Is it safe to assume your interviewer has not looked at your application?

ariyon

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Is it safe to assume your interviewer has not looked at your application?
 

avgn

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IIRC most schools have open file interviews unless they're MMI. Know your primary and secondary apps back and forth. Always assume they have been read already. If they haven't, treat it as a present
 

Samir Desai

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I always tell my students to always go into an interview assuming that the interviewer hasn't read the application. Why? Because having served on the admissions committee, I know how hectic my colleagues' schedules are. The time set aside to review an application may be lost because of a patient situation or emergency. There are also times when the assigned interviewer is replaced by another because of illness, family issues, etc. There may not be enough time for the new interviewer to become familiar with your application.

Although you would expect and hope that your interviewer would have read your application, it doesn't always happen. I find that many students become flustered when they realize that their application hasn't been read. My recommendation is to assume that the interviewer hasn't read your application, and approach every experience knowing the key points you must get across about yourself. Then find a way to cover these points in the questions that are asked. Also, it's best not to use such expressions as, "I don't know if you had a chance to read my personal statement..."

Samir Desai, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine
 

italiancowgirl

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I try to encourage people to be prepared for either situation but don't assume anything. In interviews always start with the more basic points you want to get across, but be prepared for the moment when they surprise you and know your application inside and out. (the interviewer at the school where I matriculated knew every moment of my life! He knew every event, school transfer, and story. I was not as prepared to answer the extremely pointed questions he asked, so my advise is practice a little of everything!)
 
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gonnif

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There is a section on here that shows all interview formats at nearly every school and always assume they read your application. You're a two year member, you should know this.
I encourage people, as suggested above, to find out, via MSAR, School's Website, SDN, or being proactive and call/email and ask. But as suggested above from our friend at Baylor and the Italian Cow Girl, be prepared for anything. So know your application, ask early in the interview either directly or indirectly have they reviewed it, and go from there.

As an aside, this is what you would do as doctor. Read the chart but dont assume that it has everything, and then listen to the patient and find out
 
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avgn

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My interviewers highlighted my applications and pre-wrote questions...
I hope I get someone like this. Like, I didn't put all that energy into the primary for it not to be read and discussed thoroughly! What a privilege it would be to delve into my app so deeply in an interview. Sounds efficient and works to the advantage of the applicant any day
 

tea guzzling traveler

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I hope I get someone like this. Like, I didn't put all that energy into the primary for it not to be read and discussed thoroughly! What a privilege it would be to delve into my app so deeply in an interview. Sounds efficient and works to the advantage of the applicant any day
Unless they had a terrible app ;)... but yeah, agreed in general. I would prefer to have them already be acquainted with the basics so that we can go into more specifics.
 

gonnif

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I hope I get someone like this. Like, I didn't put all that energy into the primary for it not to be read and discussed thoroughly! What a privilege it would be to delve into my app so deeply in an interview. Sounds efficient and works to the advantage of the applicant any day
The opposite view that many adcoms take is having an unbiased view of someone who has never seen the application as the interviewer is a reasonable way to gauge the candidate. If you have 2 readers, independently evaluate the application, then 2 different interviewers who also independently meet the candidate without any info prior, you now have 4 evaluations of a candidate from different angles. There is alot to be said for meeting a candidate and trying to find out something about them as a person without be overshadowed by their paper application. As this thread started, dont assume one method or the other.
 

Spector1

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I wouldnt assume anything. Be prepared for anything and everything
 
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AlfonsTheGuru

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AlfonsTheGuru

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There is a section on here that shows all interview formats at nearly every school and always assume they read your application. You're a two year member, you should know this.
Wisdom+ :bow:
 

breezy16

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Both of my interviewers knew my application front to back; one even recited my words in a particular bit back to me. I don't think it's safe to assume anything (this goes for anything in life) and to be prepared for anything you've put in primary and secondary.
 
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