Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Dismiss Notice
Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.

interview magic number

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by doctorFred, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. doctorFred

    doctorFred intensive carer
    Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Messages:
    1,111
    Likes Received:
    46
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    so, assuming that the overall rate of acceptance vs. interview at US MD schools is something like a 3:1 ratio, i'm figuring that (allowing for some error), anyone who is granted four interviews can feel almost totally certain that they will eventually be accepted somewhere. i have seen, thus far, one example to the contrary, an infamous individual with steller stats who was unanimously rejected from all the schools he has interviewed at multiple years (i can't remember the URL anymore.)

    but i digress. anyone know of an applicant (or, is an applcant) who interviewed at four or more schools and still received no acceptances?
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. C.P. Jones

    C.P. Jones Catface Majigger
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    2
    i've interviewed at 4 schools already, a 5th in december....one waitlist, one hold, one i'm sure will be a rejection, the other they won't review my app

    not feeling too good about all this
     
  4. Saluki

    Saluki 1K Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    2
    I'm sure that you could hear tons of individual anecdotes. The problem is that you don't know what's going to play into the final decision. The person could have good stats but an awful personality or have interesting activities but not really enough to make up for a low GPA. The type of people who get lots of interviews are more likely to get acceptances, but no number of interviews willl guarantee you anything.
     
  5. doctorFred

    doctorFred intensive carer
    Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Messages:
    1,111
    Likes Received:
    46
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    what are your stats/where did you apply/do you have an mdapplicants page?
     
  6. t33sg1rl

    t33sg1rl Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Messages:
    350
    Likes Received:
    1
    Imy case, I applied to 6 schools, got 5 interviews, and no straight-out acceptances-I got 1 rejection and 4 waitlists.

    After May 15 passed and I had no acceptances, I talked to an adcom officer at the closest school I applied to, thinking that I might be a re-applicant. She said that in my case, I was nearly guaranteed an interview anywhere I applied due to a high MCAT (13 Bio, 11 Phys, 14 Verbal, which is the section they look at the most... btw, I have no advice for y'all, on practice tests I never scored higher than 12 on any section-I did pray up a storm however).
    BUT, even though the MCAT score would get me an interview, other factors like an undergrad science GPA below 3 (yes I did graduate work) were enough of a concern that this particular school, anyway, rejected me.

    The other very useful thing I took from that meeting was that they read your personal statement with a MICROSCOPE. Not only was she more familiar with my PS than I was, she had notes from the adcom discussion as they went paragraph by paragraph through the stinkin' thing!!! Frankly I was a little shocked.

    So I finished my 2006 application, submitted June 1, paid $500 to apply to more schools than I did the first time... then I got in off the wait list.

    So to summarize, schools might want to interview you just because of one wierd/exceptional thing, but that doesn't mean they will accept... shouldn't apply to you if your application is well balanced. I thought being interviewed at 5/6 schools meant it was a sure thing, and I barely squeaked in!
     
  7. Apparition

    Apparition 1K Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,574
    Likes Received:
    1
    Why would they interview someone they have no intention of accepting?
     
  8. Saluki

    Saluki 1K Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    2
    It's not that they have no intention of accepting you. It's just that if you have a weak portion of your application but something else that's really strong, they might give you a chance with an interview, but if you don't come across strongly enough to make up for the flaws, you're probably looking at a waitlist...
     
  9. speranza

    speranza Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't a lot of schools, especially higher ranked ones, actually do this all the time?
     
  10. FictionalGirl

    FictionalGirl Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I was interviewed at a school and one of my interviewers didn't want to answer my questions about the schools second year entry into the md/phd program after looking at my mcat scores. he reminded me its not for the faint of heart, a very rigorous program. while all the time looking at a page that that JUST my mcat score and my name as reminders. then he wouldn't answer anything else and got really mean. before the page he was nice as pie. So who knows, maybe the admissions people like you but you get one cranky guy. its sOOOOOO arbitrary. blargh
     
  11. ablumoon

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    1
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apparition
    Why would they interview someone they have no intention of accepting?



    Don't a lot of schools, especially higher ranked ones, actually do this all the time?


    --> I really hope not. Does anyone know about this?
     
  12. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
    Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    Messages:
    21,481
    Likes Received:
    26,654
    Status:
    Academic Administration
    Sometimes (very rarely) there is a pity-interview of someone who is clearly below "average" for that school but who has an important connection to the school (multi-generation legacy, high ranking faculty, major donor, politician). For the most part, there are so many excellent applicants and so few interivew spots that anyone would be nuts to give interviews to applicants who do not, on paper, look like an excellent prospect for that school.
     
  13. pagemmapants

    pagemmapants Unknown Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,602
    Likes Received:
    20
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Well, why don't we look at this mathematically...

    Let's be stingy and assume that a school accepts 1/4 of the people it interviews. That means, for each interview you have, you have a 75% chance of NOT being accepted, or 0.75.

    If you have 2 interviews, then the possibility of NOT getting into a school is (0.75)(0.75) or (0.75)^2, which equals 0.5625, or 56.25%. This means you have a 1-(0.5625) or 43.75% chance of getting into school A, school B, or both.

    Taking this to the function level, you can say that if you have "N" interviews, your chances of NOT getting in ANYWHERE are (0.75)^N and your chances of getting in to AT LEAST ONE school are 1-((0.75)^N)

    When you hit about 5 or 6 interviews, the chances you won't get in anywhere are pretty slim (23.7% and 17.8%, respectively).

    Of course, if you spit while you talk or wear one of those snazzy hunter green blazers, your odds might be a little different.
     
  14. LT2

    LT2 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    801
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    :smuggrin:

    it would be nice if things fell into place statistically. but interviews are pretty subjective and since files go to committee for a final review, it's anyone's guess...
     
  15. pagemmapants

    pagemmapants Unknown Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,602
    Likes Received:
    20
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I know this.

    I'm being facetious.
     
  16. RustNeverSleeps

    RustNeverSleeps Walker, Texas Ranger
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    This may be true for some people, but you are assuming that everyone who interviews has a roughly equal chance of getting in (compared to other applicants). Unfortunately, there are some people who look good on paper but are unimpressive in the interview -- such people could very easily interview at 4 (or more) schools and not get accepted. I think timing is also a factor -- having 4 interviews in October/November is a lot different from having 4 interviews in February, at most schools.

    Also, I am on the ad com at my school and have seen several people who seem to have had 4 or more interviews (based on the number of waitlists they were on) and still did not get in. I also remember several such people from the interview trail several years ago.
     
  17. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Messages:
    4,206
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    In general, if you get 4-5 interviews, you should get into at least one school. If you are getting 4+ interviews and not getting into school, then you may want to explore your interviewing technique. 4+ schools interviewing you means that there is general agreement that you're academically capable. However you may still be a borderline applicant that needs to ace the interview.
     
  18. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    30,983
    Likes Received:
    9,858
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I suppose that now and then a school will do a courtesy interview, where they promised someone of import that they would "take a look" at a candidate. However, most interviewers are clinicians with other important duties, and so by and large the school won't waste their time with interviews where the person has no shot. Thus if you were invited to the interview you have some mathematical shot at getting in, and should put your best foot forward accordingly. Then again, if you end up with interviewers who are not clinicians or don't seem to have anyplace else they would otherwise be, then perhaps you are not high on the list.
     
  19. forevalwayzz

    forevalwayzz Clueless member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    0
    how i wish that 4:1 thing were true, i've interview at 8+ places already, so theoretically, I should be getting 2 acceptances... lol, wouldn't that be nice
     
  20. Will Ferrell

    Will Ferrell Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    778
    Likes Received:
    2
    register for USNews.com. You'll see the exact interview/acceptance numbers for most schools. Some schools take >50% interviewees, while some are less than a quarter.
     
  21. BOBODR

    BOBODR Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interviews confuse me. Example .. I interviewed at NYMC and really liked the school. But they interview 1300 people for just 185 spots or so. I realize they need to interview alot of people but it seems like alot. Also the interviews are closed file. So you just talk about your activities and any red flags you have. Not sure how they really evaluate people because everyone felt they had an OK interview. Not great but nothing stressful. So do interviews really count for anything? I mean if you are just re hashing your AMCAS , I am not sure what the final decision will be based on.
     
  22. nontrad314

    nontrad314 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    0
    regarding the 1 - p^N business discussed above, if people really are interested in this sort of thing (which i don't think is a good idea since i'm not convinced the process is random) the binomial distribution + bernoulli trails might be of interest:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binomial_distribution

    the mean is N p and the swing / stdev is sqrt{N p (1-p)}. For p = 1/4 N = 4 you have mean = 1 but the stdev = 0.86 or something close to 1 (why bother being accurate with these numbers). The 68% argument doesn't work though, because it's not normal for a long time.

    anyway, i have no faith in this sort of numerology. instead, just give it all you got and hope for the best.
     
  23. PhotoMD

    PhotoMD Rad!
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Just a problem with your math:

    The mathematical model assumes that each school is selecting randomly (that each observation is independent). They're not, so if you're rejected at one school, you're far more likely to be rejected at another. That is, schools see some of the same characteristics and evaluate accordingly.
     
  24. nontrad314

    nontrad314 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    0
    PhotoMD,

    Not sure who you're referring to, but for the sake of clarity '1-p^N' referred to:

    "Let's be stingy and assume that a school accepts 1/4 of the people it interviews. That means, for each interview you have, you have a 75% chance of NOT being accepted, or 0.75."

    which accounts for independence. Those interested in that logic would presummably be interested in the binomial distribution since it's the relevant one.

    Again, I'm not convinced that the process is random (let alone dependent etc). For example, interviewers don't flip a coin (or use some other random generator) to make their decisions.
     
  25. anystream

    anystream Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Messages:
    491
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Medical Student
    what does it mean when you keep getting interviewed by a certain type of person? I have been interviewed by the director of admissions at more than a couple schools (at one school it was even a director and former director of admissions) and my best guess is because I am a borderline applicant and the people interviewing me are looking for specific things...
     
  26. crazy_cavalier

    crazy_cavalier T3-Weighted
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,992
    Likes Received:
    8
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    75% post-interview rejection rate is pretty harsh ;)
     
  27. crazy_cavalier

    crazy_cavalier T3-Weighted
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,992
    Likes Received:
    8
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Hmm, very interesting. It could work either strongly in your favor or strongly against your favor. I imagine if the Director has good things to say about your interview, you'll probably get an acceptance...

    Anyway, I'm not sure how interviewers are selected. Maybe they try to match you up based on what your application file looks like? Or, maybe they just randomly assign it... hmm.
     
  28. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Messages:
    11,735
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I initially went with the "4 interviews and I'm in" model. I'm a non-trad and have been told that I interview very well. I've got 13 years of adulthood to discuss vs. 4, so it's not that huge an accomplishment. I've gotten into 2 of the 3 schools I've interviewed at and I'm waiting on the 3rd (which I think is out of my league, so an interview there was a success).

    Some people will get into almost every school they interview at and some people who don't interview well... won't. I think the statistical model is crap for something like this.
     
  29. pagemmapants

    pagemmapants Unknown Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,602
    Likes Received:
    20
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    of course it is. I didn't expect it to be taken SERIOUSLY. :laugh:
     
  30. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Messages:
    11,735
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I wasn't criticizing or thinking you took it seriously. I wasn't paying enough attention to know who brought it up or whether they did it as a joke ;)
     

Share This Page