SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Interview Styles

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

  1. sundevil1

    sundevil1 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2001
    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.
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2001
    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 7+ Year Member

    Aug 29, 2001
    I know that Northwestern has a group interview with three interviewers and three interviewees.
  5. Hoosierdaddy

    Hoosierdaddy Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 28, 2001
    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.

Share This Page