idea. Admission people want people with both values and convictions. They don't need 150 students sitting on a fence . . . This leads me to big number 2.

2. BACK UP WHAT YOU SAY! No answer you give should end in a single sentence. Offer your answer then give justification for that response. This is critical as admissions people are trying to find out how you THINK! The answer is sometimes irrelevant compared to how you arrived at the answer!

3. Tell me about yourself. This was my single most hated question . . . at first. But then I realized that this is a great question because it puts the ball in your court. This gives you the opportunity to dictate the flow of conversation. Use this question to propel the conversation towards your strengths. DO NOT simply restate your application as an answer to this question! Do not say "I was born in blah, I lived with my mom and my dad, and I knew I wanted to be a doctor since the womb . . ." You should expect this question and rehearse an answer.

4. Strengths. This is your chance to set yourself apart. Try to distinguish yourself here. Everyone interviewing is probably intelligent. Show your empathy, communication skills, people interaction skills, ability to teach, MULTITASKING, time management, etc . . .

5. Weaknesses. Do NOT state a weakness without flipping it around to a positive! Example: I have always appeared young for my age, so I have always tried to act mature . . ."

6. Firm handshake. Your goal here is to crush the person's hand. Not literally, but a firm handshake goes a LONG way! This goes for women too. If I interview someone and they give me one of those finger shakes, they are OUT!

7. Eye contact. Enough said.

8. Dress the part. From my experiences, this is not a problem for 99% of people, but make sure you dress professionally.

9. Send thank you notes and follow up, especially if you get wait-listed.

10. Know that the interview is VERY important. A strong interview can make up for a less than stellar application.

Message me if you have any other questions. Let me know if you'd like specific advice for specific interview questions. Good luck!
 

inthe4cast

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Feb 23, 2005
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Awesome advice!

Wish I saw it about a month ago before my interviews :)