Previous internship applicants: Number of interviews and match outcomes

Nov 15, 2013
25
11
Status
  1. MD/PhD Student
-How many sites you applied to (and how many were APA accredited)

I applied to 17 APA accredited sites (2013-2014).

-How many interviews you received

I received 6 interviews, but was able to rank 9 sites because of the ranking structure.

-If you matched or not and to what type of site

I matched to my #1 ranked site, a consortium site.

-What type of sites you were applying to (research-focused, neuro, peds, etc)

Consortium, AMC, hospitals, I applied to both adult and child tracks because I am interested in working with adolescents and this is encompassed differently by program.

-Other info that you think might be relevant to your outcome(s)

400 face-to-face intervention hours, 150 face-to-face assessment hours. Strong neuropsych background. 3 pubs: 2 first author high impact factor journals, 1 second author. I have a unique research background; I research internationally, which I think helped my application stand apart. I am bi-lingual and can conduct therapy and assessments in both languages. I think I interviewed well, but not exceptionally. I would want to emphasize to future applicants that you do not have to have 700+ face-to-face hours to successfully get interviews, or to place at a top site. I lost a year of practicum experience when I was abroad conducting my dissertation data collection. I think I presented as a well rounded student, committed to research beyond the dissertation. I certainly have gaps in my clinical knowledge and experiences, but the training I have is solid and I conveyed that in my written application as well as in my interviews.
 

researchgirl

10+ Year Member
Feb 6, 2009
285
178
Status
  1. Psychologist
-How many sites you applied to (and how many were APA accredited)
I applied to 16 APA accredited sites (2013-2014).
-How many interviews you received
I received 7 interviews.
-If you matched or not and to what type of site
I matched to my #3 ranked site, a consortium site (AMC/VA).
-What type of sites you were applying to (research-focused, neuro, peds, etc)
Mostly AMCs, some VAs, research-focused, adult/behavioral medicine focus.
-Other info that you think might be relevant to your outcome(s)
470 face-to-face intervention hours, 100 face-to-face assessment hours. 6 pubs, 2 as first author.
 
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Nov 29, 2013
82
148
Status
  1. Psychology Student
How many sites you applied to (and how many were APA accredited)
I applied to 20 APA accredited university counseling centers. I did not limit myself geographically and more than half of the sites would be considered very competitive.

How many interviews you received
I received 19 interviews

If you matched or not and to what type of site
I matched to a pretty sweet university counseling center :)

What type of sites you were applying to (research-focused, neuro, peds, etc)
I was obviously looking for a UCC but only interested in working at a place that had a diverse student body, offered supervision of practicum students, and had a track record of previous interns finding work at a UCC.

Other info that you think might be relevant to your outcome(s)
My application was okay but I'm no all star. I had an average amount of contact hours, worked at a variety of settings, and had a handful of presentation but no pubs (one conditionally accepted to a flagship journal). Additionally, I think my letters of rec were pretty sharp. While interviewing, some sites commented on what my references had said about me.

So why did I get so many interviews? I can't be certain but I think my genuine interest in multiculturalism and being White played a big role. I talked a lot about work with diverse populations and wrestling with my own privileged identities in most of the essays. I found that UCC's either really valued multiculturalism at it's core or at least valued it on the surface presumably because that's the direction of the field. Obviously my interests line up well for sites that are deeply committed multiculturalism but I'm also a "safe" candidate for sites that value multiculturalism on the surface. Meaning, I can talk about privilege and oppression but I'm a white heterosexual male so it's not as intimidating when I do it - as opposed to someone with oppressed identities. This feeling was further supported when sites would commend me for my passion in social justice/multiculturalism but I would look around at who was working there and see people that looked just like me. Kind of incongruent.

So while hard work certainly explains some of my success, I'm not discounting privilege as a contributor.
go on with your bad self! :)
 

futureapppsy2

Assistant professor
Moderator
Dec 25, 2008
5,992
2,417
Posting anonymously for a user...


How many sites you applied to (and how many were APA accredited):

I applied to 17 sites, all APA accredited

How many interviews you received:
I received 4 interview invites, but ranked 5 sites, as one site does not do interviews as part of the selection process, and I didn't receive a rejection from them.

If you matched or not and to what type of site:

I matched in Phase I to a VAMC (my #1 rank)

What type of sites you were applying to (research-focused, neuro, peds, etc):
I applied to mostly VAs and consortiums, with the exception of 1 private hospital and 2 AMCs. I was looking for sites where I could work in a particular, kind of uncommon, modality, so the research-focused-ness was all over the place.
Due to the last 5 years of hell in grad school, I only applied to diverse, accepting areas, so the Northeast, the Pacific Northwest, and some big cities in the Midwest.

Other info that you think might be relevant to your outcome(s):
I found out on interview that an important question on the application form came through blank. I was having trouble with my browser, but I thought everything looked okay when I filled out my application. I'd imagine that my application got binned at some places as a result.
I have a fair number of poster presentations, but no publications, although I had one under review when I did my CV.
I was told on interviews that my letters of rec were very, very good.
I have a criminal record; a non-drug, non- violence-related misdemeanor from when I was a young thing, which was many, many years ago.
I had ~1100 intervention hours, ~160 assessment hours, and ~750 supervision hours (which rarely gets talked about, but a supervisor at one of my practicum sites who is on the intern selection committee told me they totally look at that).
My program has a 100% match rate for the past 8 years with the exception of one student not matching one year. It's a clinical phd program, well-balanced between research and clinical, and it's known for very good clinical training.
I had no VAMC experience.
I basically didn't put as much effort as one probably should to the whole process. I thought about what kind of place I wanted and what to write in my essays for almost a year, but basically did the whole choosing sites and application process in 2 weeks, and it really wasn't that bad. (Keep track of your intervention hours. Mine were mostly up to date, and it still took 3 days to sort it all out.)
I am super-enthusiastic about my clinical work and research; I have had a lot of opportunity to talk about both, and it probably came across in interviews.
My research focus is . . . a little odd, and possibly somewhat scandalous to some people.
I was very up front in my cover letters about my interest in one particular modality, so places that mentioned it in their brochures, but don't actually emphasize it may not have been interested in me. Basically, I gambled a bit in that regard.

So basically, what I'm trying to get across is that this process is stupid and arbitrary. In some ways, I was a good candidate to match, in other ways, not so much. In terms of doing the process appropriately, I guarantee that people who deserved to match much more than I did, did not. I was very much prepared not to match, and had a solid plan for my next year if I didn't, which helped keep the stress down.

Related to coping, rather than matching.
Interviews were really pretty fun! I got to hear about cool stuff I might get to do, and people asked me to talk about stuff in which I'm super-interested! Yay!
I drove to all my interviews, even though they were quite far, and mostly stayed in cheap BnBair.com rooms in people's homes. It kept down my expenses a lot.
I watched people in my program freaaaak out about their interview numbers during the past two cycles, and it mostly seemed to happen after talking to each other about said numbers. Someone always walked away from those conversations feeling ****-tay, even though it absolutely wasn't intended, and folks were supportive. I chose to keep my numbers absolutely to myself in the school setting, even when important people asked. Some people were affronted, and there was certainly pressure to tell, but I explained nicely and stuck to my guns. I had a relatively low-stress process, and I'm pretty sure that contributed heavily.

Good luck to all applicants and may the imbalance decrease!
 

grenas

5+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2013
214
292
Status
  1. Psychology Student
-How many sites you applied to (and how many were APA accredited)
I applied to 18 sites. All UCCs and APA accredited.

-How many interviews you received
13 interviews

-If you matched or not and to what type of site
I matched to an excellent site in phase I.

-What type of sites you were applying to (research-focused, neuro, peds, etc)
I applied to UCCs that had a focused on supervision, multicultural/diversity issues, research, and/or training on becoming a training director.

-Other info that you think might be relevant to your outcome(s)
I did not limit myself geographically. I have lots of hours providing supervision and also working with diverse clients whose sexual orientation, gender identification, racial and ethnic identity that were different from mine. I have three years experience working with college students (2 years in a UCC and 1 year in our departmental clinic). I was afraid at first as I did not have a letter writer form a UCC supervisor; however, I had strong letters and had lots of hours.
 
Oct 23, 2012
189
132
Status
  1. Psychology Student
-How many sites you applied to (and how many were APA accredited)

First time: 24, all APA for Phase 1; 16, all APA for Phase II. I split my applications between Vas and UCCs, since I had experience with both and really liked both settings.

Second time: 34, 33 APA and 1 APPIC VA that had just had a site visit. This time, I applied to almost all VAs, a community mental health clinic, 2 UCCs, and 2 AMCs.


-How many interviews you received

First time: 5 in Phase 1 (4 VAs, 1UCC), 3 in Phase II (all VAs)

Second time: 18 (both AMCs, the community mental health clinic, and a bunch of VAs)


-If you matched or not and to what type of site


First time: Clearly not. J

Second time: Yes, to my second choice site: a research-y but not too much so VA. It was actually my first choice on everything except location.


-What type of sites you were applying to (research-focused, neuro, peds, etc)


Like you can see above, the first time, I split my application between VAs and UCCs. The second time, I focused almost totally on VAs, with a pretty even split between scholar-practitioner and scientist-practitioner programs. I especially targeted places with strong PTSD/Trauma rotations. I ideally wanted a place with some research opportunities, but not an academy site by any means, and that’s what I got.

-Other info that you think might be relevant to your outcome(s)


I’m from a very research-heavy Clinical PhD program, but I’m personally not a research-heavy applicant. I think this hurt me the first time because it was unclear what my niche was. I did a much better job the second time around of targeting my application and making it clear that my strengths lie in the marriage of clinical work and research. I also modified my essays much more – I ended up with 6 sets of essays in the end. I was sad not to apply to UCCs, but my hit rate with them was so poor last year that it didn’t seem worth it.

Between the two cycles I: made a huge amount of progress on my dissertation; wrote a chapter and an article with people (I was second author on both); did NOT get more clinical hours (I had a pretty large amount already); and got more integrative reports. I also applied much more broadly geographically instead of focusing on the ultra-competitive West Coast.

My husband and I were fortunate in that he has a good job and my parents helped with some of my travel costs, because this was a hugely expensive endeavor. I know there’s a lot of controversy in applying to so many places, but for me, this was the way to go.
 
Aug 7, 2013
159
97
-How many sites you applied to (and how many were APA accredited)
31 sites. 15 VAs, 3 AMCs, 4 State Hospitals, 2 Private Hospitals, 7 UCCs . All but 2 of the VAs and 1 UCC were APA accredited.

-How many interviews you received
4 interviews (2 VAs, 1 Private Hospital, 1 State Hospital)

-If you matched or not and to what type of site
I matched in Phase I to a VA that is a terrific match.

-What type of sites you were applying to (research-focused, neuro, peds, etc)
I wanted to work with adults and possibly adolescents in a hospital, preferably a VA. I applied to the UCCs mostly due to geographical restrictions.

-Other info that you think might be relevant to your outcome(s)
I was geographically restricted due to family. Also, I have an unusual background. My experience in both practicum and internship apps has been that some supervisors/sites like this and others don't, and it is very difficult to discern before applying which is which. For example, two of the sites that interviewed me were among the last three where I decided to apply. In retrospect, the UCC apps were a waste of time and money, but I felt like I had to try for them due to geography.
 

calimich

Associate Professor
Lifetime Donor
Nov 22, 2013
361
441
California
Status
  1. Psychologist
-How many sites you applied to (and how many were APA accredited)
I applied to 26 APA accredited UCCs all across the country. I'm in doc school in the Midwest and I'm from the West Coast; 10 of the sites I applied to were on the West Coast and only 1 had ever taken an intern from our program. Our program is well regarded in the Midwest and Eastern US, but not so well know on the West Coast.

-How many interviews you received
21. All rejections came from sites out West.

-If you matched or not and to what type of site
Matched at my #1, an amazing UCC in my home state.

-What type of sites you were applying to (research-focused, neuro, peds, etc)
UCCs with stated and visible commitment to racial & ethnic diversity, strong group therapy programs, and the opportunity to supervise practicum students. My most desirable sites were located at universities with racially & ethnically diverse student populations, offered mentoring in administration/training, had active research programs, and were open to interns wanting to try the faculty route.

-Other info that you think might be relevant to your outcome(s)

I took this process very seriously and began preparing almost a year before internship apps were due. I searched nationally for sites I believed were great fits and worked hard to personalize each cover letter. I took several months to write & rewrite my essays and was well into dissertation data collection during interviews. I let sites know that I expected to defend before internship began. I studied before each interview and asked thoughtful, relevant (imo) questions of the interviewers. I had just over 600 intervention hours, ~150 assessment hours, a dozen conference presentations, and 2 pubs (1 as sole author) during my 5 years of grad school. Over my final 2+ years I volunteered about 8hrs/month with two psychology-related community organizations; one added depth to a strong aspect of my program's training, the other was in an area personally meaningful although not really covered by my program. I also think my letters of recommendation were great. I sent follow up emails to the sites I was most interested in and asked questions of the current interns regarding quality of life and other such topics not found on the website.

Additionally, I think I'd be considered a "non-traditional" doc student. About 10 years passed between finishing undergrad and applying to grad school. My undergrad GPA was under 3.0 so I worked in a related field for about 5 years and then lived and worked outside the US for nearly another 5 years. I'm also a fully bilingual native Spanish speaker, although my experience practicing psychology in Spanish has been limited.
 
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OneNeuroDoctor

Clinical Neuropsychologist
5+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2013
697
122
Status
  1. Psychologist
25 sites. Applied nationally with 70% APA and 30% APPIC. All sites had pediatric emphasis. Six interviews and I matched with my #1 ranked site. I matched with a CMHC that is APA accredited.

The key to matching is finding the right fit and applying nationally to rural and urban facilities. I was fortunate since my program had prior graduates that matched with the site and the DCT had a history with our program. They accepted another intern from my program last year.
 
Nov 24, 2013
36
66
Status
  1. Pre-Psychology
  2. MD/PhD Student
  3. Psychology Student
-How many sites you applied to (and how many were APA accredited)
I applied to 15 sites, all UCC's and all APA-accredited

-How many interviews you received
I received 8 interview invites and participated in them all

-If you matched or not and to what type of site
Matched to my #1 choice, obviously a UCC

-What type of sites you were applying to (research-focused, neuro, peds, etc)
My main interests were unique training opportunities (specifically in administrative training or eating disorder treatment), working with diverse student populations, group work, and quality supervision. I tended to lean more towards sites that had developmental or mentoring models since that matched my personality and needs better (although I come from a scientist-practitioner Ph.D. program).


-Other info that you think might be relevant to your outcome(s)

I did not limit myself geographically -too- much (tended to stay east coast or midwest). I have a good balance of clinical contact hours, training sites (UCC's, community mental health, and partial hospitalization eating disorder program), and publications (2 publications, numerous presentations). I only have a B.A., and what I would say helped me the most is simply working my butt off getting hours, varied training experiences, making connections, and having strong letter writers. Oh also my dissertation will likely be completed before my internship year begins, which was appealing to some sites. Beyond this, I prepared and studied for every interview, attended an intensive mock interview before the process, and practiced saying my answers out loud. I had tons of people read my essays and provide feedback, which I think strengthened my application as well.
 

futureapppsy2

Assistant professor
Moderator
Dec 25, 2008
5,992
2,417
Posting anonymously for a user:

-How many sites you applied to (and how many were APA accredited)
21, all APA accredited
-How many interviews you received
19
-If you matched or not and to what type of site
Matched to AMC
-What type of sites you were applying to (research-focused, neuro, peds, etc)
All AMCs with peds focus
-Other info that you think might be relevant to your outcome(s)
Interviewers kept commenting about how great my rec letters were
 

CheetahGirl

Clinical Psychologist
Feb 15, 2007
1,388
768
formerly from Atlanta, GA
Status
  1. Psychologist
Hello, Insomnia. Fancy meeting you here.

How many sites you applied to (and how many were APA accredited)
16 (all APA-accredited)

How many interviews you received
6

If you matched or not and to what type of site
I matched in Phase I to a VA affiliated with an AMC (ranked #1).

What type of sites you were applying to (research-focused, neuro, peds, etc)
I was geographically limited, but I had a large pool of sites to choose from in my present radius.

I applied to AMCs, psychiatric hospitals, community-based MH, or VA sites with faculty and interdisciplinary/ research training in areas of my primary interest: Trauma, short-term EBT training within health psychology/ biobehavioral medicine settings. I applied to both child/adult combined tracks and adult only tracks. I rolled the dice to see which age population I would end up treating because my research interests in trauma go beyond my dissertation. (Per the match results, I will say good-bye to treating children/adolescents for now, and will focus on the elder folk. Although I clinically interact with children/adolescents through my volunteer trauma work which I will most likely take a hiatus from when start internship.)

Other info that you think might be relevant to your outcome(s)
I had (approximations) ~ 900 Intervention hours, ~100 assessment hours, ~700 supervision hours, 3 publications (non-first author) in biobehavioral journals, and over 25 presentations or published abstracts - which is not the best ratio of published versus symposia work but my research background/ experience is solid and has longevity. There was a strong match between my internship goals and each site’s research/clinical work.

I come from a respected, well-known program with a strong match rate that places great interns at competitive sites year after year, so I feel networking has a lot to do with the process if you are geographically restricted. I have built great relationships with thoughtful recommenders who genuinely support me professionally – when I look good, they look even better.

I had a cohesive personal/professional narrative in the development of my research interest and how I have pursued that interest in research and clinical work thus far. I can also readily “understand/articulate the theoretical underpinnings and conceptualizations of my clinical experiences” (as FionaGoode so succinctly stated). I put a lot of soul-searching effort into my essays (as I think we all do) so I also believe it’s essential to develop a good cohesive narrative for your APPIC essays that you then take into your interviews.

Speaking of interviews, I was disappointed that I did not get more interviews. I was perplexed why I was getting rejected by my alma mater’s UCC, but interviewed at an Ivy League AMC!?! (I know why now – I was obviously “unfit” for their site.) I was interviewed at one VA, but rejected from one across town!?! (Go figure.) In fact, during this maddening process, I received my initial interview offers up front, followed by many (8) rejections in a row, and finally getting two final interview offers on the cusp of rank order day! These were some of the nicest rejection letters ever, but I was beside myself. I remembered a friend from my program told me that “you only need one good interview,” and “don’t worry if you don’t get as many interviews as expected” because she had roughly the same stats (applied to 15 sites, received 5 interviews, but matched at her #1 ranked, highly regarded AMC). So I carried those sentiments throughout the process, quickly ignored the rejecting sites, and enthusiastically powered through my interviews. Now I will pass those sentiments along.

Ultimately, I matched to site that fits my needs as a clinician, researcher and parent. And my husband is happy I’m finally earning some cash - although he still can’t believe the effort that goes into the degree and the tiny financial output that comes with it.
 
Last edited:

PsychBoxe

Postdoctoral Fellow
10+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2008
128
12
Status
  1. Psychologist
How many sites you applied to (and how many were APA accredited)
I applied to 23 APA Accredited sites and 4 "in transition" APPIC to APA VAMCs (27 total)

How many interviews you received
3 interviews received. I ranked 5 sites as one of the programs had multiple tracks.

If you matched or not and to what type of site
I matched in Phase I to a health psychology program in an inpatient public health and psychiatric hospital (APA accredited). I matched to my #3 sites. I was lucky that the few interviews did receive were towards the top of my list.

What type of sites you were applying to (research-focused, neuro, peds, etc)
The majority were VAMCS, psychiatric hospitals, a consortium, and one CMHC.

Other info that you think might be relevant to your outcome(s)
Huge obstacle - my registrar's office sent the INCORRECT transcript to APPIC, which was very embarrassing to my DOCT. I caught this mistake pretty early in the process and corrected it (about half of the sites emailed me and were very understanding), but I am unsure how it might have impacted my application.

On paper, I had strong clinical training sites - a CMHC, a VAMC and BMed training at a nationally-recognized teaching hospital. However, with the prestige of the hospital site came a high "no-show" and cancellation rate. This negatively affected my intervention hours and likely affected my number of interviews.
 

G Costanza

Psychologist - Private Practice
7+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2011
519
561
Status
  1. Psychologist
On paper, I had strong clinical training sites - a CMHC, a VAMC and BMed training at a nationally-recognized teaching hospital. However, with the prestige of the hospital site came a high "no-show" and cancellation rate. This negatively affected my intervention hours and likely affected my number of interviews.

Are you saying the prestige was correlated with the cancellation rate? If so, why?
 

PsychBoxe

Postdoctoral Fellow
10+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2008
128
12
Status
  1. Psychologist
I think the caliber of the site was independent of the cancellation rate. The site had a lot of "soft" referral from PCPs. Trainees had a lot of intake experiences, but follow-up sessions often fell through.
 
Nov 12, 2013
116
210
Status
  1. Psychology Student
In particular, it'd be good to know:
-How many sites you applied to (and how many were APA accredited)
20, of which all but one were APA (the other being a consortium aiming to accreditation but not there yet)
-How many interviews you received
10, with 11 ranks
-If you matched or not and to what type of site
Yes, to the consortium I mentioned above. My particular track there is combo of outpatient clinic and UCC placements.
-What type of sites you were applying to (research-focused, neuro, peds, etc)
Mostly AMCs and large hospitals, with some trauma focused pads sites
-Other info that you think might be relevant to your outcome(s)
I've been thinking about this for a long time. I think a lot of sites eliminated me because I had a lot of child hours, so while I met the minimums, I didn't meet the minimums with adult hours alone, and I was roughly equal in child and adult hours. This appeared to come up a lot, and so I suspect it was a factor. It may also have been connected to the fact that most of my work has been long-term (~1 year+), so while I had a lot of hours, I didn't have a large patient list.
 
Dec 6, 2013
2
0
Mostly a lurker here, but I thought I would jump in since I don't see any posted yet that specific to my area (unless I missed it).

How many sites you applied to (and how many were APA accredited)
1st time: 15
2nd time: 18
All APA accredited both times
How many interviews you received
1st time: 3, although I wasn't able to make it to one because it overlapped with another (I have terrible luck sometimes); ranked 2 sites
2nd time: 9; ranked 14 slots because a couple of sites had multiple tracks
If you matched or not and to what type of site
1st time: obviously no match
2nd time: matched to my top choice, a children's hospital
What type of sites you were applying to (research-focused, neuro, peds, etc)
Child clinical and peds, some generalist sites too
Other info that you think might be relevant to your outcome(s)
I guess what I learned most and what would be relevant is how to sell your experiences in a good way. In my case I had decided to change my focus quite late in my training so when I wrote my application materials and interviewed I was honest about that. I also played up the fact that I sought out additional experiences in peds in order to demonstrate that I was sincerely interested in this more specialized area. Who knows, maybe I just got lucky :)
 
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