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Interviewer: So tell me about yourself...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by willow18, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. willow18

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    How the heck do I answer that, i.e., how much detail do they want me to go into. Do they want my family history, my hobbies, my EC's.... ?

    I have a closed file interview scheduled very soon and think that's how the interview will begin. Anybody have experience with that question?
     
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  3. mcnugget

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    That's your chance to sell you. And in the process you may even find that you and your interviewer have common interests.
     
  4. Chinorean

    Chinorean Senior Member
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    Don't just give the laundry list that they will read when they look through your file afterwards. Pick a few things that are meaningful, interesting, and explain why they are important.

    Ex: I'm the captain of the ultimate frisbee team, I really like it because it's a way to get fresh air, exercise, and compete while having fun...I love the outdoors, I went camping a few weeks ago at _____. But I still devote a lot of time to academics, I'm a ____ major and so far I've gotten a ____ gpa and a ___ on the MCAT. (I don't know if you'd want to add that last part, but they might expect you to address that in a closed interview)

    Yadda yadda stuff like that.
     
  5. mcnugget

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    is that your real reason for liking ultimate frisbee?
     
  6. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna
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    I took this question to mean "Tell me a little about your personal background, and why you want to go into medicine". The interviewer seemed satisfied with that, but I think you can really say anything you want, which is probably why they ask it.

    I wouldn't list your GPA and MCAT though, they can read that off of your file later if they want to. If you've gotten to the interview stage, then your numbers are at least in the acceptable range. Most interviews are about getting to know you a little as a person and how good of a "fit" you would be for their school.
     
  7. DrKitty

    DrKitty Senior Member
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    I personally know somebody who used to be on the admissions committee, and he told me that this question is usually asked first to let the interviewee relax and talk about anything personal he/she feels comfortable with. The interviewee's response then sets the tone for the rest of the interview, as further questions can be derived from it. It is not a difficult question at all, and there are no specific "requirements" or expectations for a particular response. This question works well for the interviewer, as your response helps him/her "pick" out further questions.
     
  8. Shredder

    Shredder User
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    i think youre supposed to tie everything into how it affected your desire to pursue medicine, how it will make you fit in better at the school, and how it will make you a better doc. your life, app, and sales pitch all concisely wrapped up with all of the high points included

    oh, previous poster mentions a good point. maybe its just to test interpersonal skills and start off the talk. it serves as an easy foundation from which to branch off for side topics and discussions
     
  9. MollyMalone

    MollyMalone I'm a Score Quadruplet
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    I think this definitely depends on where you are. The one interview I had that opened with a "tell me about yourself" question turned into hell as I gave my little spiel and the interviewer looked at me with a blank stare and said "and......?" So I said more, and again got the blank stare and the "and....?" I do think I ultimately established a connection with him, but it certainly wasn't relaxing. :laugh:
     
  10. MadameLULU

    MadameLULU Saucy
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    I think I tended just to discuss my interests when this question was asked, but I guess if you're unsure, you could always ask, "where would you like for me to begin?"
     
  11. willow18

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    I don't know about that. Isn't the "why medicine" question supposed to cover that? I think i'll keep it more or less personal, and delve into the medicine topic when asked.
     
  12. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    sure, everyone gets that question. how about you tell them the things that are truly your passions? tell them about the things that get to the root of who you are; help them know you as a person, not just as a potential medical student.

    i talked about my love of music and the band i played in. apparently it worked.
     
  13. abcehmu

    abcehmu Senior Member
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    ive gotten this question in at least half a dozen interviews and from my experience pretty much agree with kitty. i had a unique upbringing, so i usually start at the beginning and move forward chronologically, but almost every time this question has been a platform for other questions. it would only be a matter of time before I said something that interested the interviewer and they started asking more specific questions, or I said something that the interviewer could associate with something in my application they really wanted to talk about and move the convo in that direction.

    also think of this kind of question as an opportunity for you to shape the discussion to your benefit. it's a pretty open-ended question. talk about things that make you stand out from the pack or that you think match up well with what the school is looking for. you can even go as far as listing several things and paying close attention to how the interviewer responds to these different things. if anything perks their interest, expand upon it.

    like kitty said, i think this question is meant to put you in a relaxed state and allow you to talk about things you are comfortable with... take advantage of it.........good luck!
     
  14. willow18

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    Thank y'all for the advice. I'm off to bed then the aeroplane.
     
  15. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Actually, according to advisor and interviewer types I have spoken with, this kind of question is almost always usually asked by interviewers who are not particularly experienced or skilled at interviewing; a good interviewer will look at your app and draw things from there, or else focus on ethical related questions to test your poise and maturity. But I agree with this post that an open ended question like this is like a baseball pitch right over the center of the plate -- all tee'd up and ready for you to hit out of the park, if you are ready for it. I mean, what subject do you know better than yourself? This question gives you the opportunity to steer the interview toward virtually any aspect of your experience or application. It needn't even be tied into how things in your app drew you toward the study of medicine, but that's certainly one common direction you could take.
     
  16. BaylorGuy

    BaylorGuy Enter witty comment here
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    Shredder brings a good point. If this question begins at the beginning of the interview, it gives you the opportunity to basically self yourself to the school and the interviewer. What tends to happen is that your response to the question will elicit more and more questions from the interviewer about certain interesting aspects about you (I.E. Ultimate frisbee etc.)

    If this is asked at the end of the interview, think about wrapping up everything that you and the interviewer have covered. Sell yourself about how the school would be a perfect fit for you.
     
  17. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    I'd make sure to mention things like research and clinical experience in a question like that.
     
  18. smile'n'laf

    smile'n'laf New Member

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    I got that question at an interview a few weeks ago. I think the interviewer want to see that you are hardworking, yet mention your hobbies. Also it is good to mention things other that arent on your personnal statement, rather than reusing the same anwser, so they no you do a lot of things.
    Also the obvious question that i want to know how to give a good answer to is why do you want to become a doctor other than the usual because i want to help people and because the intellectuall side is facinating, because they hear them ever day, and you need to stand out to get in.
     

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