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Interview Styles

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by sundevil1, Aug 30, 2001.

  1. sundevil1

    sundevil1 Senior Member
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    Hey, I was wondering if anybody had any opinions on different interview styles. I guess the two main different kinds would be open file and closed file? I will have one closed file interview where the interviewers will know nothing about me besides my name and that I am applying to med school. No MCAT, personal statement, or GPA. What do you think can be the advantages and disadvantages of this? I personally think it puts everyone on an even playing field for the interview but it also does not allow you to defend or explain any weak points in your application.
     
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  3. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member
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    Hi sundevil,

    Of all my interviews last year, I liked closed file interviews MUCH better. I was free to talk about what interested me, the interviewer did not have any pre-conceived notions of me, I did not have to bring any particular issues up or explain them and it forced me to talk and explain things in a lot more detail. In contrast, in open file interviews, some of my interviewers had decided that I needed to "prove myself" by explaining certain issues (why I dropped out of law school -- to which there is, apparently, no sufficient and acceptable answer for some medical admissions interviewers; my VR score; etc.). I personally felt more on the defensive and/or tense in open file interviews and felt a lot more relaxed in closed file ones -- mainly because we only discussed what I brought up. But, that could just be me. Anyway, hope that is helpful. Good luck!

    -- Becky
     
  4. 6 to 8 Weeks

    6 to 8 Weeks Member
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    I know that Northwestern has a group interview with three interviewers and three interviewees.
     
  5. Hoosierdaddy

    Hoosierdaddy Member
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    I didn't really like the closed-file interview system that was used at one of my four interviews last year. The disadvantage of a closed-file interview is that the interviewers don't know if you're a super-bright person or just any idiot off of the street. My closed-file interview was at a state school that automatically granted interviews to all in-state students. For all my interviewer knew, I could have had a 2.8 GPA and a 24 MCAT. Overall, I felt like I was under more pressure to do well in the interview than I was at the other med schools that used the open-file system. Like you mentioned, the obvious advantage to a closed-file interview is that everyone is on equal footing. Also, as Becky G said, interviewers can't grill you on the weaknesses in your file. However a closed-file interview doesn't allow you to defend your weaknesses either. One other thing: I think a closed-file interview will focus more on general medical topics (national news, ethical debates, etc.) than an open-file interview because you won't be spending much time talking about your file. You might want to brush up on some current issues in medicine before your interview. Good luck.
     

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