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QuinnTheEskimo

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It seems like post-interview rejections are pretty rare. What are some things that you think would result in a rejection?

I'm not talking about obvious stuff like blatantly insulting the school, showing up in ripped jeans, forgetting why you like medicine, etc.

Are there any more subtle things that might result in this worst-possible decision?
 
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It seems like post-interview rejections are pretty rare. What are some things that you think would result in a rejection?

I'm not talking about obvious stuff like blatantly insulting the school, showing up in ripped jeans, forgetting why you like medicine, etc.

Are there any more subtle things that might result in this worst-possible decision?

@NickNaylor and @darkjedi point out that there are simply too many interviewees with too few seats. This results in waitlists or rejections (see HMS and Yale)
 
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QuinnTheEskimo

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You do realize that many schools only accept like 1/3 of the people they interview...?

ya but it seems like most non-acceptees get waitlisted. seems like the flat-out rejection is reserved for a few select cases.
 

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Being unable to speak clearly and articulate without a script, poor interpersonal skills, etc.
 

UMU1030

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1) Using illness as an excuse for low grades.

2) Clicking your pen while the interviewer asks questions

;)
 
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BillrothI

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I was flat-out rejected from a school that only rejects ~10% of applicants right off the bat. I remember thinking that the interview went reasonably well. My stats were well above average, though, so I must have done something wrong! I racked my brain for weeks and could never come up with any "red flag" moment. I have worked with patients and/or customers for nearly ten years and don't think I'm totally socially inept. I would like to believe that there was something lacking in my application and that I didn't have much of a shot going in, but who knows? One thing I can say is that the post-interview rejections stings quite a bit more than anything else in this application process.

-Bill
 
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UMU1030

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Well, on a more serious note. I wouldn't get too wrapped up on how a admission committee makes their decisions, especially the subtle things that may lead to that decision. The truth is that we pre-meds do not know how this whole process works and it's possible that each school has their own procedures when choosing an applicant. This is a quote from the Panic thread and I think it speaks about another scenario that we don't often consider :
This isn't EXACTLY true and I think a lot of people don't realize it. The thing about interviews is that SOMETIMES they don't have much to do with the overall admissions decision. They're just sort of a standard procedure in order for the admissions committee to fully consider your application. But in the end, it could still be your stats and extracurriculars that hold you back. Two years ago, I applied with zero shadowing, zero research, and minimal volunteering and STILL got two interviews but no acceptances. The reason I didn't get accepted had nothing to do with my interviews, I feel they went really well. And I'll admit I was a little annoyed that the schools interviewed me knowing full well the limitations of my application and that they really had no intention of accepting me. Even this cycle, one of the schools that interviewed me ended up not accepting me due to lack of volunteering, even though they knew damn well going into the interview I didn't have it. According to the director of admissions, I didn't really stand a chance because of it. This one was a bit more aggravating since I had to fly out to the school.

Anyway, yeah, I'm not an expert, but sometimes I think schools interview you even though they know you don't have much of a shot. I call it wasting time, I guess they see it differently. But just because you don't get accepted somewhere doesn't necessarily mean they don't like you as a person, they just don't like your application. I had an interview this past week. My interviewer really liked me and told me he'd do his best to help me get accepted because he's on the admissions board. But there is STILL a reasonable chance I WON'T get accepted due to something in my application that isn't good enough for them. It's hard. The application process is damn hard.
 
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geretts

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Spitting out your gum in front of the interviewer. Like I did...
 
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NuttyEngDude

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I didn't have much of a shot going in, but who knows? One thing I can say is that the post-interview rejections stings quite a bit more than anything else in this application process

I think it's better to have this than a deep or perpetual spot on the waitlist, seems more humane and allows the candidate to focus elsewhere. I suppose it's personal taste though.
 
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kyamh

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It seems like post-interview rejections are pretty rare. What are some things that you think would result in a rejection?

I got one of those rare rejections, and after an interview where the interviewer pulled me aside after we walked out of the room to say that "this interview went great and you should be proud of your strong application"....so, who knows?

Wrong fit? Decided I had too few volunteer hours after all?
 
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IncognitoGuy

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If you're basing this off of SDN, then realize that not everybody will necessarily report being rejected.

But also realize that on interview day, you are being constantly evaluated. If somebody can see you, then they could potentially report back to the adcom with feedback concerning you.
 
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QuinnTheEskimo

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If you're basing this off of SDN, then realize that not everybody will necessarily report being rejected.

But also realize that on interview day, you are being constantly evaluated. If somebody can see you, then they could potentially report back to the adcom with feedback concerning you.

This is probably like a 1 in a million situation. how many people do you think exhibit blatantly inappropriate behavior on their interview day??
 

QuinnTheEskimo

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I got one of those rare rejections, and after an interview where the interviewer pulled me aside after we walked out of the room to say that "this interview went great and you should be proud of your strong application"....so, who knows?

Wrong fit? Decided I had too few volunteer hours after all?

Was this Mayo? Special case, that school accepts like 50 people.
 

mcloaf

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Was this Mayo? Special case, that school accepts like 50 people.

This happened to me at a non-Mayo school. Unless you're interviewing with the Dean of Admissions, regardless of what your interviewer tells you they can't really promise you anything other than a favorable review by them. Post-interview rejections really aren't as rare or abnormal as you seem to think, even if you think your interview went really well.
 
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XmedBarney

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It seems like post-interview rejections are pretty rare. What are some things that you think would result in a rejection?

I'm not talking about obvious stuff like blatantly insulting the school, showing up in ripped jeans, forgetting why you like medicine, etc.

Are there any more subtle things that might result in this worst-possible decision?


Wouldn't this have to do more with their historical yield than anything else? I mean, if you are Harvard you can be reasonably sure that most of your offers will be accepted, leaving little reason to either make a huge number of offers or maintain a large wait list. Even schools that aren't as competitive also weed out many students who are too super-starry for them. Additionally, it also matters if the school is rolling admissions or not. So I disagree with the premise that most interviewees don't receive rejection letters.
 

Ismet

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This is probably like a 1 in a million situation. how many people do you think exhibit blatantly inappropriate behavior on their interview day??

It's not one in a million. It can happen several times in an application cycle. One of the main instances is in the "holding tank" of the admissions office. The receptionists/secretaries can hear what you say when talking to other applicants. There have been a handful of applicants who badmouth other schools, or talk/brag incessantly about their accomplishments and other interviews, or otherwise act less than professionally.
 
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QuinnTheEskimo

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It's not one in a million. It can happen several times in an application cycle. One of the main instances is in the "holding tank" of the admissions office. The receptionists/secretaries can hear what you say when talking to other applicants. There have been a handful of applicants who badmouth other schools, or talk/brag incessantly about their accomplishments and other interviews, or otherwise act less than professionally.

Ok, so "several times in an admissions cycle" = ~ 3 applicants out of ~800.

They report students for discussing schools they don't like, amongst each other? That seems a little bit extreme and petty.
 

MDOnlyWillDo

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This is probably like a 1 in a million situation. how many people do you think exhibit blatantly inappropriate behavior on their interview day??
I was rejected from a school because I had casually mentioned at lunch that it was my first visit to the area. I told this to fellow interviewees and still have no idea where the school employee was hiding to be able to hear that- there were none to be seen. In my exit interview I was told that if I was truly interested in attending that school, I would have checked out the town before I applied. o_O Being out-of-state, I can't possibly see how that would be feasible to do with 20ish schools.
 

QuinnTheEskimo

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I was rejected from a school because I had casually mentioned at lunch that it was my first visit to the area. I told this to fellow interviewees and still have no idea where the school employee was hiding to be able to hear that- there were none to be seen. In my exit interview I was told that if I was truly interested in attending that school, I would have checked out the town before I applied. o_O Being out-of-state, I can't possibly see how that would be feasible to do with 20ish schools.

That is bizarre, if true, sounds like the school employee is on a power trip.

Is there a chance they might not be being totally honest with you?
 

Ismet

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They report students for discussing schools they don't like, amongst each other? That seems a little bit extreme and petty.

There is a way to discuss likes and dislikes about other schools in a way that is professional, and there is a way to discuss these things in a brash or unprofessional way.
 
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MDOnlyWillDo

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That is bizarre, if true, sounds like the school employee is on a power trip.

Is there a chance they might not be being totally honest with you?
Yes, they were being honest. However, they also mentioned that I was lacking XYZ on my application, even though I had three separate entries of XYZ on my app. They actually admitted that they did not realize that those ECs comprised XYZ even though it was spelled out that they did. So, they did a poor job of vetting me and my application. Needless to say, I did not reapply.
 

IncognitoGuy

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This is probably like a 1 in a million situation. how many people do you think exhibit blatantly inappropriate behavior on their interview day??

Not all feedback is bad feedback. I never said it would be only for "blatantly inappropriate" behavior. There's a story around here that an interviewee treated a custodian poorly, and the custodian ended up bringing it to the attention of the adcom, which resulted in a swift rejection. Truth in it? I don't know.

In my experience as a tour guide for interviewees, there has never been a single person who has stood out positively OR negatively enough for me to consider taking action. Take it with a grain of salt and common sense - people are people too. And people talk. It's a discussion, not a checklist.

Schools know what they want. Every little bit helps them decide, and when each seat is so valuable in terms of money, manpower, contribution to the school's image and so forth, they want to make as informed a decision as possible.
 

solitarius

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I got one of these. It was at the lowest-tier MD school that invited me for an interview.
 

chillaxbro

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rare? I received a ton of post interview rejections. I'm un-acceptable :(
 
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solitarius

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rare? I received a ton of post interview rejections. I'm un-acceptable :(

If you're getting a ton of these, you need to improve your interviewing schools before the next cycle.
 
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basketcase0a0

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I have gotten 10 interviews. 2 rejections, 2 acceptances, 2 silences (Assumed wait lists) and 4 wait lists. An oddly normal distribution, but certainly post interview rejections aren't that rare, especially for a low gpa, high MCAT applicant or an applicant with good numbers but poor EC's.
 
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Goro

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I'm assuming Quinn is referring to outright rejection, as opposed to being wait-listed followed by a rejection at the end of the app cycvle? If so, I concur that outright rejections are very rare, at least at my school. One actually has to work at that. But these are some reasons for flat-out rejections:

Having multiple misdemeanors or any sort of felony, especially involving theft or violence.
Showing a lack of ownership for IAs or misdemeanors ("it was the cop's fault I got busted the second time")
History of cheating or being expelled for honor violations.
Having a red flag LOR (I see about one of these a semester)
Being clueless or a very poor listener at interviews. I have little patients for someone who starts to answer and then asks "could you repeat the question?"
Being a babbling idiot at interviews
We have a group interview, so looking bored or not paying attention to what's going on.
Being arrogant
Being scary (this HAS happened!)
Matriculating at any other medical school and flunking out, or leaving for a poor reason.
Lying during interviews (this has also happened)
Being a hyper-achiever who wants to answer others people questions, instead of waiting one's turn.
Being a robot or unable to display any sort of emotion, or having a flat affect.
Having too low an MCAT score in Bio (I'll auto-reject anyone with a 6 or lower. Luckily, we've raised our minimum standards, so this doesn't happen anymore).
Being too immature.


Now, I'm sure someone is going to chime in that "yeah, but interviews are stressful". No doubt they are, but so is tying off a spurting artery on a MVA victim, or dealing with an acting-out psychotic patient. Thus, with all the people we interview for our limited number of seats, the seats go to those who display grace under pressure. Panic is not an option for a doctor; clear-headed think is.

It seems like post-interview rejections are pretty rare. What are some things that you think would result in a rejection?

I'm not talking about obvious stuff like blatantly insulting the school, showing up in ripped jeans, forgetting why you like medicine, etc.

Are there any more subtle things that might result in this worst-possible decision?
 
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Ismet

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I'm assuming Quinn is referring to outright rejection, as opposed to being wait-listed followed by a rejection at the end of the app cycvle? If so, I concur that outright rejections are very rare, at least at my school. One actually has to work at that. But these are some reasons for flat-out rejections:

Being scary (this HAS happened!)



Now, I'm sure someone is going to chime in that "yeah, but interviews are stressful". No doubt they are, but so is tying off a spurting artery on a MVA victim, or dealing with an acting-out psychotic patient. Thus, with all the people we interview for our limited number of seats, the seats go to those who display grace under pressure. Panic is not an option for a doctor; clear-headed think is.

Story time? :D
 
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sourdoughllama

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I'm assuming Quinn is referring to outright rejection, as opposed to being wait-listed followed by a rejection at the end of the app cycvle? If so, I concur that outright rejections are very rare, at least at my school. One actually has to work at that. But these are some reasons for flat-out rejections:

Having multiple misdemeanors or any sort of felony, especially involving theft or violence.
Showing a lack of ownership for IAs or misdemeanors ("it was the cop's fault I got busted the second time")
History of cheating or being expelled for honor violations.
Having a red flag LOR (I see about one of these a semester)
Being clueless or a very poor listener at interviews. I have little patients for someone who starts to answer and then asks "could you repeat the question?"
Being a babbling idiot at interviews
We have a group interview, so looking bored or not paying attention to what's going on.
Being arrogant
Being scary (this HAS happened!)
Matriculating at any other medical school and flunking out, or leaving for a poor reason.
Lying during interviews (this has also happened)
Being a hyper-achiever who wants to answer others people questions, instead of waiting one's turn.
Being a robot or unable to display any sort of emotion, or having a flat affect.
Having too low an MCAT score in Bio (I'll auto-reject anyone with a 6 or lower. Luckily, we've raised our minimum standards, so this doesn't happen anymore).
Being too immature.


Now, I'm sure someone is going to chime in that "yeah, but interviews are stressful". No doubt they are, but so is tying off a spurting artery on a MVA victim, or dealing with an acting-out psychotic patient. Thus, with all the people we interview for our limited number of seats, the seats go to those who display grace under pressure. Panic is not an option for a doctor; clear-headed think is.

Edit: Sorry my post made no grammatical sense
 
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blixxex

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Awkward stares and silence = indirect rejection.

Someone asked how I planned on paying for Med School ... I said I'll pull out my old pole dancing skills. I wasn't joking, he didn't find it very inspiring.
 
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Metzenbaum7

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Arguing with the interviewer about Michael Jordan's college major. But I knew I was right so totally worth it.
 
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Disagreed with interviewer regarding obamacare = wait list (aka rejection at this school)
 

vc7777

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My Persian boss used a saying "why argue about how many teeth a horse has, when you can go count them?"

I would encourage a polite inquiry into the admissions office after any rejection and ask for feedback. You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain. In general, asking for feedback and using it for self improvement is a sign of maturity and really will help you be a better person in every aspect of your life.
 
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BillrothI

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I'm assuming Quinn is referring to outright rejection, as opposed to being wait-listed followed by a rejection at the end of the app cycvle? If so, I concur that outright rejections are very rare, at least at my school. One actually has to work at that. But these are some reasons for flat-out rejections:

Having multiple misdemeanors or any sort of felony, especially involving theft or violence.
Showing a lack of ownership for IAs or misdemeanors ("it was the cop's fault I got busted the second time")
History of cheating or being expelled for honor violations.
Having a red flag LOR (I see about one of these a semester)
Being clueless or a very poor listener at interviews. I have little patients for someone who starts to answer and then asks "could you repeat the question?"
Being a babbling idiot at interviews
We have a group interview, so looking bored or not paying attention to what's going on.
Being arrogant
Being scary (this HAS happened!)
Matriculating at any other medical school and flunking out, or leaving for a poor reason.
Lying during interviews (this has also happened)
Being a hyper-achiever who wants to answer others people questions, instead of waiting one's turn.
Being a robot or unable to display any sort of emotion, or having a flat affect.
Having too low an MCAT score in Bio (I'll auto-reject anyone with a 6 or lower. Luckily, we've raised our minimum standards, so this doesn't happen anymore).
Being too immature.


Now, I'm sure someone is going to chime in that "yeah, but interviews are stressful". No doubt they are, but so is tying off a spurting artery on a MVA victim, or dealing with an acting-out psychotic patient. Thus, with all the people we interview for our limited number of seats, the seats go to those who display grace under pressure. Panic is not an option for a doctor; clear-headed think is.

Goro - is it true that some applicants with slim to no chance of acceptance are invited to interview? It seems like a waste of time and resources to me, but it seems to be a commonly held belief here on SDN.

Thanks,
Bill
 

Goro

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Yeah, it sure happens at my school! That's because we don't do any pre-screening. Also, legacies can get invites, even if they have no chance in hell of acceptance. It's only out of courtesy to the requester..who sometimes agree with our viewpoint, but ask anyway so their friend/sibling/child can get a dose of reality when the rejection comes.

It might be less at, say, school's like LizzyM's, where they do pre-screen, but maybe not at gyngyn's which appear to have a minimal pre-screen.

Goro - is it true that some applicants with slim to no chance of acceptance are invited to interview? It seems like a waste of time and resources to me, but it seems to be a commonly held belief here on SDN.


I'm quoting some of my other AdCom members on that one.
Story time? :D
 
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sourdoughllama

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Yeah, it sure happens at my school! That's because we don't do any pre-screening. Also, legacies can get invites, even if they have no chance in hell of acceptance. It's only out of courtesy to the requester..who sometimes agree with our viewpoint, but ask anyway so their friend/sibling/child can get a dose of reality when the rejection comes.

It might be less at, say, school's like LizzyM's, where they do pre-screen, but maybe not at gyngyn's which appear to have a minimal pre-screen.

Goro - is it true that some applicants with slim to no chance of acceptance are invited to interview? It seems like a waste of time and resources to me, but it seems to be a commonly held belief here on SDN.

I'm quoting some of my other AdCom members on that one.
Story time? :D

What do you mean by pre-screen? Surely you guys aren't just handing out interviews like candy haha
 

boomshaketheroom

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Arguing with the interviewer about Michael Jordan's college major. But I knew I was right so totally worth it.

Geology, statistics professors like talking about the mean and median income of geology majors who graduated from UNC at the same time as him.
 

Spicegirl07

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I think the ranking of the school and the amount of applicants interviewed play a role in post interview rejections. The smaller pool of applicants interviewed ( heavier pre- screening) ( 300-400 ), the less likely they are to post interview reject, and simply wait list. If the schools interviews A LOT of applicants like albany, rejection is more common. Rejections are definitely more common in some schools than others.
 

Goro

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Pre-screen means someone goes through the apps and weeds out people who have IAs, DUIs, felonies, etc. We just look at MCAT and GPAs. No matter what your past sins, if you're above our minimums, you get an interview invite.

What do you mean by pre-screen? Surely you guys aren't just handing out interviews like candy haha
 
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