Interviews

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by sharpnerd00, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. sharpnerd00

    sharpnerd00 Member
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    Hey,

    I was wondering if you guys could give me some tips on how to prepare for the interviews. Having so many one after the other on one day seems so tiring even though everyone said that being an MD/PhD applicant makes admissions treat you better (or something like that... there were many similar responses on "The Truth Behind MD/PhD" thread).

    Getting nervous.

    sharpnerd.
     
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  2. OddNath

    OddNath Senior Member
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    Hey sharpnerd

    It's really not bad-- just practice explaining your research to friends, go over abstracts/reports you've written, and relax. Unlike MD-only interviews, these interviews are partly to see your understanding/motivation for research, but it's also their chance to recruit you. So you really do get treated better (i.e. nice meals, possibly paying your airfare + hotel, and some really laid-back interviews).

    For me, travelling around the country for those interviews were some of my best memories of senior year (I am not kidding about the wining and dining). Best of luck!
     
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  3. Bluntman

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    By far the biggest advice would be to know your research. Be able to give a nice, high-level, talk about it cause you'll have to at every mstp interview. By high level, I mean hit on things like the rationale behind the project, general methods, and results/conclusions - why did you do it? who/what is it going to help? why is it better than the other methods/attempts at doing the same thing? Another major thing that they look for too is how enthusiasticly you talk about your research. Of course, you should also know the details, cause sometimes if an interviewer really knows the subject, he'll dive in and ask you some detailed questions. If you have an MD only interview along with the mstp ones, be ready to answer the bull**** MD questions like "what are you going to do about the 40 mil uninsured americans?" and the like. Anyway, those are a couple things that pop into my head. cheers.
     
  4. gaganheim

    gaganheim Member
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    Besides the above, have questions ready, lots of them. Inevitably, some of your faculty interviewers won't know/care about your research, so they just walk in and say "You ask me questions." The more specific you can be about the school, the better. Almost as important as the why the dual degree is why do you want to do it here.
     
  5. drbp

    drbp Junior Member

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    My PI interviews a lot of applicants for the MSTP at my school. They always talk about the applicants research experience. Most applicants have a pretty good speech prepared, but what my boss constantly does is ask them questions to determine if they actually understand WHAT they did, and WHY they did it.

    This cannot be emphasized enough. The interviewer is deciding whether or not you can be a good scientist and ultimately think on your own. Plenty of applicants have cool experiences, successful projects, and even publications. But few can actually articulate why their lab started looking at the problem a certain way; why particular experiments were performed instead of others; and why some things worked while others did not.

    Then to top it off, you better have a good idea of where your project is headed (even if you will never work on it again). This ability to speak about 1. a problem (background and significance), 2. how it can be attacked (methods), 3. results of experiements, and 4. future directions is an ability that will be used for the rest of your career.
     
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