Jan 12, 2011
435
0
Status
Medical Student
So I feel like I messed up my first interview at my dream school by starting on the totally wrong foot. Why? Because her first question was "Do you have any questions?"

I honestly didn't. I'd scoured the website, which was pretty comprehensive. This resulted in an awkward silence. The interview was totally awkward and ended after half an hour. She then gave me her card and told me if I have any questions, to email her.

To compensate for my lack of questions, I compiled a few good ones and sent them to her in my thank you letter (after thanking her for her time of course). It was about four or so. I then wrote a paragraph about why I liked the school and felt that it fits me.

The odd thing is that my second interviewer was the complete opposite - seemed to be really interested in my candidacy. Knew my file backwards and forwards. Seemed to react positively to the things I said. I felt a lot more confident too because the interview was structured. She did not give me her card however, so I won't be sending her a thank-you note.

Has anyone ever had a similar experience? Could that kind of thank-you note be overwhelming and alienating? She replied quickly saying she would forward my questions to the dean (uh oh.... it said nowhere in my email that she had TOLD ME to email her questions, so now I look like a freak asking a bajillion questions).

She also said "Great to meet you, best wishes." I feel like this screams "I hope you get into another school 'cuz you ain't gettin' into ours!" Or is this just paranoia talking?

Did I just destroy my chances or is this process obviously getting to me? Did anyone have a similar experience with an interviewer or have 2 contrasting interviewers and still get in? How about thank-you notes - could it hurt me?
 

MedPR

Removed
Dec 1, 2011
18,581
44
Status
Pre-Podiatry
Using a thank you note as a way to sell yourself further is a bad move imo. It makes it seem like your thank you note isn't really a thank you note.
 
OP
P
Jan 12, 2011
435
0
Status
Medical Student
The Letter:

Dear Interviewer,

Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me this past Monday. It was wonderful meeting you. I have compiled some questions to ask you which consist of matters not discussed or only briefly discussed during the orientation and tour.

Following our interview, the dean spoke about a special track for students who are interested in ______. Are you aware of this program? If so, what does it involve and how does one enter it?

Second, is there a mentoring program to interact and gain insight with physicians, residents, or upperclassmen?

Third, for clerkships, do you get to choose which hospital you rotate at for each clerkship or is it selected randomly?

And finally, how easy is it to find community service opportunities? Is there an office or person at the school who can set students up with opportunities? How do most students who did not come from Baltimore find their opportunities?

I enjoyed spending time at ____ and was happy to see how open and friendly everyone was and how much I felt I fit into the environment. The curriculum is my favourite of all the schools I've interviewed at because I feel it places the most emphasis on my areas of interest, _______, and involves a mosaic of teaching methods. Finally, I appreciate the interdisciplinary approach of the curriculum. Given _______, I see myself very happy and comfortable at ____. Finally, my one initial qualm about going to ____, regarding the city of _____ (as I've heard from friends) allegedly being "unpleasant" and "sketchy," was clearly debunked, as I found myself really enjoying the city's beauty and character and feeling comfortable navigating the campus neighbourhood. In addition, the incredible drivesafe program run by _____ really sealed the deal for me and completely erased my worries about living in a potentially unsafe neighbourhood.

I look forward to receiving the decision regarding my candidacy and I sincerely hope it will be a positive one. I was very impressed with the school and so far, due to the reasons mentioned above, and it is absolutely my first choice.

Warm Regards,

Physiologist
 

MedPR

Removed
Dec 1, 2011
18,581
44
Status
Pre-Podiatry
I hope you didn't type "Warn Regards" in your real email.
 

txMed7

5+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2012
89
55
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Following our interview, the dean spoke about a special track for students who are interested in ______. Are you aware of this program? If so, what does it involve and how does one enter it?
I don't think you should be asking this kind of question in a thank you letter. If nothing else, you shouldn't start with "are you aware of this program?"

As to "what does it involve and how does one enter?" - you're asking very broad stroke questions that you should, in principle, be able to find on the school's website. Just be careful with this.
 
OP
P
Jan 12, 2011
435
0
Status
Medical Student
I hope you didn't type "Warn Regards" in your real email.
I didn't. I typed 'Warm Regards". When I removed my real name from the bottom I had erased the two last lines instead of the last line so I retyped it for this post...incorrectly.
 
OP
P
Jan 12, 2011
435
0
Status
Medical Student
I don't think you should be asking this kind of question in a thank you letter. If nothing else, you shouldn't start with "are you aware of this program?"

As to "what does it involve and how does one enter?" - you're asking very broad stroke questions that you should, in principle, be able to find on the school's website. Just be careful with this.
I was unable to find it on the website, oddly enough. The dean had just randomly mentioned it in passing.

Trust me, I would not ask a question findable on the website. That's why I didn't have any the first time around.

Also, I wouldn't have even sent a follow-up letter had I actually asked her questions at the beginning of the interview, or if she had not given me her card and told me to ask her questions.

I'm just praying my stellar second interview could compensate.
 

sinombre

carboloading
7+ Year Member
May 20, 2012
9,506
14,951
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I wouldn't have asked anything in the follow up email... I think the interviewer will feel burdened with having to answer your questions.
 

MedPR

Removed
Dec 1, 2011
18,581
44
Status
Pre-Podiatry
I was unable to find it on the website, oddly enough. The dean had just randomly mentioned it in passing.

Trust me, I would not ask a question findable on the website. That's why I didn't have any the first time around.

Also, I wouldn't have even sent a follow-up letter had I actually asked her questions at the beginning of the interview, or if she had not given me her card and told me to ask her questions.
I'm just praying my stellar second interview could compensate.
That's just a courteous thing normal people do. It doesn't mean they actually want you to ask them questions.
 
Jun 5, 2012
1,609
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I wouldn't have asked anything in the follow up email... I think the interviewer will feel burdened with having to answer your questions.
+1 I feel as if them saying "email me if you have any questions" is more of a formality than an open invitation to actually ask them questions.
 
OP
P
Jan 12, 2011
435
0
Status
Medical Student
+1 I feel as if them saying "email me if you have any questions" is more of a formality than an open invitation to actually ask them questions.
Crap. I mean, I figured that much, except she looked visibly disappointed in me when she started the interview with "do you have any questions" and I said no. It just made the rest of the interview so awkward. I felt like I had to make it up to her somehow for showing what appeared to be apathy (like "oh, I don't have any questions.") When in reality I was just thinking "Wait...aren't YOU supposed to be asking ME questions?"

I felt like she had made the decision to deny me the second I said I didn't have questions. The interview was literally downhill from there. It was basically just forced smalltalk.

What would you have done in my shoes?

Also, do you think that letter may have had a huge impact on my chances?
 
Last edited:

sinombre

carboloading
7+ Year Member
May 20, 2012
9,506
14,951
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Crap. I mean, I figured that much, except she looked visibly disappointed in me when she started the interview with "do you have any questions" and I said no. It just made the rest of the interview so awkward. I felt like I had to make it up to her somehow for showing what appeared to be apathy (like "oh, I don't have any questions.") When in reality I was just thinking "Wait...aren't YOU supposed to be asking ME questions?"

I felt like she had made the decision to deny me the second I said I didn't have questions. The interview was literally downhill from there. It was basically just forced smalltalk.

What would you have done in my shoes?

Also, do you think that letter may have had a huge impact on my chances?
Unfortunately, there's no good way to salvage what's already happened. You may have been able to recover from your initial mistake by asking a lot of questions toward the end of the interview--but what's done is done. On the plus side, you had another interview that went well. All you can do is learn from this experience (i.e. never admit that you have no questions in an interview) and wait until you get your decision. Sorry OP, this is a lousy situation to be in, but there's nothing you can do to change it at this point.
 
OP
P
Jan 12, 2011
435
0
Status
Medical Student
Unfortunately, there's no good way to salvage what's already happened. You may have been able to recover from your initial mistake by asking a lot of questions toward the end of the interview--but what's done is done. On the plus side, you had another interview that went well. All you can do is learn from this experience (i.e. never admit that you have no questions in an interview) and wait until you get your decision. Sorry OP, this is a lousy situation to be in, but there's nothing you can do to change it at this point.
For my next and last interview I am compiling a list of questions to ask beforehand.

But the thing about questions is, I'm not in a position where I'll get to choose which school I go to - I don't have many interviews and I'd be lucky to get into ANY. So to be honest those questions, to me, will concern me ONLY if and when I matriculate.

What are "good" questions to ask anyway? Since I really hate wasting words and asking BS questions whose answers I could find on a website or from the Dean's talk.
 

MedPR

Removed
Dec 1, 2011
18,581
44
Status
Pre-Podiatry
Crap. I mean, I figured that much, except she looked visibly disappointed in me when she started the interview with "do you have any questions" and I said no. It just made the rest of the interview so awkward. I felt like I had to make it up to her somehow for showing what appeared to be apathy (like "oh, I don't have any questions.") When in reality I was just thinking "Wait...aren't YOU supposed to be asking ME questions?"

I felt like she had made the decision to deny me the second I said I didn't have questions. The interview was literally downhill from there. It was basically just forced smalltalk.

What would you have done in my shoes?Also, do you think that letter may have had a huge impact on my chances?

Nothing.
 

MedPR

Removed
Dec 1, 2011
18,581
44
Status
Pre-Podiatry
For my next and last interview I am compiling a list of questions to ask beforehand.

But the thing about questions is, I'm not in a position where I'll get to choose which school I go to - I don't have many interviews and I'd be lucky to get into ANY. So to be honest those questions, to me, will concern me if/when I matriculate.

What are "good" questions to ask in these circumstances?
You don't send questions in a thank you letter. You send a thank you in a thank you letter. There are no "good" questions to ask after you've told your interviewer you have no questions.
 

sinombre

carboloading
7+ Year Member
May 20, 2012
9,506
14,951
Status
Resident [Any Field]
For my next and last interview I am compiling a list of questions to ask beforehand.

But the thing about questions is, I'm not in a position where I'll get to choose which school I go to - I don't have many interviews and I'd be lucky to get into ANY. So to be honest those questions, to me, will concern me ONLY if and when I matriculate.

What are "good" questions to ask anyway? Since I really hate wasting words and asking BS questions whose answers I could find on a website or from the Dean's talk.
This is a good idea, and a good way to prevent making the same mistake again.

To be honest, it doesn't really matter what you ask (excluding really obviously bad questions). The point is that you're conveying genuine interest in and curiosity about the school.
 

Narmerguy

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2007
6,878
1,299
Crap. I mean, I figured that much, except she looked visibly disappointed in me when she started the interview with "do you have any questions" and I said no. It just made the rest of the interview so awkward. I felt like I had to make it up to her somehow for showing what appeared to be apathy (like "oh, I don't have any questions.") When in reality I was just thinking "Wait...aren't YOU supposed to be asking ME questions?"

I felt like she had made the decision to deny me the second I said I didn't have questions. The interview was literally downhill from there. It was basically just forced smalltalk.

What would you have done in my shoes?

Also, do you think that letter may have had a huge impact on my chances?
I think asking questions is fine if she invited them, but you don't want to ask too many. To be honest, your letter likely will make little difference in your outcome. She most likely already submitted her review (or will have by the time she gets around to this letter). Not having a question is a downer for many people, but if you honestly didn't have any, there's not much use thinking about it now. It's hard for me to jump on the "always have a question ready!" when I got the best acceptance of my life after telling my panel of interviews that I had nothing else to say when they asked me. To be honest, it was nerve-wracking because they all looked at each other in amazement and proclaimed "Well that's a first!" and then shooed me out the room. I tried to come across as honest as I could and I think they appreciated that I wasn't blowing smoke with them.

That's how some interviewers are. Others want to see a question no matter what as a demonstration of interest. If she was disappointed that you didn't have one during the interview, it will likely do little to come up with some now as she would have already determined her impression of you. Just shake it off and be ready for the next one. I would send the letter as it's unlikely to hurt you at this point, but I very much doubt it can do much to help you either as your evaluation has probably been submitted already.
 
OP
P
Jan 12, 2011
435
0
Status
Medical Student
I think asking questions is fine if she invited them, but you don't want to ask too many. To be honest, your letter likely will make little difference in your outcome. She most likely already submitted her review (or will have by the time she gets around to this letter). Not having a question is a downer for many people, but if you honestly didn't have any, there's not much use thinking about it now. It's hard for me to jump on the "always have a question ready!" when I got the best acceptance of my life after telling my panel of interviews that I had nothing else to say when they asked me. To be honest, it was nerve-wracking because they all looked at each other in amazement and proclaimed "Well that's a first!" and then shooed me out the room. I tried to come across as honest as I could and I think they appreciated that I wasn't blowing smoke with them.

That's how some interviewers are. Others want to see a question no matter what as a demonstration of interest. If she was disappointed that you didn't have one during the interview, it will likely do little to come up with some now as she would have already determined her impression of you. Just shake it off and be ready for the next one. I would send the letter as it's unlikely to hurt you at this point, but I very much doubt it can do much to help you either as your evaluation has probably been submitted already.
What I told her was that I really scoured the entire website, which was really comprehensive, so I honestly can't think of anything right now. She looked disappointed. I wish she'd asked it at the end because it ruined the entire tone of the rest of the interview, making it super duper awkward.

Honestly, I'm glad it won't do anything. It's better than causing a negative outcome.

Also I told her later on in the interview that the school is my first choice, because the program fits my interests and my fiancé got a job in that city so it's my only choice if I want to avoid an LDR. So I doubt she ever thought I wasn't interested in the school - just that I was ill-prepared.
 

spacetomatoes

5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2012
95
6
East Tennessee
Status
Resident [Any Field]
What are "good" questions to ask anyway? Since I really hate wasting words and asking BS questions whose answers I could find on a website or from the Dean's talk.
I always asked what it was about the medical school and surrounding community that made them choose to come there and choose to stay. I really enjoyed hearing why my interviewer liked it there, and (though I didn't anticipate this at the get go) it ended up putting a lot of them in a happy mindset thinking of why they love such and such medical school. If they ended up associating that happy feeling with my interview... awesome. One guy even said how glad he was I'd asked it. Plus, there's no way you could have gotten that answered earlier in the day or interview, so it's always safe when you can't think of something else.

Edit: I presume you mean for future interviews, not to send the original interviewer.
 
OP
P
Jan 12, 2011
435
0
Status
Medical Student
I always asked what it was about the medical school and surrounding community that made them choose to come there and choose to stay. I really enjoyed hearing why my interviewer liked it there, and (though I didn't anticipate this at the get go) it ended up putting a lot of them in a happy mindset thinking of why they love such and such medical school. If they ended up associating that happy feeling with my interview... awesome. One guy even said how glad he was I'd asked it. Plus, there's no way you could have gotten that answered earlier in the day or interview, so it's always safe when you can't think of something else.

Edit: I presume you mean for future interviews, not to send the original interviewer.
Aww man that's PERFECT! Thanks! Dang I wish I didn't have to learn the hard way every bloody damn interview!
 

darkjedi

how did this get here I am not good with computer
7+ Year Member
Oct 14, 2009
2,986
2,938
Don't worry, thank you letters have practically no bearing on the evaluations the interviewers write on you.

Whatever decision the school makes on you, it won't have anything to do with this letter.
 
Mar 29, 2011
853
1
in a happy place
Status
Pre-Medical
What I told her was that I really scoured the entire website, which was really comprehensive, so I honestly can't think of anything right now. She looked disappointed. I wish she'd asked it at the end because it ruined the entire tone of the rest of the interview, making it super duper awkward.

Honestly, I'm glad it won't do anything. It's better than causing a negative outcome.

Also I told her later on in the interview that the school is my first choice, because the program fits my interests and my fiancé got a job in that city so it's my only choice if I want to avoid an LDR. So I doubt she ever thought I wasn't interested in the school - just that I was ill-prepared.
I feel like this is common knowledge BUT EVEN IF YOU KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS TO ALL YOUR PREVIOUS QUESTIONS, ask a question that has a two-fold purpose: 1. SHOWS YOU ARE INTERESTED AND DID YOUR RESEARCH and 2. SOMEHOW IS RELEVANT TO YOUR INTERESTS/WHY SPECIFICALLY YOU APPLIED TO THIS SCHOOL.

For example, say you are very passionate about xyz activity or track and its part of why you applied there or something, ask about it, even if you already know the answer. Saying you have no questions (for the most part) is disappointing because you are essentially contributing nothing new to the conversation and it does NOT set you apart from every other person they interviewed that day.

edit - I don't think the TY letter will have much bearing, but learn from this experience. She likely made her decision within the first 30 seconds of meeting you, as all interviewers typically do.
 

DrSolus

Illusive
Jan 30, 2013
184
1
The Normandy
Status
Pre-Medical
:laugh: physiologist, I think we may have interviewed with the same lady for the same school (I can't imagine many interviewers anywhere start the interview by asking that one question...). My interview experience with her was similar (awkward), and much better with the 2nd interviewer (I got in).

I doubt she'll hold your lengthy thank you email against you.
If you do send any more in the future - just keep it short and don't use it to try to "fix" any perceived "mistakes" you made during the interview.

Good luck!
 

PreMedOrDead

I'm sure you'll get in...
5+ Year Member
May 19, 2012
2,377
240
A dark, dark cave
Status
I hope you didn't type "Warn Regards" in your real email.
"Warm regards" is a pretty common and friendly way to conclude an email. Am I missing something? I TL;DR this whole thread, just saw that post.
 

txMed7

5+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2012
89
55
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
"Warm regards" is a pretty common and friendly way to conclude an email. Am I missing something? I TL;DR this whole thread, just saw that post.
OP accidentally wrote "Warn regards" instead of "Warm regards initially," but corrected his post later.
 

PreMedOrDead

I'm sure you'll get in...
5+ Year Member
May 19, 2012
2,377
240
A dark, dark cave
Status
OP accidentally wrote "Warn regards" instead of "Warm regards initially," but corrected his post later.
Ah I figured, thanks. The ninja edit confused me.
 
Jun 22, 2010
562
12
Status
So I feel like I messed up my first interview at my dream school by starting on the totally wrong foot. Why? Because her first question was "Do you have any questions?"

I honestly didn't. I'd scoured the website, which was pretty comprehensive. This resulted in an awkward silence. The interview was totally awkward and ended after half an hour. She then gave me her card and told me if I have any questions, to email her.

To compensate for my lack of questions, I compiled a few good ones and sent them to her in my thank you letter (after thanking her for her time of course). It was about four or so. I then wrote a paragraph about why I liked the school and felt that it fits me.

The odd thing is that my second interviewer was the complete opposite - seemed to be really interested in my candidacy. Knew my file backwards and forwards. Seemed to react positively to the things I said. I felt a lot more confident too because the interview was structured. She did not give me her card however, so I won't be sending her a thank-you note.

Has anyone ever had a similar experience? Could that kind of thank-you note be overwhelming and alienating? She replied quickly saying she would forward my questions to the dean (uh oh.... it said nowhere in my email that she had TOLD ME to email her questions, so now I look like a freak asking a bajillion questions).

She also said "Great to meet you, best wishes." I feel like this screams "I hope you get into another school 'cuz you ain't gettin' into ours!" Or is this just paranoia talking?

Did I just destroy my chances or is this process obviously getting to me? Did anyone have a similar experience with an interviewer or have 2 contrasting interviewers and still get in? How about thank-you notes - could it hurt me?
In the future, when an interviewer asks if you have any questions, ask some personal question to show you are interested in the school and them personally. Something like, "How do you like it here", "What made you want to come here", "What do you think is the best thing about this place", "What do you think are the key strengths of this program".

BTW, did you interview at Hopkins or U Maryland? I interviewed at both, my U Maryland one was exceptionally weird.
 

487806

Life of the Party!
Aug 9, 2012
15,231
980
Inside a black hole
I always asked what it was about the medical school and surrounding community that made them choose to come there and choose to stay. I really enjoyed hearing why my interviewer liked it there, and (though I didn't anticipate this at the get go) it ended up putting a lot of them in a happy mindset thinking of why they love such and such medical school. If they ended up associating that happy feeling with my interview... awesome. One guy even said how glad he was I'd asked it. Plus, there's no way you could have gotten that answered earlier in the day or interview, so it's always safe when you can't think of something else.

Edit: I presume you mean for future interviews, not to send the original interviewer.
:thumbup: Well said.

Also, so many tomatoes....
 
OP
P
Jan 12, 2011
435
0
Status
Medical Student
In the future, when an interviewer asks if you have any questions, ask some personal question to show you are interested in the school and them personally. Something like, "How do you like it here", "What made you want to come here", "What do you think is the best thing about this place", "What do you think are the key strengths of this program".

BTW, did you interview at Hopkins or U Maryland? I interviewed at both, my U Maryland one was exceptionally weird.
Yes.

The worst part about medical school is how weird the process is and can't seem to figure out where the line is between necessarily eager and too eager.

Also, despite a meh GPA and MCAT, 3 of my 4 interviews were top-tier, and one was mid-tier. I got solid rejections from all the low-tier and unranked schools. I will never understand.
 

Bearstronaut

A giant leap for bearkind
10+ Year Member
Dec 15, 2006
1,132
10
ISS
Status
I had one where that was their first - and only - question. Really made me question the school.

That being said, Dr. Love's suggestions are terrific, though I've realized that people from non-top-level-programs or with not-top-stats have a lot of trouble asking those questions, as they typically don't get many chances to interview at top 10 schools. They don't feel like they're in the position to compare programs. It's interesting.
 
OP
P
Jan 12, 2011
435
0
Status
Medical Student
I had one where that was their first - and only - question. Really made me question the school.

That being said, Dr. Love's suggestions are terrific, though I've realized that people from non-top-level-programs or with not-top-stats have a lot of trouble asking those questions, as they typically don't get many chances to interview at top 10 schools. They don't feel like they're in the position to compare programs. It's interesting.
This is how I feel exactly. I know that I'll have to grab whatever opportunity comes to me, the idea of choosing a medical school is pretty foreign. I'm lucky if I get into one, let alone get a choice.

That's why I didn't have questions. I figured I would ask these questions AFTER I get accepted, because it's not like the answers to them would influence my decision at all.

This is why I get so peeved when interviewers ask me if I have any questions and look down on me if I don't. I've made up my mind you're my first/only choice school - why would I need to ask questions?

Especially when it's the first question in an interview and my lack of intelligent questions just starts off the entire interview on an awkward, limping foot.

I have ONE interview left and I am totally using Dr. Love's suggestion. Given that each interview went better than the preceding one, I have high hopes that the trend will continue and that I would therefore hit a homerun.

And the one I have left, based on what I've read and heard, is the school I feel best fits my personality anyway, so saving the best for last works for the better I think. If I get in, all my other interviewers WOULD have served a purpose - much-needed practice.
 
Jun 16, 2011
159
0
Status
In the future, when an interviewer asks if you have any questions, ask some personal question to show you are interested in the school and them personally. Something like, "How do you like it here", "What made you want to come here", "What do you think is the best thing about this place", "What do you think are the key strengths of this program".

BTW, did you interview at Hopkins or U Maryland? I interviewed at both, my U Maryland one was exceptionally weird.
Yeah, I totally agree with this. In almost every single interview I had, I would ask the interviewer how that school compared with other places they had trained or been affiliated with. You get insight into how that school is unique and why they ended up choosing to come there. It is interesting how almost everyone has a different story for how they ended up where they are. Or, you could ask what led them to the specialty that they chose? People love talking about their experiences so those are always good questions to ask.

Every question doesn't have to be about a particular program at the school. I found that most of the time my interviewers were not the ones that knew the curriculum inside and out. They maybe worked on one course or one clerkship, but asking questions about the curriculum as a whole probably wasn't a great idea. That probably applies to particular programs at the school as well.

I wouldn't worry too much about the letter, though. It will likely have a very small bearing on the final decision at that school. Like others have said, she probably already submitted her review of your interview.
 
Aug 16, 2012
337
5
Status
Medical Student
I wouldn't be too worries since its over and done with but just remember in the future to bring at least three questions with you (just in case).

I have actually had an interview like this and I got in. Its just a style of interviewing some people use.

I also agree with some of the above post I wouldn't try to talk yourself up in a thank you letter (one line is fine but a paragraph is selling it to strong IMO). I also wouldn't send that many questions to an interviewer one or two OK but generally thats not the purpose of the letter.
 
Sep 16, 2012
105
0
Status
(I can't imagine many interviewers anywhere start the interview by asking that one question...).
I just finished residency interviews and believe me, you may run into such situations quite frequently in the future. Specific questions about the school/program are always the best, but having a few generic ones like "How did you come to choose x program?", "If you could change one aspect of medical education..." if they're involved in instruction at all, or "What is one piece of advice you wish you had been given when you were in my shoes?" works great as a launchpad into specific things about the school/their work.

At at some point it's okay to say "I don't actually have any questions specific to the program at the moment; everyone here has been great about answering the things I've been curious about. So far I've been really impressed with {insert a few cool things about the school here}." Shows you're interested and know a lot about the program and will give them something to continue the conversation about.

...Worst case, if conversation is really halting along, find an interesting picture/nicknack/whatever in their office and ask them about it. Far better to leave having had a good, non-medical conversation than a painful, awkward one.
 
OP
P
Jan 12, 2011
435
0
Status
Medical Student
I just finished residency interviews and believe me, you may run into such situations quite frequently in the future. Specific questions about the school/program are always the best, but having a few generic ones like "How did you come to choose x program?", "If you could change one aspect of medical education..." if they're involved in instruction at all, or "What is one piece of advice you wish you had been given when you were in my shoes?" works great as a launchpad into specific things about the school/their work.

At at some point it's okay to say "I don't actually have any questions specific to the program at the moment; everyone here has been great about answering the things I've been curious about. So far I've been really impressed with {insert a few cool things about the school here}." Shows you're interested and know a lot about the program and will give them something to continue the conversation about.

...Worst case, if conversation is really halting along, find an interesting picture/nicknack/whatever in their office and ask them about it. Far better to leave having had a good, non-medical conversation than a painful, awkward one.
I actually did that. I said the website was extremely comprehensive so I don't have questions at the moment but if I think of any I'll ask you... you know I really love XYZ about the program!

We did have an interesting conversation where I asked her advice on how to balance motherhood and medicine, since she mentioned having children.