Okay kids, I'm on the admissions board for my medical school, and I just want to say that even if you are a 4.0, 13 MCAT, multiple publications student, you can screw up the interview and be instantly rejected. I have watched it happen. SO, and I'm sure that most of you know this, here are a few kisses of death in the interview: 1. Arrogance. Do NOT, I repeat, NOT be arrogant. Even if you are interviewing at Piece of crap-U, don't be arrogant. And don't think that the folks on one admissions board are completely isolated from other admissions boards. They talk, trust me. Cut yourself a big ol' piece of humble pie before you interview. 2. Telling a school that they are not your top choice. Even if they are your last choice, don't tell them that!! You really don't know if they will be the only school that will accept your sorry butt. If you don't want to go to a school, don't apply there! If they ask this ridiculous question, say something like, "well, I don't really have a preference right now, that's why I really wanted to see the school in person. But certainly your (insert program strength) makes it number one in that area for me. I hope to learn about your other strengths today. Could you tell me about the (insert other unique aspect of program here)". The key here is once again egos. Doctor's have big egos! Don't stomp on them, or they will take great delight in stomping on you. 3.Looking unenthusiastic about being there. Listen, we really don't have any desire to waste our precious time on a candidate that doesn't want to be here. Even if it's just an act, ACT EXCITED about the chance to interview. If you look disinterested, we question your motivations for becoming a doctor. 4. Telling us you really dislike patients. Okay, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING HERE? If you dislike patients, you don't need to be a doctor, and I sure as hell don't want you as a third or fourth year student on my wards. Understand that you spend all of your third year and most of your fourth year with patients. You have to learn to work with them. And if you upset them, then we, as your seniors have to clean up your mess. I hate messes. SO, I'm not going to take a candidate that HATES patients. If you have a lot of research experience, but no clinical experience, you may get asked what you think about working with patients. Tell them that you realize your lack of real world medical experience is a weakness in your application, but that you like working with people, and that you look forward to applying research to actual patients. 5. Give one-line answers to questions. Unless the question is something like "did I pronounce your name correctly," be prepared to elaborate on your answer. Understand that much of medical school is people assessing your ability to think on your feet. And to think well, for that matter. You will spend most of your clinical years learning to think on your feet. But we want people who already show some ability to think on their feet. When I ask you an ethics question, and you answer "I could see both sides" and don't elaborate, I'm picturing us on the wards. I see me asking you questions and you saying "I don't know" or other equally impressive one-liners. 6. Really focusing on a school's weakness. The truth is, EVERY school has an area they are weak in. Some schools will ask you what you see as the school's weakness. INSERT DIPLOMACY HERE! You are treading on thin ice with this one. Sometimes, you have no idea what your interviewers do. If you bash their field, they will not like you!! Say something like "Well, I've heard there are some changes going on in the such-and-such area. I guess that might be a weakness. Can you tell me what the school is planning for this area?" And don't just say (i.e. not asked about it) a school is "weak" in an area unless you are really sure of it. Stick with the "I hear there are changes being made here, and lots of changes can mean disorganization and some potential weakness" route Anyway, with that said, I want to say that candidates with strong records, and good recommendations, are always looked at favorably unless they really mess up the interview. The cards are stacked in your favor already. Just come in and be nice and say a few intelligent things, and trust me, you're in. Nervousness is perfectly fine with me. That tells me that you care about this interview, and ultimately, that you care about becoming a doctor. Just though I'd share!