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I've been thinking a lot about the relative weight of interviews -- of course, for some schools they matter a lot more than for others, but I was wondering whether you guys think that more conversational, relaxed interviews mean that it's not worth as much to the school since everyone "does well" on them.
 

afob100

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I've been thinking a lot about the relative weight of interviews -- of course, for some schools they matter a lot more than for others, but I was wondering whether you guys think that more conversational, relaxed interviews mean that it's not worth as much to the school since everyone "does well" on them.
I definitely do not think this is true. Most of my interviews were very conversational but still carried significant weight (specifically UVa). I think they judge you on your ability to hold a conversation among other factors. You'd be surprised at how poor people's interview/conversation skills are (and they don't even realize it). As long as yours went well, I wouldn't worry about it.
 

NickNaylor

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Depends on what they're looking for. If they want to know more about specific things in your application, then a conversational interview isn't that useful. If the goal is to evaluate your interpersonal skills, then the interview would be very important.

But who knows.
 

Catalystik

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I was wondering whether you guys think that more conversational, relaxed interviews mean that it's not worth as much to the school since everyone "does well" on them.
A relaxed interview has every bit of the value that a more focused interview might. The difference is that with more specific questions you know if you answered well. With the more informal format, you have no idea what characteristics the interviewer is trying to ellicit evidence of.
 

MilkmanAl

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Just to reiterate, UAMS has a low-stress interview but weights it very heavily. Like Cat said, you've got to always be on your toes.
 
Jul 17, 2010
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I've been thinking a lot about the relative weight of interviews -- of course, for some schools they matter a lot more than for others, but I was wondering whether you guys think that more conversational, relaxed interviews mean that it's not worth as much to the school since everyone "does well" on them.
Everyone "doing well" is not accurate. They may think so, but they did not. I have been to interviews where only about a third are accepted, and everyone thought they did well. Clearly, not everyone did.

In fact, the schools I applied to that consider the interview more important tend to have more informal, conversational interviews.

So, I might even argue that conversational is more important. In a traditional interview, the interviewer could find all that on your app. You can prepare your canned answers beforehand, so they really find out nothing about you, and you appear the same as your app would make you seem. Just a waste of time. A conversation will tell so much more about you as an applicant, even if it is completely unrelated to medicine.
 
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Everyone "doing well" is not accurate. They may think so, but they did not. I have been to interviews where only about a third are accepted, and everyone thought they did well. Clearly, not everyone did.
That's the scary thing...there's no way to know if you "did well" or not.
 

45408

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You'd be surprised at how poor people's interview/conversation skills are (and they don't even realize it). As long as yours went well, I wouldn't worry about it.
These are rather conflicting notions. If you're one of those people with poor skills who doesn't realize it, you are pretty likely not to realize that your interview went poorly.
 

WingedOx

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These are rather conflicting notions. If you're one of those people with poor skills who doesn't realize it, you are pretty likely not to realize that your interview went poorly.
well looking back at med school interviews, I never knew which interviews went well, but I ALWAYS knew which ones went poorly. :uhno:
 

NeuroKidd

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I definitely do not think this is true. Most of my interviews were very conversational but still carried significant weight (specifically UVa). I think they judge you on your ability to hold a conversation among other factors. You'd be surprised at how poor people's interview/conversation skills are (and they don't even realize it). As long as yours went well, I wouldn't worry about it.
You think the interview at UVa was conversational?....
 

afob100

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You think the interview at UVa was conversational?....
They asked a few standard questions, but we mostly talked about my activities and the interests of the interviewers themselves.

I remember one of my interviewers talked about herself (in a good way) for 10 min of the interview.
 

iniquus

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I sure hope conversational interviews hold weight. I had two interviews at a school, each over an hour. One was about an hour of 8-10 intense bioethics questions that made me sweat bullets (wasn't able to verbalize my thought process and explain my stances, my intuition was too strong), and the other was very philosophical and abstract that I think really captured my personality.
 
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