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A lot!!! IF you are lucky enough to get one, you still have about a 50% chance of still be eliminated (depending on the school). The interview is really big.
 

Andrew_Doan

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The interview is VERY important. For instance, I had a friend who graduated at the top of his class in college, 4.0 with honors and great chemistry thesis. He scores 14's across the board on the MCAT. He received interviews at all the top schools.

Unfortunately, he was not an interesting guy and didn't interview well. We was rejected every where except for his state medical school.

If you can't communicate to another human being during the interview, then how are you going to gain the trust of your patients and illicit the most personal information from them? Medical programs want good physicians who are outstanding communicators. Interviewing skills will play a major role in your selection into residency programs too.
 
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Sweet Tea

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think of it as the swim suit competition... you can't hide anything.

so yes. it's important.
 

badassy

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mostly anyone can get good grades,
but making a good impression, and truely astounding this person that is the admittance officer or whatever you wanan call him not many can accomplish
 

Andrew_Doan

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:clap:

Very amusing analogy by Sweet Tea

think of it as the swim suit competition... you can't hide anything.
This would be interesting... I won't even go there.
 

Green912

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Assuming they as the relavent questions the interview also shows that you have an understanding of current health care issues, problems, and direction. Better get researching!!:eek:
 

Street Philosopher

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actually, the interview and swimsuit competition can be completely opposites. you see, in the swimsuit competition, taping your butt cheeks together can help you, in the interview, it hurts you...
:eek:
 

secretstang19

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I'm going to have to slightly disagree with the conventional wisdom here, based on my own personal experience.

Two weeks ago, I had an interview that was absolutely pointless. If you had started a stopwatch every time that I started speaking, I think you'd come up with the figure of me talking for about five or six minutes (out of a thirty minute interview). My application was just one big segue for my interviewer to launch into another humorous anecdote of his. Asking me about my hometown, for example, served simply as a chance for him to point out that, as a respected researcher in his field, he was invited to a conference near my town. And so on.

I can only conclude from this experience that (at least in my case) the interview was unimportant. That guy did not know me any better when I left than when I walked in. Either I'm going to be accepted based on just statistics, or I'm going to be rejected because of something that I don't know about.

This experience really kind of upset me, because until then, I held the same opinions as you all about the importance of the interview. Admitting students solely on the basis of test scores and GPA is fine for law schools and grad schools - who cares if a researcher or a lawyer is a really good person or not - but I thought that things were different in medicine.

I will point out that I have had two interviews since then, and both of them served an evaluative purpose. So maybe I just had a bad interviewer, or a bad school, or whatever. I'm open to any interpretation that you all want to provide. I just thought I'd point out that, the interview doesn't matter at all - at least some of the time.
 

Curci

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That's rough, SecretStang19, but I think I'd rather have an interview like that than one of the ones I had.

In one school that I interviewed at, I had two interviews: one with a faculty and one with a student. The faculty one was great! However, I think I was the med student's first interview ever. All of the interviews I've had so far have been very friendly and conversational, but my med student interview was waaaay too structured to be useful. He had a list of questions that he felt he just HAD to ask me no matter what, regardless of whether they were really relevent to my application or not. For example, I've had no previous research experience, but I JUST began a project at school now. Since this program just started (I haven't even set foot in the lab yet!), I don't know too much about all of the details. Nevertheless, my interviewer wanted to grill me on the tiniest detail of my research.

He would also ask me one of the questions on the list, and then after I answered it, he would move right on to the next without hardly commenting on anything I had said! It seemed like he really wasn't interested in engaging in a dialogue with me; he just wanted to get through his list. Also, the interview was supposed to last 30 minutes, and it wound up lasting an hour! None of the questions were curve-balls, so I know I answered them well. This list seriously came directly from a Princeton Review book. I could almost predict which question was coming next, because he was following the exact order of the book's list of questions! Needless to say, I definitely would have been more comfortable with an interviewer who had more experience.

I guess the plus side is that my faculty interview went REALLY well. Hopefully, they'll weigh an experienced faculty interviewer's opinion over a less-experienced med student, but I'm still nervous. They look for any little defect to get rid of you, right? :scared:

Anyway, I'm sorry that was so long, but I just felt the need to share. I really think that the interview is definitely the most important part of the application, but in this game ANYTHING can make or break you.
 

Andrew_Doan

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secretstang19,

Two weeks ago, I had an interview that was absolutely pointless. If you had started a stopwatch every time that I started speaking, I think you'd come up with the figure of me talking for about five or six minutes (out of a thirty minute interview). My application was just one big segue for my interviewer to launch into another humorous anecdote of his. Asking me about my hometown, for example, served simply as a chance for him to point out that, as a respected researcher in his field, he was invited to a conference near my town. And so on.
Becareful with the interviews that seem like a casual conversation. Some interviewers want to see how you go with the flow. They want to read your reactions and see how you conduct yourself in that setting. You see this during residency interviews too. Some places specifically have one interviewer that will always be serious and critical, while another interviewer will be causal.

There's no way to know what the intentions or goals of this interviewer were; however, just keep in mind that it may be to test you. A lot can be assessed through non-verbals, and what you say in response to their humorous anecdotes.
 
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