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interview

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by applicant2002, Jul 11, 2001.

  1. applicant2002

    applicant2002 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Does anyone have any interview tips?

    Specifically, how does one avoid giving the impression that someone (i.e. parents) is forcing them to say certain things. (I applied last year, and that is the interview feedback they gave. It's not true, and I do not know how they got that message, but how do you avoid sending that kind of message)

    Also, I found one interview question that is pretty hard to answer:

    You see a man on the street. You know he has AIDS, because you saw him last week in the clinic. He needs CPR, but he has cuts and bruises all over his face. Also, in the morning, you were shaving and you accidently cut yourself. If you do not give him CPR, the person will die.

    I responded by saying call 911 but the interviewer said the ambulance will not come in time if you call 911.

    I then said I would use a face mask but the interviewer said that you do not have a face mask.

    I then responded by saying I would call 911 and then start chest compressions w/o mouth to mouth, as the AHA recently had published a statement that chest compressions done by itself might be just as effective. The interviewer then said that pretend that the report never came out.

    I was stumped :eek: . HOw would you answer this question :confused: Any help is greately appreciated :D :) :cool:
     
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  3. mcwmark

    mcwmark Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    As for interview skills, practice. Each person has his/her own way, and the key is to make your answers sound genuine.

    Re: CPR on an AIDS victim.

    The first thing they ever teach you in EMS is that you must survey the scene and make sure it is safe for the rescuer to approach the scene (i.e. downed power lines, fire).

    In this case, no one can fault you for observing universal precautions and NOT performing mouth to mouth. Don't compromise your own health for another in a dangerous situation. Remember, you are much more valuable to (future)thousands of people if you are ALIVE and WELL.
     
  4. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    I would call 911 first and then start a proper CPR.
    I doubt AIDS will be transmitted through mouth.
     
  5. bluegill

    bluegill Member 7+ Year Member

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    This sounds really basic, but... The night before you interview, write down about 5-10 questions for you to ask the interviewer that are specific to the school where you are interviewing. Then practice asking them. Don't memorize them (which would make you sound robotic), but definitely get the ideas for questions in your head. I ran out of questions for some interviewers sooner than they liked (it seemed), and I think it hurt me. Both of the schools where this happened to me waitlisted me - I wonder if they interpreted my lack of questions as a lack of interest in their school.
     
  6. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member Physician 10+ Year Member

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    In case you get a question like that, make sure you discuss the transmittal of HIV, not AIDS.

    Andrew
     
  7. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I would suggest setting up a few mock interviews with current med students if you can. They will usually ask you some of the most common questions (ie, why do you want to be a doctor, why do you want to come to School X, etc.), and may throw in ones that stumped them or their friends. I'm guessing from the comments that you received (ie, the impression that your parents were coaching your answers), that you did not come off completely genuine or sincere, or that perhaps your interviewers felt like you had a shallow understanding of what is involved with a medical career. If you practice the interview a few times, and get feedback, you should start feeling more comfortable with your answers.

    Also, I've been plugging this site a lot lately, but check out www.interviewfeedback.com if you haven't already. Those questionnaires will give you a very good feel for the types of questions that each school likes to ask.
     
  8. emdeetwobee

    emdeetwobee Member 7+ Year Member

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    For the AIDs questions, I would use my socks as a face mask and cover up my cut as much as possible.
     
  9. kreno

    kreno Candy Man 7+ Year Member

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    About the CPR Question. Who ever said they would just do CPR without hesitation is speaking irrationally. Look, the answer to that question should be intelligent and honest. Having worked as an EMT and having AIDS patients who required CPR, I can kinda empathize to the situation a little better. Here is what I would say.

    "Sir, that is a difficult question. From the way you ask your question, it seems that there is more than a good chance that transmittence is possible, for you said I cut myself during a shaving accident that morning and I knew that the patients was HIV positive. With that in mind, I have to say that I would not perform mouth to mouth without protective sheilding. In the heat of the situation, I would probably attempt alternatives... perhaps I would clean his mouth off and use my sock as a sheild... if I felt it seemed adequate protection given the circumstances. You know... again, that's really a tough one. If, for example, the patient you brought up was instead a child, I have to say that my hesitation would be futher hindered, for my desire to help the child would really provide a severe emotional dilemma. So again, I'd have to be in the situation. For the sake of a formal response, however, I'd have to say, again, that I wouldn't provide mouth to mouth... not because I am a coward, but because of the very dangerous situation in which i would be placing myself. If you don't mind me asking, what would you do?" Notice how I asked the interviewer the question back.... you have to make sure to do it in the right way though... DO NOT be snappy (obviously). From that you can further the conversation.

    What do you guys think?
     
  10. 6-8 Weeks

    6-8 Weeks Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Interesting, I agree with the above, but is it really that advisable to ask the interviewer back to strike up conversation? I personally wouldn't do it because it might come off the wrong way and could offend the interviewer.
     
  11. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned Banned

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    I was wondering also if its permissible in general to ask the interviewer questions (not directly related to the medical school, but more personal type questions).
     
  12. 6-8 Weeks

    6-8 Weeks Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    I am very hesitant to break that sort of interviewer-interviewee relationship unless the interviewer makes it clear to you that he/she wants to get personal. I understand that the point of the interviews is to let the school know who you are, but I think it should still be kept at a professional level. Just think, somethings you can't say or admit to your boss. The relationship you have just does not allow it (or for me at least). This holds true for interviewers.
     
  13. emdeetwobee

    emdeetwobee Member 7+ Year Member

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    I think difficult questions like that fall into the category of "what you can and what you cannot do" questions. The interviewer wants to know whether you are one with "save the world" attitude verus "play it safe always". The AIDs thing might be a trap or an opener for your knowledge on AIDs, if you have such background on your apps. I think the best way to answer difficult questions like that is to have brevity and less rationalizing. If you get stumped, then admit that you have done the best you can do ("without jeopardizing your health and your sense of duty"--- hopefully the interviewer infers this from your answers). So I don't think your answers hurt very much, unless your expression of being stumped is negative for the interviewer. If I followed your lines, I would end with just dialing 911, assuring the victim (if he can hear) that help is on the way (assuming the interviewer says that you have nothing to use as a shield).
     
  14. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Depends on how comfortable you start to feel with the interviewer. In general, I liked all of my interviewers (except for one), so I did ask them slightly more personal questions, like if I knew they were married and had kids, what did they learn that helped them balance their time, stuff like that. It can be a tough call, but if you are "clicking" and there are some questions you would like to ask, it should be okay. Just remember to be respectful.
     
  15. yigit

    yigit Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    My advice...lighten up. No one will ask that question seriously. They may ask it to see how you respond, but the question is not meant to determine if you are noble enough to be a doctor or not.

    That's why I like Kreno's response, because it shows the guy that you know he's crazy for asking you an unanswerable question. If your interviewer asks you "If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" and you sit there and try to answer him/her seriously, they're going to think you're an idiot.

    Just go in there and have a conversation. Anything else and you look fake...the kiss of death in an interview. :p
     
  16. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Amen, Yigit!
     
  17. 12R34Y

    12R34Y 10+ Year Member

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    I agree with Kreno's response in a general manner, but I don't like the fact that he would help a child more than he would help an adult. i don't think one would like to give the adcoms the impression that you value pediatric life over adult life. Just an observation. I'm also a paramedic and understand that kids are tougher to deal with, but I don't think necessarily that I would do any MORE for a kid than i would for an adult. All life should be treated equally. Not being a prick, just a comment.

    later
     
  18. yigit

    yigit Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Wait a sec...all things being equal, you wouldn't help a kid first? I would.
     
  19. 12R34Y

    12R34Y 10+ Year Member

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    That's not what I said YIGIT.......I was referring to the situation at hand. The guy on the street. I don't think that saying
    "If it were kid on the street with AIDS I would go ahead and do it, but not if it is an adult."

    That's all I said. If there were a mass casualty incident, which I've been apart of several times you really don't have time to decide who gets triaged first, kid or adult you just start at the beginning and go till your done.

    later
     
  20. kreno

    kreno Candy Man 7+ Year Member

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    The reason I brought up the child analogy is because I believe it was a good way to keep the compassion issue at hand. That is, my basic response was I would not help the guy because it would be too dangerous. However, seeing how you want to be SURE not to sound uncompassionate, I brought up the child issue. Who would argue that children don't bring up a special kind of compassion?

    In any regard, although I don't think the answer is rheotorical (that is, I think the CORRECT answer is you should NOT perform mouth to mouth), I don't think the purpose of the interviewer asking the question was to get that specific (i.e. correct) response. Instead, it seems an ideal "off the wall" type of response in which an evaluator would be able to see how someone responds to something that is, quite frankly, out there.

    However, one must always make sure not to sound cold! With all due respect, 12R24Y, your comment "That's all I said. If there were a mass casualty incident, which I've been apart of several times you really don't have time to decide who gets triaged first, kid or adult you just start at the beginning and go till your done" is just that - cold. Although I totally agree (for the most part), I don't think such a statement let off in a nonchalant manner would be beneficial for any MEDICAL school interview.

    Regarding asking the interviewer his/her views; I must emphasize, it TOTALLY depends on how the interview is going... how your'e "clicking" with your interviewer, etc. If, indeed, things are going well, there is nothing out of the ordinary asking an interviewer his/her views on issues... even if they were issues he/she asked you! I mean, what better way to start a stimulating conversation? Otherwise, the whole conversation will stay a simple "question:answer:next question:answer" type interview.... and that's the last thing you want to do when you're trying to sell your personality. I mean, your true personality doesn't necessarily come to the actual answers to the question which the interviewer asks, instead, it is the overall feeling the interviewer gets from the whole process. Again, it depends how things are going. I had a mock interview with an advisor, who was like 80 years old and super smart and super anal and ****ty, and, i just didn't feel it was appropriate to do anything without his direct approval... so, again, it all depends.

    Good luck everyone...

    leon
     
  21. Mystique

    Mystique The Procrastinator 7+ Year Member

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    I don't meant to break the thread, but I do have an interview question to contribute to the list.

    "Ten years from now you go through your drawers in your work place (hospital, clinic,etc.) and come across your AMCAS application. As you look over your app., what would you be most proud of and why?"
     
  22. kris

    kris Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Lilycat's right about being able to ask the interviewer a question.

    One of my interviewers asked me about the strengths of my marriage and what made it work since we are both career-driven. I gave my answer, and since I knew my interviewer was an academic married to a doc, I asked her what she thought made hers work. She said she thought it was exactly the same things that I answered, and she elaborated.

    I only felt comfortable asking her a) because I was genuinely interested in her answer, and b) because we had hit it off so well.
     
  23. grasshopper

    grasshopper Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Another interview question: I hear the medical profession has a tendency to hold certain views on medical ethics issues--pro-choice, etc. Any advice for those of us who may not hold those views but want to be seen as competent decision-makers anyway?
     
  24. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Odds are, they will ask you a question like that in a medical context/hypothetical scenario way. If this is how you are asked (say about a mother who is pregnant, but you know the fetus is afflicted with Tay-Sachs, do you advise termination of the pregnancy, etc.), try to concentrate on the patient and their options. Even if you don't agree with abortion yourself, you could say something along the lines of "I would make sure the parents were available of all the options available to them, and depending on the option they choose, if necessary I would make sure to refer them a trusted and competent colleague," something along those lines.
     

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