Rejected from 2 schools post interview

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LiteralLungs

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I had several interviews in September, 2 of which have gotten back to me with rejections (DO programs). I am still waiting for some of the other interviews to get back to me (MD and DO). I reached out to both schools for feedback but have not heard back yet. I am not sure what to do at this point because I feel terrible, especially because I am predicting that any poor impression I gave would have been translated across all of the other interviews I am still waiting to hear back from. I have another interview coming up and I am pretty nervous that there is something about the way I conduct myself in interviews that is negative. One of the schools that rejected me apparently accepts 80-90% of applicants post interview. I did several mock interviews before all of these and did a ton of practice.

I feel that I have communication problems and cannot clearly convey what I am thinking to what I say. I remember one of my interviewers asking me follow up questions that came off as if he was trying to clarify what I said. One example would be my responses to ethics questions. In preparation for these questions, I like to read case reviews from JAMA ethics and listen to ethics podcasts, and I use those ideas in my answers. For personal questions, I have anecdotes and personal experiences that I like to use, and I try to reframe them to answer questions. I fear that my reframing often comes off as confusing.

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First off, you're not going to get feedback on your rejections this early on the cycle. If schools are going to give that, it's going to occur at the end of the cycle.

Secondly yes I suggest that you work on your interview skills
 
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First off, you're not going to get feedback on your rejections this early on the cycle. If schools are going to give that, it's going to occur at the end of the cycle.

Secondly yes I suggest that you work on your interview skills
Thank you. It's frustrating because based on my mock interviews, I was good to go.
 
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Would anyone be willing to do a mock interview with me?
 
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I am curious. What kind of questions did they ask and what were your responses? In my first interview, I was asked clarifying questions. There were times that I felt I did bad, but overall they seemed to understand what I was saying.
For you perhaps it could have been eye contact, not memorizing things like the JAMA ethics that you brought. A lot of times ethical questions don't have answers.
 
I am curious. What kind of questions did they ask and what were your responses? In my first interview, I was asked clarifying questions. There were times that I felt I did bad, but overall they seemed to understand what I was saying.
For you perhaps it could have been eye contact, not memorizing things like the JAMA ethics that you brought. A lot of times ethical questions don't have answers.
Mostly typical interview questions. I felt that I did prepare scripted responses to things. However, during the real interviews, my answers were not like my scripted responses at all. I felt like I was just talking and not feeling confident about what I was saying. On the other hand, I think I did follow some "scripts". Like I would start saying the first few words of a "phrase" I had practiced before, and this led to me fluently speaking this answer in a way that was reformed to answer the question. This is a weakness for me. How do you talk about things in a reflective way without sounding scripted, especially for topics that you don't have a strong background in? For example, if I am talking about the importance of physician honesty, how do I talk about that in a way without parroting what I have read about physician-patient relationships and physicians' relationships with society, and how dishonesty undermines those relationships?

Or if I was asked a question about physician assisted suicide, how am I to talk about this unless I have some background and understanding of what this is and how it fits within society?

Could you clarify what you mean by your last point? For ethical questions, I usually try to discuss various perspectives involved in the question. If it is clinically related, the answer will often involve a discussion of patient autonomy, the importance of the physician-patient relationship, etc. These are things that I have learned about by reading about them.


Are you still in college? Most institutions have mock interviews as service.
Indeed. Check in with your career counseling services.
I used my undergrad's career prep center mock interviews, and I also paid a ton of money for professional mock interviews, and I also did several mock interviews with random people.
 
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At least you should video record you answering questions and playback see how you feel about your answers, posture, etc.
 
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First off, you're not going to get feedback on your rejections this early on the cycle. If schools are going to give that, it's going to occur at the end of the cycle.

Secondly yes I suggest that you work on your interview skills
I also have an IA that I think prevented me from being successful in a previous cycle. That combined with some other weaknesses, which I addressed. I also applied much earlier this time and received several interviews. I am wondering if the IA still sunk my application even though I was given an interview.
 
I also have an IA that I think prevented me from being successful in a previous cycle. That combined with some other weaknesses, which I addressed. I also applied much earlier this time and received several interviews. I am wondering if the IA still sunk my application even though I was given an interview.
This is very possible. Were you asked about the IA at all?
 
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There aren't right or wrong answers, at least when I asked open ended questions during interviews. You want to project warmth, connect with the interviewer, and give genuine responses. Nothing scripted. Get some more practice!!! You have the stats they are looking for, hence your II's, now all you have to do is seal the deal!! Good luck and best wishes!
 
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For interviews you want to seem kind, honest, and engaged. Try to put the nervousness aside and talk to the person interviewing like they're your friend in a professional setting. You basically want to give the impression that you're capable, friendly, and honest. I think a good role of thumb for this is if you leave the interview and feel like you got along with everyone and can remember at least part of what their personality is like you probably came off as caring and able to listen at least.
 
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There aren't right or wrong answers, at least when I asked open ended questions during interviews. You want to project warmth, connect with the interviewer, and give genuine responses. Nothing scripted. Get some more practice!!! You have the stats they are looking for, hence your II's, now all you have to do is seal the deal!! Good luck and best wishes!
I practiced a ton before, and it seems I am doing something wrong. I feel like I am trying to break down a brick wall. I don't know what I'm doing wrong and I need to change something about the way I come off in interviews.
 
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I practiced a ton before, and it seems I am doing something wrong. I feel like I am trying to break down a brick wall. I don't know what I'm doing wrong and I need to change something about the way I come off in interviews.
There is help out there. Find it and practice. You can do it.
 
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Are these one-on-one interviews or MMI?
 
The 2 rejections were 2:1 interviews, traditional style.
 
I also have an IA that I think prevented me from being successful in a previous cycle. That combined with some other weaknesses, which I addressed. I also applied much earlier this time and received several interviews. I am wondering if the IA still sunk my application even though I was given an interview.
Excuse my ignorance; what's an IA? Nevermind.

I'm hopeful for these next two decisions you're still waiting on. I wish you luck when you receive them.
 
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Most schools accept about a quarter of people after interviews. You may have done nothing wrong at all.
 
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Given that both of your rejections were for DO programs and you're applying to both MD and DO, I'm wondering if you're potentially giving off vibes that you aren't really interested in osteopathic medicine / are there as a backup?

Something to consider along with the other advice here.

I'm guessing the issues aren't mechanical (i.e., disorganized answers, unprepared) given your preparation, but make sure you're showcasing who you genuinely are for the interviewers, and giving them a chance to get to know you as an individual.
 
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Given that both of your rejections were for DO programs and you're applying to both MD and DO, I'm wondering if you're potentially giving off vibes that you aren't really interested in osteopathic medicine / are there as a backup?

Something to consider along with the other advice here.

I'm guessing the issues aren't mechanical (i.e., disorganized answers, unprepared) given your preparation, but make sure you're showcasing who you genuinely are for the interviewers, and giving them a chance to get to know you as an individual.
Excuse my ignorance; what's an IA? Nevermind.

I'm hopeful for these next two decisions you're still waiting on. I wish you luck when you receive them.
Most schools accept about a quarter of people after interviews. You may have done nothing wrong at all.

Thank you all for your responses.

The more I think about it, the more I think that the IA may have had a major influence in the final decision. The DO point could be the case, only one of the two interviews asked me DO specific questions. Maybe I talked about my research too much for a program that isn't so big on research. I tried to emphasize the public health implications and less on the technical aspects. Maybe my answers came off as scripted, I do remember one of my interviewers saying something like, "Now I am going to ask you a question that you haven't prepared for," though it is difficult to assume they were implying that my answers up to that point sounded robotic and scripted.
 
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Even if they didn’t ask you DO specific questions, how you answered other questions can tell a lot about whether you’re truly interested or just there as a second choice option.
 
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Thank you all for your responses.

The more I think about it, the more I think that the IA may have had a major influence in the final decision. The DO point could be the case, only one of the two interviews asked me DO specific questions. Maybe I talked about my research too much for a program that isn't so big on research. I tried to emphasize the public health implications and less on the technical aspects. Maybe my answers came off as scripted, I do remember one of my interviewers saying something like, "Now I am going to ask you a question that you haven't prepared for," though it is difficult to assume they were implying that my answers up to that point sounded robotic and scripted.
No, it could be that you were just given the standard interview questions.

I hate to tell you this, but at least at my school, the mission of the Admissions Dean is different from that of the faculty. You may have been given the II because the Dean want warm bodies in seats.

The Faculty want people who will be good doctors. They may have already rejected you before coming into the interview, and just gave you the standard softballs to kill time.
 
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Thank you all for your responses.

The more I think about it, the more I think that the IA may have had a major influence in the final decision. The DO point could be the case, only one of the two interviews asked me DO specific questions. Maybe I talked about my research too much for a program that isn't so big on research. I tried to emphasize the public health implications and less on the technical aspects. Maybe my answers came off as scripted, I do remember one of my interviewers saying something like, "Now I am going to ask you a question that you haven't prepared for," though it is difficult to assume they were implying that my answers up to that point sounded robotic and scripted.
They could have said that to everyone as a routine comment before a question but if it was directed at you specifically that's bad. If you approach the interview as you're there to just answer questions and they're there to ask them you are going to come off as robotic. They don't want your answers for your answers they want them to know who you are as a person. Answer them in a creative way and expand beyond just a simple answer so they know who you are and try to get them involved so you know more about them. Doing that should have you come off as more sociable and that should help your chances
 
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The interview should feel like a conversation, albeit one in which the applicant is doing most of the talking.
 
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Thank you all for your responses.

The more I think about it, the more I think that the IA may have had a major influence in the final decision. The DO point could be the case, only one of the two interviews asked me DO specific questions. Maybe I talked about my research too much for a program that isn't so big on research. I tried to emphasize the public health implications and less on the technical aspects. Maybe my answers came off as scripted, I do remember one of my interviewers saying something like, "Now I am going to ask you a question that you haven't prepared for," though it is difficult to assume they were implying that my answers up to that point sounded robotic and scripted.
What are your stats like. Also is the IA about academics?
 
I was rejected or low tier waitlisted by 13 post interview including my dream school And a school that had accepted me in a previous cycle. I had a bad IA. I suspect that many schools don’t look until after the interview
 
I was rejected or low tier waitlisted by 13 post interview including my dream school And a school that had accepted me in a previous cycle. I had a bad IA. I suspect that many schools don’t look until after the interview
Wow. As a reapplicant, I assumed my low number of interviews in my failed cycle was due to my IA, and that what I did to correct it for this cycle resulted in many more interviews for me. Maybe my higher number of interviews this time was just because I applied earlier.

I also assumed that most schools would make a decision on my IA prior to sending an interview.

What did it take for you to get in? Do you have any tips for someone else with an IA? For one of the interviews that resulted in rejection, they didn't ask me about the IA in the interview. The other rejecting school did.
 
Wow. As a reapplicant, I assumed my low number of interviews in my failed cycle was due to my IA, and that what I did to correct it for this cycle resulted in many more interviews for me. Maybe my higher number of interviews this time was just because I applied earlier.

I also assumed that most schools would make a decision on my IA prior to sending an interview.

What did it take for you to get in? Do you have any tips for someone else with an IA? For one of the interviews that resulted in rejection, they didn't ask me about the IA in the interview. The other rejecting school did.
Sometimes Admissions Deans get intrigued and want to suss out an applicant in person.

It would be interesting if @voxveritatisetlucis find out from their Admissions Dean what they saw in him/her. This would help other SDNers with serious IAs in the future.
 
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Wow. As a reapplicant, I assumed my low number of interviews in my failed cycle was due to my IA, and that what I did to correct it for this cycle resulted in many more interviews for me. Maybe my higher number of interviews this time was just because I applied earlier.

I also assumed that most schools would make a decision on my IA prior to sending an interview.

What did it take for you to get in? Do you have any tips for someone else with an IA? For one of the interviews that resulted in rejection, they didn't ask me about the IA in the interview. The other rejecting school did.
Some schools definitely do make a decision beforehand. Some even before awarding a secondary (ie UCLA). However, I know for a fact that some schools like Washington state and Umich blind convictions and maybe IAs prior to the interview.

My rationale is as follows. I got plenty of interviews but not a ton of acceptances. I don’t think it was due to poor interviews because
1. I’ve always been told I’m a good interviewer and have a high conversion rate on job interviews
2. In a previous cycle (prior to withdrawing from the cycle/getting acceptances taken), I had a very high II to A rate from top schools

So it wasn’t the interview

What did it take? Honestly, I think that high stats helped (521/3.99). Plus the schools that ultimately accepted me likely thought that the risk was worth taking, but top schools have plenty of candidates/matriculants like me so it probably wasn’t worth the risk to them.

I think that the best thing that one can do is to get a LOR that explicitly mentions the incident and how the candidate has grown since then. Also, time tends to make things better. My premed advisor thought that I should have waited a few more cycles to reapply but ultimately I just decided to give it a try and I guess it worked out
 
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Dang! Congratulations! It's only October 17th (the earliest offers can be made is October 15th and that was a Saturday this year). I usually invoke the Mardi Gras rule which is you can't bemoan the lack of offers after interviews until after Mardi Gras (sometime in February or March -- this year February 21st IIRC). So, you got an offer 4 months sooner than the point at which I'd start being worried for you. :)
 
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