Right now I'm trying to keep up to date on all important current events, from health care to the international issues that affect us. They are good things to know for interviews. I'm also reading lots of books, trying to broaden my knowledge on certain subjects, things I could bring up during an interview. As an interview approaches, I plan on practicing at the career center at my old undergrad school. They video tape it and give good feedback. I'm confident that this should be helpful to me for now.
1. Essay Edge has a great site with tips for preparing for the medical school admissions interview.
2. UW (Seattle) has a great Medical Ethics site for boning up on hard questions you might be asked.
3. Make sure you can explain everything on your primary and secondary app and know why you want to go to that particular school. Take copies of your apps and the MSAR pages on that school with you to review while traveling.
4. Do a mock interview with someone knowledgeable, if at all possible.
5. Make your plane reservations early if you're flying: prices get higher every day you delay. Do not let your interview clothes out of your sight while traveling.
I'm thinking that I would like to prepare by doing mock interviews about 2-3 weeks before my actual interview, of course that if time permits me to do that. That way if I get negative feedback, I can spend time thinking how I can change what I need to change and then possibly go back to do another mock interview. Also, I would have time to correct any wierd tendency I may unknowingly have by watching the videotape.
I wish I had time to do this last year when I had two interviews. I walked out of both of them feeling quite good actually, but alas, I'm here still visiting SDN and reapplying. Turns out from feedback that I got from both schools that my interviews were fine, but I still think that there is room for improvement. I really do not want to project any flaws this time around and I want things to go as flawless as possible. I felt that I could have been more knowledgeable about certain things, thats why I'm doing lots of reading to broaden my knowledge.
i am not sure i agree with this. the only thing i am doing to prepare for interviews is to read over my application and think of answers to common questions about me and my experiences and my strengths/weaknesses.
i figure, i am not going to become an expert on the many many current events/bioethical issues. and i think it is really ok to say you don't know that much about something if an interviewer asks. in fact, i think it might even be preferrable than trying to be an expert on a lot of subjects. from doing a couple secondaries (mostly the duke one) i got myself a little familiar with some recent topics, but i am by no means totally well informed on anything. i think that a cursory knowledge of some stuff coupled with a complete honesty is totally fine (maybe even preferrable). i figure intreviewers have interviewed many many people, and your knowledge of ethica dilemmas in cloning isn't going to really impress them. but being a nice, personable, relaxed person is. so i am working more on that end.
ok, so sorry for the really long post, but basically i read over a lot of sdn feedback before my first interview, and got a little scared that i would have to know the details about every current event and topic. but my first interview went really really well, and believe me, ALL i knew was myself. i practiced some answers to common questions, and made a list of things/events/experiences in my life that i would like to talk about. i was able to work like 75% of these into the conversation and never felt myself stumped on questions about myself.
if you think about it, the probability that any one current event/ethical topic is going to come up in an interview is slim to none. but the chance that you are going to be asked why you want to be a doctor, what you learned from ___ extracurricular, what your greatest challenges have been etc. are basically 100%. i'd say concentrate on these questions.
I've got to wholeheartedly agree with MedApp2003 on this one as someone who has been through the whole med school interview process and is about to do the whole thing over again for residency. The point of the interview is for the school to learn about YOU: who you are, what makes you tick, what your strengths and weaknesses are, etc. It is VERY easy to see through prepared answers or ones that aren't your own (I say having interviewed many people for different positions before). The purpose of asking ethical questions in a medical school interview is NOT to see how much you know about Medicare or the latest developments in stem cell research, for example; instead, they are intended to allow the interviewer(s) to see how well you think and what the process you go through to make a decision is. If you have a completely prepared answer, it typically won't come off you intend. I'll get off my soap box on the books and all that supposedly help you prepare for interviews.
As for how to prepare, though, what really helped me and many others is to go through mock interviews. My undergrad campus offered them for free and would videotape them and then critique us on them (individually of course). I would heavily recommend this, as the best way to prepare for an interview is to go through one! You could even try having your family or friends ask you questions just so you get in the habit of giving a answer without having to think a long time about it.
Just my suggestions--but do what feels right to you and will make you the most comfortable the day of the interview--THAT is the most important thing!
your tips are awesome! i am prepping for my boston u interview on 8/25 as we speak.
quick, dumb question...do you think i should bring a laptop w/ me when i travel? it would be nice to check my email and stuff, but i also see it as a hindrance considering i want to travel as light as possible.
Sure, take a laptop with you if you have room for it; however, I would not suggest bringing it along with you to the school on the day of your interview. One guy did that when I was interviewing for med school, and there were quite a few negative comments made about him...
Also do remember that if you have a laptop and are staying at a hotel, sometimes you will be charged even for local calls.
MY bulletproof strategies for a few days before interviews:
-think about the answers to all the fundamental questions like why you want to be a doctor etc. but don't memorize them.
-do whatever you have to do to get yourself to relax on interview day. (I watched Van Wilder at 6am the day of the interview!)
-Be honest and be yourself. The interviewers can immediately sense that and they will loosen up as well.
-do whatever you can to eliminate "emm"s and "you know"s and "basically"s etc. from your speech
i think one thing to keep in mind, as others have said, is totally be yourself. It's a good idea to go over current issues in the world, but i don't believe that you need to know them detail by detail. The AdComm will most likely look for what type of doctor you can be, and hence that needs to come out at your interview.
BE SURE AS TO WHY YOU WANT TO GO INTO MEDICINE. I personally think that you can't be wavering on this aspect, you should have a firm idea/reasons for why you want to go into this field.
The most important thing is to be calm.....and if you can do that, you will be fine.