Is it okay to mention in an interview that you will matriculate if accepted to that school?

Sep 2, 2020
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I have an interview with my dream school in 3 days. Would it be received well if I basically tell the interviewer during the "Anything else?" question at the end of the interview that they are my top school and I will 100% matriculate if accepted (kind of like a verbalized Letter of Intent)? My concerns are:

1. Does that come across as too desperate? They really are my dream school, but should I be a little more subtle lol
2. Would it affect financial aid? I've heard that financial aid packages can be affected if an applicant sends a Letter of Intent, but I'm not sure if this is similar to that
 
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deleted889094

You don't tell a person you wanna marry them at the end of your first date. Med school interviews are just like dates.

But seriously, I would just say that you really were impressed with the school and are glad to have had the opportunity. Play hard to get.
 
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I have an interview with my dream school in 3 days. Would it be received well if I basically tell the interviewer during the "Anything else?" question at the end of the interview that they are my top school and I will 100% matriculate if accepted (kind of like a verbalized Letter of Intent)? My concerns are:

1. Does that come across as too desperate? They really are my dream school, but should I be a little more subtle lol
2. Would it affect financial aid? I've heard that financial aid packages can be affected if an applicant sends a Letter of Intent, but I'm not sure if this is similar to that
1. Yes. I'd assume you were desperate or lying to me. Neither would be the perception I'd want the interviewer to have. If you received a 100% cost of attendance scholarship/stipend to your #2 pick and this school offered nothing other than loans, would you still accept?
2. Possibly. If you have multiple offers it is possibly to leverage those acceptances and negotiate for financial aid if you are a very strong, top tier candidate.
 
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Angus Avagadro

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Lots may go on after your interview. You will meet with students, faculty and staff. You could get a real negative vibe during these meetings. Students may tell you to "run for your life, don't come here". The chance is small as they usually get happy students to do tours and meet n greets, but I have heard stories. I'd keep that first choice info to myself and just keep your comments positive. Good luck and best wishes!
 
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Tenk

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Saying that won’t make you go from not accepted to accepted but it could definitely rub the interviewer wrong if you randomly say that. The only time I think it would be ok is if the interviewer asked you if you would go to their school if accepted (which they probably won’t ask because it’s a stupid question). Long story short: don’t bring it up.
 
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You don't tell a person you wanna marry them at the end of your first date. Med school interviews are just like dates.

But seriously, I would just say that you really were impressed with the school and are glad to have had the opportunity. Play hard to get.
The way I look at it, it's really your first and ONLY date lol. I mean I guess you could call the Letter of Intent the "second date," but the general consensus on SDN is that they add little value to your app. Nevertheless, I do see how it may seem a bit desperate.

Yes. I'd assume you were desperate or lying to me.
I could see the desperate part, but if the reasoning for it being your top choice is clearly explained, would it still seem like lying? For the other interviews I've had, the interviews did not really change my mind about the schools.

Lots may go on after your interview. You will meet with students, faculty and staff. You could get a real negative vibe during these meetings. Students may tell you to "run for your life, don't come here". The chance is small as they usually get happy students to do tours and meet n greets, but I have heard stories. I'd keep that first choice info to myself and just keep your comments positive. Good luck and best wishes!
Thank you! I've actually had multiple informational sessions before this interview, where I was able to ask faculty questions about the program and also talk to students informally. They all gave me a really good vibe.

it could definitely rub the interviewer wrong if you randomly say that
If I list several specific reasons why I love them (aka not random), would you still advise against it? Assuming that schools want high yield rates, wouldn't my sentiment be appreciated by them or no?
 
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GreenDuck12

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The way I look at it, it's really your first and ONLY date lol. I mean I guess you could call the Letter of Intent the "second date," but the general consensus on SDN is that they add little value to your app. Nevertheless, I do see how it may seem a bit desperate.


I could see the desperate part, but if the reasoning for it being your top choice is clearly explained, would it still seem like lying? For the other interviews I've had, the interviews did not really change my mind about the schools.


Thank you! I've actually had multiple informational sessions before this interview, where I was able to ask faculty questions about the program and also talk to students informally. They all gave me a really good vibe.


If I list several specific reasons why I love them (aka not random), would you still advise against it? Assuming that schools want high yield rates, wouldn't my sentiment be appreciated by them or no?
1. It’s not an original strategy to say you will definitely attend.
2. Adcoms have been burned many times by people who said the same thing and then went to a different school.
3. Interview and informational sessions are opportunities for schools to put their best foot forward - I’d be surprised if you had a negative experience.
4. Every medical school is someone’s dream school - hence the 5000+ applications they receive.

Focus on doing well on your interview. First rule of interviewing is answering the questions you are asked. Don’t try to twist yourself in knots to work in the dream school line.
 
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Tenk

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The way I look at it, it's really your first and ONLY date lol. I mean I guess you could call the Letter of Intent the "second date," but the general consensus on SDN is that they add little value to your app. Nevertheless, I do see how it may seem a bit desperate.


I could see the desperate part, but if the reasoning for it being your top choice is clearly explained, would it still seem like lying? For the other interviews I've had, the interviews did not really change my mind about the schools.


Thank you! I've actually had multiple informational sessions before this interview, where I was able to ask faculty questions about the program and also talk to students informally. They all gave me a really good vibe.


If I list several specific reasons why I love them (aka not random), would you still advise against it? Assuming that schools want high yield rates, wouldn't my sentiment be appreciated by them or no?
Yes, that’s not the purpose of the interview.
 
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Thank you, everyone. I have decided not to bring it up explicitly during the interview. :) I appreciate all your advice.
 
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KnightDoc

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I might be wrong, since I haven't gone through this yet myself, but my understanding is that the interview is to make them want you as opposed to spending the time trying to convince them how much you want them. You seem to think they are one and the same. They are not!! :cool:

Besides not only seeming, but actually BEING desperate, it presupposes that they actually care about what candidates want rather than being singularly focused on satisfying their own needs. Yes they are certainly looking for fit, but that is not determined by level of desperation. The key to success will be convincing them how much they want you as opposed to letting them know how perfect you think they are.

You seem to really want to do this, and you don't need validation or permission from anonymous strangers on the internet, so do whatever feels right to you. It is, after all, your application. Good luck!!!
 
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KnightDoc

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I had an interview at my top choice and my interviewer at the end said something along the lines of "I really think you would be so happy here" after learning about me and it felt natural to follow that up by letting the interviewer know that I completely agreed and that it was my first choice. The interviewer told me they were happy I let them know and jotted it down. I haven't heard back yet, but I don't regret it even though I hadn't planned it because it fit pretty naturally into the conversation and I was just being honest.
That's very different from OP's question. You responded to a direct statement honestly. Anyone would advise doing the same.
 

GoPenguinsGo

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I told my interviewer last week that I’d defintely marry Taylor Swift if asked.

Its never too early to make life binding regretable decisions in my eyes.
 
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KnightDoc

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I deleted because I reread the original post and saw that they were asking about the "anything else" question at the end. I agree that this would not be a natural time to bring this up.
I honestly don't think you needed to delete. I think the contrast between what you did and what OP is asking is valuable!
 
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Thank you, everyone. I have decided not to bring it up explicitly during the interview. :) I appreciate all your advice.
Please don't imply it at random points throughout. You will come off as awkward and a brown noser at best. Answer the questions asked without vague diversions and be thoughtful without rehearsing answers.
 
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deleted889094

I told my interviewer last week that I’d defintely marry Taylor Swift if asked.

Its never too early to make life binding regretable decisions in my eyes.
At least you'd get a song about you if it went south
 
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I've heard that it can be bad to make promises you don't know you'll keep. If you make the promise, you better make darn well you keep it, or you'll be burning some bridges.
 
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lazygun247

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It's a balance. Part of some school's assessments is also whether you want to go there? Like the actual likelihood of you attending (i guess this is maybe a mid-low tier school vs a top tier one).
However, that said, you want to communicate that you want to go to the school without explicitly saying that. It's just as people above mentioned, it's a date. You want it to work out, but you can't be too forward or it'll come off wrong (aka they think you are lying to them). Hence you need to strike a delicate balance.

Good luck!
 
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Radicalopathy

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Hi, long time lurker here. This is my personal opinion, but I think you got bad advice in this thread. All this stuff about "play hard to get", make them work to get you, etc, that is advice that is only appropriate if you are a truly stellar candidate for any position (which to be fair maybe you are), but for most applicants this is bad advice . As someone who has been on both sides of the interview table for medical school, residency, and in the real world literally dozens of times, let me tell you that playing it coy with interviewers is a great way to be forgotten quickly. One of the key principles of interviewing for a job which is often forgotten is, if you want the job, ASK for it. Applying to medical school or residency is no different. There is nothing wrong with expressing your interest in the position in clear, direct terms, and if you mean it it will come through. We can tell who is just saying that to fake interest, vs who is really stoked about coming to a particular program. There will be equally well qualified candidates both before and after you for days and days on end and let me tell you everyone runs together. But if my scoring sheet has a big bold statement "turakturak WANTS to be here and is passionate about this program" underlined then that is a big plus for you, and even if I don't remember you perfectly, that statement alone will rank you higher than similar candidates who seemed lukewarm about their enthusiasm for the program. Just my .02, I'm sure you will do great whatever you decide. Best of luck.
 
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deleted1027144

Also another highly personal opinion.
I'm in the same boat as OP, and I discussed this question with a colleague who is a former adcom member. My situation is a bit specific, but I'm OOS for my top school- which happens to be in Texas. The advice I was given was that since OOS students are at a huge disadvantage in Texas (since only 10% of spots go to them), it is to your advantage to make it clear if they're your top choice. So I ended up being frank and telling my interviewer that X school is my top choice.
If you do your research ahead of time and know what you want (and can articulate it well) it should come across as educated and thoughtful, not desperate. And if OP is OOS for that school, and there is a big in-state bias, it might work in his/her favor.
 

KnightDoc

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Also another highly personal opinion.
I'm in the same boat as OP, and I discussed this question with a colleague who is a former adcom member. My situation is a bit specific, but I'm OOS for my top school- which happens to be in Texas. The advice I was given was that since OOS students are at a huge disadvantage in Texas (since only 10% of spots go to them), it is to your advantage to make it clear if they're your top choice. So I ended up being frank and telling my interviewer that X school is my top choice.
If you do your research ahead of time and know what you want (and can articulate it well) it should come across as educated and thoughtful, not desperate. And if OP is OOS for that school, and there is a big in-state bias, it might work in his/her favor.
This sounds very reasonable, but you haven't stated whether or not it worked for you, even given your somewhat unique situation. Without that data point, what is anyone supposed to do with this?

You're just telling us that a former adcom colleague thought it would be valuable. We have a few current adcom members here telling us it isn't! If you beat the 10% odds and get in, maybe you have something here, at least for OOS in Texas. Otherwise ..... :cool:
 

CL24

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I have an interview with my dream school in 3 days. Would it be received well if I basically tell the interviewer during the "Anything else?" question at the end of the interview that they are my top school and I will 100% matriculate if accepted (kind of like a verbalized Letter of Intent)? My concerns are:

1. Does that come across as too desperate? They really are my dream school, but should I be a little more subtle lol
2. Would it affect financial aid? I've heard that financial aid packages can be affected if an applicant sends a Letter of Intent, but I'm not sure if this is similar to that
Not sure if you had your interview already....but it seems like most people are telling you that it wouldn't be a good idea. If you feel like you want to get this message across, instead of blatantly stating that they are your first first choice, you might use different language to communicate that... For example, you could say that you have done a lot of research about the program, have attended recruitment events, spoken to counselors at the school, etc... which have all led you to believe that their program was the right program for you, and inspired you to become dedicated in pursuing an education with them. Don't just say it, PROVE IT. Good luck with your interview!
 
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I find that actions often speak louder than words.

If you want them to know you really like them, do your homework. Nothing makes me like a job applicant more than when they have a clear understanding of what they want from my company and how we differ from other opportunities available to them or even just how we fit into their journey for progression because it shows evidence of a commitment and a genuine interest to take the necessary time to do that.

If you get asked by a school "Why us?" (as you inevitably will if you interview), use it to really SHOW them why. Know the resources you can use there and how they play into your future goals. Know why their school is special and how that motivated your interest in them. Know the training opportunities, the doctors on staff, unique community aspects. I don't personally think you need to know everything about them but showing that motivation, drive, and passion through the fruits of your efforts can, I'm sure, be helpful in conveying that message and them trusting you more if you do choose to say it.
 
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