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It could be worse...Bad interview experience

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by SaucyAZN, Aug 15, 2001.

  1. SaucyAZN

    SaucyAZN Member

    Jul 25, 2001
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    Hi everyone,

    I feel bad for you guys...the AMCAS fiasco is like one step above child abuse.

    However, it could be worse...

    ***WARNING...this is pretty long***
    Now there are a few things I could have done differently (and I'll point them out as I go along).

    It was around late January of 2000, and I had an interview scheduled on a Thursday at the University of Vermont.

    I live in California.

    With the exception of the Philippines ten years ago, this would be my first time traveling to another time zone.

    What I planned to do was travel all day Wednesday and arrive in Vermont that night, spend my entire Thursday in Vermont (i.e.-interview/tour + sightseeing), and travel all-day Friday back to California.

    My flight out of California was to leave early in the morning...630am. I'm not an early riser, and so I decided to sleep over at my ride's place. Actually, I planned to stay awake all night...I figured I could just sleep on the plane the entire day.

    It was around 2am when I could no longer keep my eyes open. I asked my ride if I could borrow her alarm clock. She said I wouldn't need it. My ride claimed that she was an early riser and would wake me up at 5am. I was like fine...and I closed my eyes.

    MISTAKE #1: I should have known better than to try and stay awake without any stimulant. Hell, I'm premed...how could I forget a pot of black coffee or RedBull?!

    MISTAKE #2: Always insist that you have an alarm clock...you can trust no one but yourself in these situations.

    My ride woke me up and asked me what time my flight left. Half awake, I said 6:30.

    "Sauce, it's 6am!"

    I was like, HOLY ****!!!, jumped out of the couch, grabbed my gear, and ran to her car.

    The drive to the airport was one of the scariest in recent memory. She must have been driving 100-110mph...big rigs everywhere...close calls throughout the rollercoaster ride to the airport.

    MISTAKE #3: If you're in a rush to get to the airport, interview, or any other important engagement, never ever let the worst driver in the Pacific Time Zone drive you to the airport. You're guarenteed to lose five years of your life.

    When we got to the airport, I ran to the ticket agent...it was 6:30, but the plane had already left. The agent booked me for the next flight...leaving at 1230pm. I checked in my bag (containing all my interview notes, class notes--I had two midterms on Monday, dress shoes, clothes, personal items--toothbrush, razor) and my suit. I kept my laptop with me.

    MISTAKE #4: Pack light...and NEVER EVER check in your bags and especially your suit! More on this later.

    Boy howdy, there's nothing like waiting at the airport for six hours. I must have read and reread my newspaper and Maxim(hey, I'm a guy) a good ten times before I finally got off the ground.

    My first stop-over was Minneapolis-St. Paul. I discovered that I only had 25 minutes to get from my arrival gate to my departure gate--connecting flight to Boston. I also discovered that my connection flight was all the way at the other end of the terminal. I ran the entire way...stopping every ten-or-so steps to pull up my pants.

    MISTAKE #5: Never forget your belt. It's no fun running in public when you have your pants around your ankles.

    Anywho, I made it with about five minutes to spare.

    I arrived in Boston at around 10:40pm. Unfortunately, the last flight to Burlington, Vermont had already left at 10:30pm. The next flight to Vermont was scheduled to leave at 8:15am. Guess who decided to camp out at Logan International Airport?

    I recall only getting about 15 minutes of sleep that entire night. Most of the time, I kept my eyes open (barely) to make sure no one stole my laptop. I saw quite a few crazies that night that were eyeing my neat little package.

    MISTAKE #6: Check your @ss into a hotel!!

    I finally left Boston for Vermont at around 8:20am, and I arrived in Vermont at 9:30am. I was scheduled to be at the UVM College of Medicine at around 10:45am. That didn't give me much time to get to my hotel, shower, and get ready for my interview.

    I ran to the baggage claim...my bags weren't there...neither was my suit!

    MISTAKE #7: Refer to Mistake #4

    I went to the ticket agent and asked her to see if they were unloading any more bags...she checked, but said that my bags weren't there. I then asked her if there was a department store or mall near the Holiday Inn...the hotel where I was staying at.

    She said that there happened to be a mall right across the street. I was like cool, and with that, I took a cab to the Holiday Inn, dropped of my stuff, and ran in the freezing cold to the mall.

    I ran into the department store, and ran to the men department. I looked around for a suit--about five minutes, found my size, and charged it to my credit card without even trying it on. I next ran to the shoe department. It must have taken me no more than 2-3 minutes to pick out a pair of shoes.

    "I'll take that pair in an 11," I said.

    "Do you want to try them on?" the clerk asked.

    "NO...I don't have the time!" She must have thought I was the craziest guy on the planet. I grabbed a pair of dress socks, threw them on top of the shoes, and charged everything.

    When I got to the hotel, it was about 10:10am. I took a very short five minute shower...I usually take thirty-minute marathon showers, but I just didn't have the time.

    Nevertheless, I felt refreshed...hell, I'd been wearing the same outfit for the past few days so a even a short shower was a nice change.

    Then I realized something...all my clothes were still in my bag...I forgot to buy underwear. I know this sounds disgusting, but I had to wear the same pair of briefs I'd been wearing for the past few days...nasty, I know! I brushed my teeth with the hotel's complimentary toothbrush, put on my suit...decent fit, and I put on my shoes...best pair of dress shoes I've ever bought--so freakin' comfortable. I forgot to ask for a razor so I went to the interview with having given myself a shave.

    MISTAKE #8: Never forget to shave...especially if you're an Asian man like myself who doesn't grow much facial hair. There's nothing more grotesque than seeing a guy with 10-20 whiskers coming out of his chin.

    I finally got to UVM College of Medicine with a minute to spare...it was 10:44am.

    It's fair to say that I don't recall much of what went on during my day at UVM. I do recall a tour or something...an interview perhaps...and I also recall telling the story I'm telling you right now to all the other interviewees. Most of them laughed...of course, they were laughing with me and not at me, right?

    I was in a total daze that day...I had been up for over 24hrs when I got to UVM. My day at UVM finally ended at 4:00pm. I got back to my hotel, and before I crashed, I called up the airport to see if my bags had arrived yet. The ticket agent told me that no bags had arrived yet, but there were still a few more flights that day. I said fine...I hung up the phone, and slept for a few hours.

    I woke up at 7:00pm and called the airport. The ticket agent told me that she had found my bags. Note that she didn't say she had my bags...she just found my bags.

    She said, "You may think things is funny...or maybe not. Sauce, your bags are in Amsterdam!"

    Half jokingly, I asked, "You mean Amsterdam, Vermont right?" But I knew that she meant Europe. If I was fully awake, I probably would have given her an earful...but I wasn't.

    Suddenly, the ticket agent and I broke out in laughter. I'm certain the both of us were in tears at those point...our stomach aching from the laughter. There was no point in being angry...all I could do was laugh about it.

    I then realized that I needed some clothes, so I went back to the mall and bought some. I also returned my suit, but I kept the shoes.

    MISTAKE #9: Never try on your shoes. I discovered that the most comfortable pair is the pair you never try on...just kidding folks!

    Friday morning--time to go home. The plane ride from Vermont to Boston was the scariest I'd ever been on. It was a propeller-powered American Eagle, and the wind was howling. I'm usually pretty good with turbulance, but this flight had everyone on edge, including myself. The pilot was barely able to straighted the plane out before we touched down.

    It turns out we were of the last few planes to land for the next few hours because there was just way too much wind. What was originally supposed to be a two hour layover turned into a four hour layover...agonizing.

    We finally left Boston that evening...my next stop was Minneapolis-St. Paul before heading back to California. As a result of the delay in Boston, there was a good chance of missing my connection flight. In fact, half the people on the plane had connecting flights to other parts of the country...all were scheduled to depart at 9:35pm or 9:40pm. Our plane arrived at the gate at exactly 9:30pm. The flight attendants told us in advance that if we got there 5-10 minutes before the connecting flights were scheduled to depart, there was a good chance our connecting flights would wait for us.

    When our plane came to a full stop, everyone that had connecting flights filled the aisle...those who didn't parted like the Red Sea to make way for us. We all stood there holding our bags...anxious to get off...no one moved. We stood there for a few minutes until finally, the captain announced that they were having problems with the tube...they couldn't get it connecting to the plane!


    It took them over 15 minutes to get the freakin' tube fixed. Once they got it connected, all of us ran out of the plane like mad fools. I'm sure it must have been quite a sight for the people inside the terminal...watching 100 crazed maniacs running like mad towards the departure screens.

    All of our flights had left.

    Realize that we were all stuck in the twin cities for the night, all 100 of us made a very slow, somber trek to the ticket agent...stark contrast to a few moments ago when we were doin' our best Carl Lewis impressions.

    I stayed over night in Minneapolis. I called up my ride to tell her I wouldn't be arriving in California that night. Unfortunately I only got her answering machine and I left a few messages. Little did I know, however, that she had a prior engagement that Friday night and had called up for different people to come pick me up at the airport. Let me just say that there were four very angry people at the airport when they discovered that I didn't make it to my connecting flight.

    Therefore, I wasn't surprised when no one arrived to pick me up from the airport when I finally made it back to California on Saturday afternoon. I just decided to pay a shuttle $20 bucks to get me home.

    I also got my bags back early Sunday morning around 3:00am. It was raining cats and dogs, and when I got my bags back, they were severely soaked. I had to hang dry a lot of my practice exams and notes...it was a mess...but at least I got my bags back.
    Well, that's my story. The worst part was being placed on the waitlist...and ranked in the second of three tiers...definitely not the news you want to hear after you've been through my ordeal.

    Today, however, it's something that I can just laugh at...I was just accepted to Medical College of Wisconsin (second time applying to med school--by the way, I had the flu during my MCW interview, and it was a day after I had my UC Irvine interview--I did both back-to-back with the flu--not recommended), and I have deferred until August 2002. I hope everyone isn't bored to tears.


    MISTAKE #10: Don't apply to medical school...just kidding!
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  3. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member

    Feb 20, 2001
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    Resident [Any Field]
    Whew! That's quite a story! :eek: And not to belittle your experience, but it makes me feel like maybe things with AMCAS aren't that bad. :)

    CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ACCEPTANCE! Good luck. If you made it through that interview experience, I'm willing to wager that you should do just fine in med school. :)
  4. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

    Jul 12, 2001
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    Sauce, I want to go to medical school with you! Damn! I didn't apply to MCW. That was hilarious. Why do you want to do medicine when it's clear you could have a fabulous career as a writer?
  5. mdhopeful

    mdhopeful Senior Member

    Jun 3, 2001
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    Great story. Congrats on the acceptance. Second time is a charm.
  6. jdub

    jdub Senior Member

    Jul 27, 2001
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    Resident [Any Field]
    holy cow! that was entertaining! they lost my baggage at my udub (seattle) interview last year, but luckily i carried my suit with me.

    definitely keeps things in perspective :D
  7. Bruin4Life

    Bruin4Life Senior Member

    Jul 29, 2001
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    Wow! Tough ride. Hey I would like to hear horror stories of the actual interview. I've only read about one. Some girl was interviewing at a top ten, the interviewer would challenge the girl on everything she said, he would rise from his chair and place his face one inch away from the girls face and say: "Now, are you sure of your answer?" Other times he would look at his window or pick at his nail cuticles for minutes at a time while he broke the tension with a large yawn. The guy was an old-school psychiatrist and was just playing with the girls head, to see how she reacted.
  8. FrankMD

    FrankMD Ophthalmologist Wanna Be

    Jul 14, 2001
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    Fellow [Any Field]
    thanks for the tips...
  9. Smoke This

    Smoke This Sweet cuppin' cakes!

    Apr 30, 2001
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    Sauce, that was hilarious! Congrats on MCW. :)
  10. Homer J. Simpson

    Homer J. Simpson 1st and goal from the 1 yard line.

    Apr 22, 2001
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    Actually, that sounds like the only part of your day that was fun!! :D
  11. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member

    Apr 29, 2001
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    You just made my day--especially the line about 10-20 whiskers. Man, my stomach hurts from some serious giggles. Thanks.

    Oh and baby, you just gotta love a name like SAUCE!
  12. Drako

    Drako Senior Member

    Jul 10, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Attending Physician
    Sauce, tks man! I am a photographer (hobby/extra income/fun/etc.) and was thinking that I would haul all my gear with me to the city where I get my interviews. I desperately want to record the experience, or at least the atmosphere of the place, on film and possibly make a photographic documentary of these trips years down the road for future pre-meds to look at. But after reading your story, I am not sure if I should stick to my thinking and plan. However, knowing myself, I am going to haul something along with me to photograph anyway. If I do, you guys might end up viewing some photos afterward.

    Congrats on your acceptance! I might even see you at MCW.
  13. SaucyAZN

    SaucyAZN Member

    Jul 25, 2001
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    **WARNING: This is pretty long**

    I'm glad you guys liked my story. It still find it very hard to believe that I actually survived that whole fiasco.

    This message is in response to Bruin...

    My worst actual interview experience happened to be my second interview at...guess who...University of Vermont.

    I interviewed in December of 2000. Having interviewed in Vermont almost a year ago, I pretty much knew what to expect, or so I thought.

    I expected that we'd have lunch around noon, financial aid at 1pm, and a 30 minute break starting at 1:30pm before everyone's interviews started at either 2:00pm or 3:00pm.

    However, they decided to give me a 1pm interview...right after lunch. They needed to accomodate their MD/PhD candidates, and so they bumped one person up to an earlier interview time...me.

    I wasn't too happy with that, but the rest of my trip had already gone so well (much better than my first trip...you can say I learned something from my first trip), that I just thought to myself...no big deal, you've been through worse.

    Well, after lunch, I went to my interview.

    Vermont is know for having very kick-back interviews. I didn't remember much from my first interview, but I remember that it was extremely laid back.

    My second interview at Vermont, however, was brutal. I got reamed a new @sshole.

    Some highlights...if you can call them that:
    1) I mentioned that I was switching jobs, and all of a sudden, the punk jumped in and said, "Ah, you're doing it for the money...probably the reason why you're going into medicine!" And before I had a chance to defend myself, he moved on to a totally different topic.

    2) He wanted me to propose a patient's bill of rights...so I did (I thought I'd nailed this one...I had just read a copy of the Clinton's proposed patient's bill of rights on whitehouse.gov). It didn't meet his approval. He criticized(sp?) me on many aspects, and before I could defend myself...he moved on.

    3) He criticized me for taking three classes over the summer at a junior college (2 english classes--lower division--and General Chemistry 1C). "Can't handle the University of California course work, huh?" I told him that I had also taken (and done very well) in two upper division English classes during the regular school year, but my explanation fell on deaf ears...he shook(sp?) his head a lot throughout the second half of the interview. Not a good sign!
    Generally, you should never try to "read" your interviewer...in other words, what you believe was a bad interview may have turned out to be an excellent interview (in the interviewer's eyes). However, I knew that this was a really bad interview! I so wanted to belt his @ss.

    It was around 4pm when everyone completed their interviews. Everyone I talked to said that their interviews were pretty laid back. No one got grilled.

    Wish I could say the same.

    Later that night, I joined three other Californians and did some sightseeing. I did not get a chance to see Burlington, Vermont the first time around, but this time, I promised myself I would.

    Beautiful...absolutely beautiful. Makes California look so plastic! After some sightseeing and a delicious dinner, I should have felt better...I didn't.

    Vermont was one of my first choices (despite the nightmarish first trip), but I knew I blew it with this second interview.

    A few months later, I received the news I was dreading...a rejection...at least I got waitlisted last time, but this one really hurt...it was the second most painful rejection letter I'd ever gotten.

    (I'll tell you about my most painful rejection some other time)

    The entire second application process for me was a dreadful one...it's definitely not easier the second time around...it was going so bad that I had already turned in another application to AMCAS(the dreaded web-based application--by the way, I did not designate University of Vermont--I'm tired of getting b*tchslapped by that little state)

    Thankfully, MCW pulled me off the waitlist...I love you Wisconsin! Well, that's my story.


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