Interviewer presents themselves without their title

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Full Member
Aug 23, 2023
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Hi All,

I recently had an interview where the interviewer introduced themselves as “first name, last name” and did not include their title. It said phd on their badge and I addressed them as Dr. Last name. They seemed put off when I used their title. I felt like I was being polite and certainly always try to be respectful but was it a faux pas on my behalf?

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If the person is not a current student, and they are interviewing you for medical school, I think you can't go wrong with "Professor". If they are a MD or DO, of course, "Doctor" is not incorrect. If you can look at them in LInkedIn or the university webpage and see that they are the Junior Assistant Dean for something then you could go with "Dean [last name]" rather than Professor. Ma'am and Sir are not common where I am but I do get that sometimes from applicants from the service academies.
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This isn't a faux pau. Some professors want to be "down/hip with the kids" but from your perspective, the risk of you offending a PhD or MD by saying "Sup, Lizzy!" instead of "Good morning Dr. M" is so much worse than you offending someone by being too respectful.

Sometimes applicants want to call me Mr. Knight during interviews, and while I think it's weird (I'm pretty young), I do't fault them for it, they're just making sure their ducks are in a row.

Of course if you just say professor it's impossible for you to mess up
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I think this is a common issue in MMIs when you aren't given their name ahead of time and can't search them up. I usually just try to skirt around references to names and use generally worded things if i have to address the interviewer
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