Third-time reapplicant, first time getting interviews: How do I address my weaknesses in interviews? As well as my fear of getting waitlisted?

Sep 4, 2019
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I don't know how the heck this happened, but I went from having zero IIs at the beginning of January, to having three at the end of it. I am filled with so much happiness after two other cycles where I didn't get a single interview.

However, now I have a new fear: getting waitlisted. Mostly because while my stats are average to the schools (MD and DO) I applied to (3.9 post-bacc GPA, 506 MCAT with upward trend), I fear that my not-so-great GPAs (3.0 sGPA, 3.2 cGPA) might get in the way of me obtaining an acceptance.

Because of this, I want to perform as strongly as possible during my interviews. Any tips on how to confront my application weaknesses during my interview so that I can limit the chance that these are the factors that get me waitlisted?

And is there anything I can do after my interview to improve my chances as well?
 
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Nov 25, 2020
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Take my suggestion with a grain of salt, as I am going through the application process now. However, I would suggest that if you go into the interview overly focused on addressing perceived deficiencies in your stats, it increases the likelihood that you'll come across as one-dimensional. If addressing past issues becomes your singular focus, you could limit your ability to respond holistically and organically to questions. This can potentially have the effect of making it seem like all you think about are grades and that you don't have the multidimensional life-beyond-school characteristics that I imagine med schools want.

I would suggest that you do your best to communicate your passion for medicine, your unique voice, and your unique road, and then have a prepared answer for addressing the source of your historic struggles and how you've grown/changed/become stronger from your journey. This way, your interview is neither one dimensional nor an apologetic review of the past. Rather, it's an organic presentation of your history and passions with a forward-facing view of how you've grown and changed, and how that journey prepares you for a career in medicine.

I hope that helps. And if not, toss it! I could be wrong. And best of luck!
 
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Feb 5, 2020
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Just be yourself. If they don’t like who you are, then it probably means that school was not a good fit for you anyways. Having 3 interviews is a great place to be at (a lot better than most applicants this year), so cheer up!
 
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What kinds of interviews do you have coming up ? Any MMI ? For one-on-ones you've gotten some great advice above. For MMI, you might want to try to do some practice/mock interviews.
 

Rachapkis

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The fact that the schools are interviewing you says that the think you have what it takes. Although I would be prepared to discuss any perceived weaknesses in your application, I would come to the interview with a positive attitude and prepared to focus on your strengths. Your interviewing skills, like most things in life, get better with practice. I would have folks in your kitchen cabinet take you through several mock interviews (if you look for them, there are practice questions out there on the Internet), record the interview, and critique you. Also, I found the attached book to be helpful in helping me to think about how to improve upon an acceptable, but not exceptional, interview. Good luck!

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Harvard Med Girl also had some practice questions and tips on interviewing that I found to be helpful. Practice Interview Questions
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Don’t address your weaknesses unless you’re asked. They are interviewing you for a reason. They know your academic record. They clearly are okay with it and want to see who you are as a person and see if you fit the school. So be yourself and show them who you are. If they ask, be honest but don’t dwell and don’t shift blame.

Also, the interview feedback section of SDN will have the most common questions from those schools.
 
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Angus Avagadro

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Project warmth, smile, connect with the interviewer. Be honest. Dont try to tell the interviewer what you think they want to hear. Try not to sound rehearsed, be genuine.
 
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Sep 4, 2019
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Don’t address your weaknesses unless you’re asked. They are interviewing you for a reason. They know your academic record. They clearly are okay with it and want to see who you are as a person and see if you fit the school. So be yourself and show them who you are. If they ask, be honest but don’t dwell and don’t shift blame.

Also, the interview feedback section of SDN will have the most common questions from those schools.

Any way to filter the interview feedback section to have questions from more recent years? I know this year has been different because, well, pandemic, lol.
 
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Any way to filter the interview feedback section to have questions from more recent years? I know this year has been different because, well, pandemic, lol.
It's not about the specific questions. It is about the ability to practice answering those kinds of questions. It is about arming yourself and creating a framework that your mind can lead to when asked a question. To get you used to certain kinds of questions so you are not caught off guard during the interview. You will likely not get those specific questions during your interview. So any practice from that general pool is good practice. Gluck, you got this!
 
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deleted1082375

I had worse premed gpa's than you and got multiple acceptances... but I went went into an interview and focused on my weaknesses... got waitlisted to oblivion.

let the interviewer ask you the questions and you answer them. If they invite you to interview, the seat is practically yours.

get the interview book by dr. ryan grey. saved my butt.

after the interview, send thank you notes to everyone you had contact with that day and make it personal. THEN LEAVE THE SCHOOL THE HELL ALONE TO MAKE THE DECISION

This late into the cycle, you 110% get waitlisted as most classes are already filled. Chill. There's lots of movement to come because losers hoard acceptances.
 
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Sep 4, 2019
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I had worse premed gpa's than you and got multiple acceptances... but I went went into an interview and focused on my weaknesses... got waitlisted to oblivion.

let the interviewer ask you the questions and you answer them. If they invite you to interview, the seat is practically yours.

get the interview book by dr. ryan grey. saved my butt.

after the interview, send thank you notes to everyone you had contact with that day and make it personal. THEN LEAVE THE SCHOOL THE HELL ALONE TO MAKE THE DECISION

This late into the cycle, you 110% get waitlisted as most classes are already filled. Chill. There's lots of movement to come because losers hoard acceptances.

Haha, this is great advice. One school that I got an II from is...yeah, giving out a lot of waitlists. Thankfully one is super late in doing stuff this year and has a pretty great post-II acceptance rate, and the other still has seats at one of their campuses, both of which are IS for me.

The fact that my outlook is a bit better is exactly why I don't want to get waitlisted over something like interview performance :rofl:
 
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