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Interview performance vs. results

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by gotmeds?, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. gotmeds?

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    So I've noticed that my subjective interview performance hasn't been a good indicator of a school's post-interview decision. Here's what I mean:

    School A -- One great interview -- Waitlisted
    School B -- One good interview, one so-so interview -- Accepted
    School C -- One good interview, one bad interview -- Accepted
    School D -- Two bad interviews -- Accepted
    School E -- One bad interview -- Rejected

    So I don't know. Maybe I'm not all that good at assessing my own performance, or maybe the interviews matter a lot more at some schools than at others. I'm still waiting to hear back post-interview from a few schools, and based on prior results, I have no idea what to expect. Anyone else with similar experiences?
     
  2. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Very few people are good at assessing their own interview performance. It's something you basically can only learn by having done it a lot and gotten honest feedback. Thus unless you have done mock interviews, videotaped yourself, or practiced with friends and family, you will not have a good sense of how you were perceived. Plus some people always seem to think they did great and some people always think they tanked it. So practice. It is a skill that can be mastered, like any other.
     
  3. Nomemory

    Nomemory Member
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    Great thread! :thumbup: I obliterated (and I DON'T mean in a good way) both my interviews at my "dream school". At this point, I'm just praying for anything but a rejection--waitlist, hold, anything! :scared:
     
  4. thedelicatessen

    thedelicatessen In Memory of Riley Jane
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    Based on my own experience, I will disagree. I had a lot of interviews and got accepted by half of them. At the schools that accepted me, I felt like I really connected with the interviewers, and they gave positive feedback to me at the end. At the schools that waitlisted/rejected me, I either screwed up an interview or had only a neutral feeling afterwards. Of course, even after leaving the great interviews, I still thought I could have potentially messed up, and only after I got the acceptance did I think that I actually did ok. It's such a tricky game!
     
  5. Nomemory

    Nomemory Member
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    Scratch the micron. :eek: ;)
     
  6. stiffany

    stiffany Hurry up and wait...
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    Two great interviews, one so so interview ~~> Accepted
    One okay interview, one good interview ~~> Accepted
    Two great interviews ~~> Waitlisted

    Don't think it matters too much unless you come across as really arrogant or "weird."
     
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  7. Nomemory

    Nomemory Member
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    Does idiotic count as "weird"? :D
     
  8. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Disagree. Depends on the school, but when schools weight the interview significantly (most of them), you are burning yourself if you have a lukewarm or boring interview, where you say nothing wrong and didn't come off arrogant or weird, but simply didn't sell yourself, because odds are that very few of the folks you are competing with will come off arrogant or weird, and a few are going to be quite personable.

    This is a competitive component of the application, and only a portion (a half or less, often) of those interviewed get in. It is not just a screen for the crazies - that is totally SDN myth. It is a portion of the application process like any other, that you can prepare for and use to your advantage. Come off as personable, enthusiastic, interesting and really sell yourself, and you dramatically increase your chances to get into med school. I've known more than a few people who were candidly told by deans after admission that they got in on the strength of their strong interview.
     
  9. drc243

    drc243 New Member
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    The myth that I have heard from many is that once you reach the interview stage that everyone is on an equal playing field and that the interview makes you or break you. I spoke to a doctor on an admissions commitee and he told me that interviews are merely just a way to validate your application, see if you are a good fit for the school, see you are sociable and not a psycopath. Wowing an interviewer does not guarantee admission because the interview evaluation that he/she writes for you in only one piece of the puzzle. During commitee meetings your application will be scrutinized by a dozen people again and they will determine acceptance not your interviewer.

    Best,
    Dave
     
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  10. OP
    OP
    gotmeds?

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    My guess (and this is total speculation here) is that interviews get more weight at the better schools. Those schools already have high MCAT and GPA averages and a competitive applicant pool, so if they want to let in someone with an MCAT score of 27 who they really liked at the interview, they don't have to think twice about it. For the less competitive schools, I think the interview might not be quite as important if you've got good numbers, but they have to be more careful about letting in people who will bring down their averages. Again, it's pure speculation.
     
  11. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Second this. The interview is another piece of your application.

    If you knock 'em dead, it may boost you up over comparable applicants and give you an acceptance. On the other hand, it might not, as your overall application may just not be as strong as the rest of the folks interviewing.

    If you give a horrible interivew, it may cost you an acceptance, but on the other hand, you may still get in if you have a strong enough app.

    Practice, research and do your best for upcoming interviews. But go in knowing that ultimately the decision is not entirely based on that one hour.
     
  12. AnEyeLikeMars

    AnEyeLikeMars Member
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    In my personal experience, I've not realy found a correlation between interview performance and results.

    I've generally heard that a terrible interview can kill your chances, an outstanding interview may bump you up a little bit, but that most interviews are good/average and just serve as a minor piece of the entire puzzle. I'm obviously not an adcomm member, but considering the length and subjectivity of interviews, I can't imagine that they are given significant weight (unless, as i said before, it goes terribly wrong). Also, I've heard some people say that at some schools, everyone enters the interview on an even playing field. But how could this be true? I don't see why schools would not still look at other factors.
     
  13. ruefr

    ruefr Junior Member
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    My worst interview preformance resulted in an acceptance. My other four interviews (at two other schools) went wonderfully, and resulted in waitlists.
     
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  14. spicedmanna

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    I don't think there is an easy way to objectively evaluate your own interview performance, without direct feedback. For example, I usually leave thinking I screwed up in some way, and most likely it's because I did. There's no such thing as being flawless, anyway; you can always pick at something, to improve upon some element. Of course this is what I'm going to see because that's what I'm focusing on. Thus, I am viewing my performance based on the filter of, "what I did wrong, what can I improve upon."

    I have accumulated a lot of experience in job interviews, and as a project manager, given them. From my observation, the most important thing is to be authentic, fairly relaxed, but also ready, and to be highly conscious of what you are selling at each moment. We are always selling something; it's better when you are doing it consciously rather than walking around like a charged wire without knowledge of what you are projecting. One important trick is to be fluid in your transitions and for you to demonstrate ease in your interactions. Take your time, don't go faster than your authentic pace; give yourself time to breath and think before you speak. Your body language must closely align with your statements, and you should show authentic confidence. It's not so much what you say (within reason, of course) as what you are projecting as a whole; that is, your presence is far more important than your actual verbiage. I sometimes see my interactions with people as jazz improvisation; I'll play off the basic melody, but try to express myself through it.

    Anyway, I digress. I think there is no easy correlation between how you think you performed at an interview and acceptance. For one thing, as I mentioned above, we are poor judges of our own performance. Furthermore, the interview is but one component in your entire application. After your interview, adcoms will view your entire package and make a decision based on that. Of course, this is highly dependent on how each individual school weighs your interview.

    Basically, don't try to dissect, or intellectualize, it too much. If you notice a negative trend, then try to pin-point the problem. Ask for direct feedback, if possible.

    Just by two copper coins.
     
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  15. HumbleMD

    HumbleMD hmmmm...
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    :thumbup: Mostly zinc, though.
    Combine this with the fact that many interviewers are not exactly HR people with an idea of what a "good" interview is (for rating the student's performance). I don't know why, but a good proportion of my interviewers confessed this was their first time interviewing applicants, so they didn't have that much experience to draw from.

    Just further reason as to why it is imposible to analyze one's own interview performance objectively.
     
  16. Kfire326

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    School A: One good interview, one so-so interview --> Waitlisted
    School B: One great interview --> Accepted
    School C: One great interview --> Accepted
    School D: One so-so interview --> Accepted
     
  17. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search
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    Impossible to know:

    Interview #1 = great, good conversation, I was a great "fit" for the school = REJECTION

    Interview #2 = Excellent = ACCEPTED

    Interview #3 = Excellent = ACCEPTED

    Interview #4 = I was nervous and thought it was horrible = ACCEPTED.


    Based on the results above, you can draw absolutely no useful conclusions except that it is impossible to know. ;)
     
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