# post-interview trauma?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by HardlyDavidson, Dec 1, 2001.

1. ### HardlyDavidson Member

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So anyone heard of anyone, ever, who had 5-6 or 7 interviews and 0 acceptances? Or are the odds too in the student's favor at that point. Chatting with a few peeps on this site has led me to believe I can count on med school next year. Still, chatting with an interviewer in Chigago has led to believe the opposite. If you have a few moments to answer, could you offer any horror stories? Hahnemann already rejected me after what I thought was a stellar interview... nobody else has mentioned a thing. Yeah yeah, I know contemplating this won't change my fate, but it's fun to talk about- admit it.

3. ### brandonite Moderator Emeritus

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It seems to vary from school to school, but a general figure seems to be that schools interview about 25% of their total applicants, and they then accept 15% of those that they interview. Some schools interview far less than that (Stanford), so if you get an interview you have a pretty good shot at getting an acceptance there. Some state schools might interview almost everyone who applies from within their state, after which your chance of acceptance is somewhat less.

How many schools did you apply to? If you got an interview at every school you've applied to, then that should tell you that you have a pretty good shot at getting an acceptance somewhere. If you applied to like 40 schools, then it probably isn't a good indicator.

Anyway, as a math student I can say that just based on average statistics for numbers interviewed and numbers accepted, you probably have a 75% - 80% chance at getting at least one acceptance...

Good luck!

4. ### bobcat Member

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Well let's assume you are Mr. Average. At each school where you receive an interview, your chance of acceptance is ~35%

So, let's compute:

Pr (accept) = .35
Pr (reject)= .65

Pr(0 accepts/ 7 interviews)= (.65)^7 = .03 = 3%
Pr(1 or &gt;1 accept)= 1-.03 = .97 = 97%

Remember, these numbers are sorta meaningless. If your stats just made a school's interview cutoff and your interview was bad, Pr (acceptance) = .0001

5. ### Trek Grand Uranium Member

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Bobcat- i doubt it's that simple. People who look good on paper and are terrible interviewers will remain terrible interviewers the whole time. I was reading someplace that at (insert prestigious school here)- once you get an interview it was 50/50 that you'd get in. However, i've got a feeling that for some (good interviewers) it's more like 75% and for the poor interviewers it's probably 25%. It rarely washes out like the stats show it should. --Trek

6. ### HardlyDavidson Member

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I applied to 13 schools, and my interviews have ranged from competitive to not-so-competitive. Either way, we're forgetting the variable of personality. I can't ever get through to my interviewers. We never connect and my dad thinks I exude arrogance in my conversations. Thus, we're forgetting that I'm not the average Joe. I say my chances for getting at least 1 acceptance are much lower than 95%, as my calculator and Bobcat predict. But since testaments best enable us to predict our fate, any more stories would be greatly appreciated.

7. ### jargon124 Senior Member

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I'm interested in this same issue. I applied to 25 schools. I have 6 interviews so far and I expect (am hoping for) more (I took the Aug MCAT). The thing is that I live in AZ and am applying to 24 east coast schools. I wonder at what point would it be safe to turn down interviews? I know I probably should not turn down any until I have an acceptance in my hands, but it's tempting since I have to travel so far, miss school, and spend money...I dunno, any advice?

8. ### Sir William Osler Senior Member

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This is a great topic.

I think that there are so many variables once you get to the interview stage. I think your stats aren't that important anymore, but they probably still play a roll in the final tally of your ranking among the other applicants when decision time comes around. Also, I think the wildcard is that you have to interview with a person, and whether you connect or whether you have some sort of similarity with that person can determine alot of the interview. I mean, if you both played a sport, or were from the same region, or had the same interest or personality; then you will be golden in terms of their evaluation of you. It is also my theory that these people are trying to admit future colleagues. So, they dont only want smart people, but people who can relate to all types of patients, people who are actually geniunely NICE, and people who are fun and easy to talk to. Whether the interviewer likes you depends on alot of variables of course. That's why I think alot of people say this process is random. So maybe there is some randomness in that you dont know who will read your app, who will interview you, and who will make a decision on your app. But, if that person is similar to you or has some type of connection wiht your history, applicant, or personality, then you can bet you will be looked upon favorable.

The art is to please everyone without being fake. Be genuine, honest, and nice, and the acceptances should flood in granted you have competitive gpa and mcat and EC's. I guess that is easier said than done .

cheers.

9. ### choker Senior Member

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i had a mock interview with my neighbor who used to interview for columbia P&S for like 35 years or something and he gave me all these random tips and suggestions that i had never even thought about, things to bring up, things to do, things to suggest, etc. pretty helpful.

it might help to actually contact the school after the decision to see what you did wrong so you dont do it again.

10. ### HardlyDavidson Member

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I did that Choker, and some odd things crept out of our conversation. First, the Dean said one or more of my interviewers had 'concerns' with something I said. But since there was nothing controversial or abnormal discussed, the word 'concern' might be a little strong and out-of-place. If instead, my interviewers had concerns with not things I said but things I did or how I behaved that would be different and understandable, but that was not the case. Secondly, the Dean said that if by the end I didn't recieve any acceptances, to call him and "we'll talk". This was a bold, warm, and incredible thing. Was the Dean, in essence, inviting me for another look- a conditional acceptance maybe? Or was it an act of courtesy? Did MCP reject me because I demonstrated little interest maybe? Did they assume I'd take an offer elsewhere? It was my second interview, and it started me off with odd sentiments for the admissions process.

11. ### md2be06 Senior Member

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Like we've been hearing for so many years, this whole process is a crapshoot. Some of the most qualified people I know didn't get in anywhere on their first try or didn't get in until very late in the application cycle. Also, you just can't predict which schools are going to decide to interview you. The initial interview selection process is something we can't control. At some schools it's mainly numbers based, whereas at others, more emphasis is placed on letters of rec, activities, personal statements, etc. I've also heard that some lower tier schools don't give too many interviews to applicants from the top schools with extradordinary numbers. The reasoning behind this is that the school knows you're more than qualified to get in somewhere, and even if accepted, you probably won't matriculate at their school. No one likes being used as a backup, so they hesitate using an interview spot on someone who's not really interested.

I totally agree with the whole personality component of the selection process. Med schools don't care about your killer stats, multiple research publications, or the 500 volunteer hours you've logged at the local hospital, if your personality rivals that of a two by four. If that's the case, you're probably not gonna be getting in, and rightfully so. Medicine, as much as it is a science, is also an art; one which entails being capable of relating to other people, people whose ideologies and backgrounds you often know little or nothing about. That's why schools want students who not only possess the academic ability to excel in medical school, but more importantly, the prerequisite social skills to thrive in a clinical setting.

Making a connection with an interviewer will only help you, simply because the conversation seems to flow much smoother without those awkward pauses. It also leaves the impression that you're more than just a set of numbers when your file is brought before the adcom, and your candidacy for admission is thoroughly debated. Also, there are a ton of things that you can do during an interview that can get you rejected. One of them is being arrogant. In an interview at a top 20 school, one of my friends was asked what he thought his weakest science subject was. His response, "I don't have one." Now, this was an honest answer in his opinion (cause he's aced every single class out there), but his delivery probably came off as cocky and arrogant. It's a shame to lose an acceptance because of things like these that you can control.

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13. ### Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats

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I agree with you GG16...

That's completely cocky..b/c there is always something that we have struggled with and had to overcome. By saying that, you sound like you didn't have to work for anything b/c it's all natural to you. Well, I just don't believe that....

14. ### The Fly Senior Member

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Incidentally, I can't believe I said 'week subject' instead of 'weak subject' ...

Quite embarassing.

I will take some consolation in the fact that it is Monday and I would prefer to be almost anywhere but in lab after a spectacular weekend (it was absolutely beautiful in the northeast on Saturday!).

15. ### md2be06 Senior Member

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Sorry you guys feel that way. I guess you'd have to know the guy. God only knows that if med schools judged me on the basis of everything I ever said, I'd never get into any school. I'm the last person to be friends with a gunner, and my friend wasn't really one of them. His life didn't revolve around setting the curve or obsessing about getting into med school. We've all met those people that for which things just seem to come naturally, and that's how he is. He's confident in his abilities, and yes, sometimes, his confidence borders on cockiness. While he didn't get into the school where he made those comments, he did get into a very prestigious school, and is now an MSII. I stick to my assertion in another thread that some schools seem to like a little bit of cockiness in their students. You'd be surprised how many arrogant premeds there are that truly feel they don't have any academic weaknesses, they're just smart enough to play the "modesty" routine in the interview. In reality, does that make them any different than those who actually come out and say it?

17. ### The Fly Senior Member

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The irony would seem to be even thicker since I also just spelled embarrassing wrong.

I think I'll just quit for right now! Sorry for my
crazy ranting.

18. ### md2be06 Senior Member

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LOL GG16, meet my best friend: the Edit Button. It's the second button from the right at the top of any post.

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25. ### AtYourCervix Senior Member

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hey everyone...

i am really glad to see a post like this because now i dont feel so alone. i was rejected fairly quickly from one of my state schools (mich state md) and waitlisted at another (wayne), and i was honestly counting on both as "safety" schools.

i have a 3.6 GPA, 36 MCAT and graduated from duke last year. wrote a senior honors in medical history/women's studies and graduated with distinction. the rest of the schools i have/will have interviews at are umich, uchicago, northwestern and urochester so far. i feel like i am doomed at this point since these latter schools seem to be much more competitive, and i cant seem to get into my state schools that have average MCATs around 27.

in general, my interviews have gone fine. however, i have a rather provocative personal statement of which the first word is "vagina." it goes on to talk about my women's studies classes (i was a major) and my passion for women's issues. i got flack about the statement when i had people read it before i submitted my AMCAS, but after about a dozen revisions, i really thought i had taken care of the problem. people seemed to really like what i wrote and appreciated my sincerity. now, i am afraid i may be putting off my interviewers a bit after all.

i just wish interviewers would ASK me about the statement if they have a problem with it. ASK me to talk about why i wrote it instead of making all sorts of assumptions about me. i can tell that several of you feel frustrated about not being heard by your interviewers, and i feel the same way. why cant they just ASK us to clear things up if we say something that puts them off? we're not experts at this whole process, and maybe we're being misunderstood!

whew! just needed to get that off my chest.
dukegirlie

26. ### The Fly Senior Member

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DukeGirlie-
Sorry to hear about your 'safety' schools; I, too, have had to sort of confront the possibility of not getting into the schools I thought I was going to. For example, I certainly thought I would get an interview at UCSF (CA resident, 34T MCAT, 3.86 GPA, PBK, all that Jazz), but was outright rejected after completing a secondary. I guess I should be happy that i've had 11 interviews, but until one translates into an acceptance, I don't think it means all that much.

BUT...I wouldn't worry about the schools you list as being ultracompetitive. True, NW has like 10,000 applicants/ yr. BUT, they accept like HALF of those they interview. For example, like two years ago, they had something like 8600+ out-of-state applicants, and interviewed 367. So...if you've made that cut, I think you can assume you're doing alright (again, though I really just want that first acceptance at this point). As far as URochester, I believe that it is much the same with respect to those admitted after securing an interview.

Indeed, they did tell us at the NW interview (mine was 11/17 I think) that on average their interviewees get like 4-5+ acceptances, so i'm taking some comfort in that.

I know i've contradicted myself here a bit in that I am trying to comfort both you and myself while at the same time complaining about how we've (perhaps but hopefully not) slightly misperceived our chances.

I guess time will tell; I just wish I had more (any?) patience.

Good luck Dukegirlie! Perhaps we'll both be at NW in the fall!