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UCSF Interview

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by EpiII, Dec 5, 2001.

  1. EpiII

    EpiII Senior Member
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    It appears there are several SDNers getting ready to interview at UCSF. We all know that it is a blind interview, but I did not completely understand what that meant until my 2nd interviewer explained it to me.

    The interviewers will do a write up of their interview after they talk with you and then they give their score or evaluation of what they think. (If you get two really good reviews you are admitted automatically.) Only after they submit this do they get to look at your official application. They look for discrepancies then, etc. I do not know if they can go back and amend their evaluation, etc.

    Thus this means you must be ready to 'toot your own horn'. It is blind which means if you got a good MCAT score - tell them, if you have good grades - tell them, if you are a leader - tell them, if you are Mother Theresa - tell them, etc.

    It feels really wierd to just speak up and say, "Well, I am a really nice person which I exhibit in 1, 2, 3 ways, etc.", but this is what you need to do. My interviewer said that he was doing me a disservice if he did not include these other odds and ends in his write-up. They will ask you at the end of the interview, "Is their anything else you want to add?" That is the official time to be boastful.

    The school's policy is to mix different types of students together to make a very diverse group that can help to teach each other things outside of the classroom. For instance, they might take someone with incredible research experience and very few ECs, but would balance that with Mother Theresa or the peace corps person, etc.
     
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  3. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member
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    thanks for the info; i am getting ready and freaking out--its my only interview so far. did you get two faculty? So did you present yourself as Mother Teresa or Linus Pauling? I don't like boasting-how do you avoid it politely, at the same time trying not to undersell yourself?
     
  4. Milhouse Van Houten

    Milhouse Van Houten Senior Member
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    that's sound pretty weird to me. if i'm an interviewer at ucsf, i'm going to assume that the student i'm interviewing is smart. if he starts to tell me his gpa and mcats to impress me, that's gonna seem like arrogance. they do the blind interviews for a reason--so that the interviewers' impressions are not biased by their preconceived notions of the candidate's intelligence. when my friend interviewed there, she said the interviewer told her "look, i know you've got the numbers, otherwise you wouldn't be here. tell me about YOURSELF (ie non-numerical stuff)."
     
  5. none

    none 1K Member
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    I tend to agree with leaving out the numbers. I mean why in the world would the school do a closed interview if they really just wanted to discuss what was in the rest of your app? To see if you're going to lie? I just don't understand...
     
  6. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member
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    petros, I DON'T have the numbers, not even close...
    I think BeckyG from UCSF has already elaborated on this one backwards and forwards. Not all people interviewed there have sky-high stats, but I guess those that are accepted do. But there are always exceptions and I hope to be one of them... :)
     
  7. Milhouse Van Houten

    Milhouse Van Houten Senior Member
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    lady in red,
    ucsf has one of the highest average mcat scores in the nation. higher than harvard. numbers aren't everything, i know. but i think it's safe to say that, on average, numbers mean a heck of a lot more at ucsf than they do at many other schools. put yourself in the shoes of a ucsf interviewer. you'd be pretty sure that every student you interviewed was incredibly special (not necessarily numerically, i know). that being said, it's pointless to say what your mcat scores and gpa are--it can only make you seem arrogant if they're great, and less intelligent if they're poor. they assume you're special, now tell them why. i can't even imagine how i would gracefully tell them if i had a good score and not worry later that i seemed arrogant. you have an interview. that is awesome. all they know is that you are awesome.
     
  8. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member
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    petros,

    you wouldn't happen to be in SF, would you. If you're who I think you are. . .

    THE BERKELEY KAPLAN GUY!!!
     
  9. none

    none 1K Member
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    It is possible for a school to have high stats and not focus totally on numbers. These schools don't tell us the standard deviation of their stats.
     
  10. Milhouse Van Houten

    Milhouse Van Houten Senior Member
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    nitemagi,
    just out of curiosity, how did you know???
     
  11. I can't think of a name

    I can't think of a name Senior Member
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    I interviewed there and neither of my interviewers were interested in my schoolwork or grades at all. They were really focused on activities that I had done and random conversation topics (like, what books do you like). The point is not to impress your interviewers with your grades but with your ability to have a personality and talk to a stranger.

    Just my two cents... :)
     
  12. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member
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    Petros,

    you subbed for my MCAT class in SF over the summer. I mean c'mon, how many petros' can there be applying in one year. BTW, I actually have an audition to teach tonight. Any tips?
     
  13. EpiII

    EpiII Senior Member
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    The advice I post on this site is not coming from me. Most of us are going through this for the first time, so I only post stuff that I hear from the "horse's mouth". Some of what I learned at UCSF, I have chosen to not even post because you would not believe me.

    I had a faculty member and a 4th year med student. The MS IV was actually the better of the two interviews although both were great and enjoyable. The MS IV said that the students on the committee have just as much vote as the faculty member who interviews you. He did not believe it his first time through, but he has seen it and it is true. He is the one that flat out told me, you need to tell me what is impressive about you. When they ask, "Is there anything else I should know about you?" that is when you are supposed to brag. Obviously it helps if you can do it discretely. They way I did it was, I said, "I think this is something that you might be interested in ..." and went on to give illustrations of when I have shown some leadership qualities. In response to that, he said that he would have been doing me a disservice to not include the information that I had just told him.

    He in a round about way asked about my MCATs. When I filling in the chronology of my life since high school, he found that I did not take classes last year (I have worked full time for 4.5 years) and I said that was because I studied for the MCAT. He asked, were you pleased with your scores?

    Believe me, they definitely focus on the person, but putting in the GPA and MCATs is not bad - at least this one interviewer liked to know.
     
  14. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    The way it works here at UCSF is that the committee pre-screen heavily based on various factors, which include, but are definitely not limited to, GPA and MCATs. When you are granted interviews, the goal is to get a more complete picture of you as a person: your personality traits, ability to hold a conversation, and things you have accomplished that show why you will be a successful medical student and physician down the road. My interviews at UCSF were similar to yours (one with a faculty member and one with a fourth year student). The one with the faculty member was much more of a conversation about various issues with very minor emphasis on things I had done. Like your experience, my student-interviewer was much more up-front about telling me about the expectations for the interview. He said the same thing about students having equal voice on the committee (it is true), and that he was really my advocate on the committee, so I needed to tell him things that I thought would be important for him to know.

    There is a fine line between giving someone a picture of your experiences, accomplishments, goals, etc and "bragging." It is possible to talk about yourself without coming across as arrogant. I think the key is to not over-inflate your accomplishments (let the interviewer form his/her own impression), to state your reasons for doing what you did (which should be well-thought out), and to show how they have motivated you and made you ready for medical school. It is best to avoid sounding like you are listing information, and rather tell about your experiences more in the form of a short story or autobiography, with reflection. When someone says "tell me about yourself," you do not want to bore them to death, but rather highlight the important factors that led you toward medicine. I wouldn't mention grades or MCATs unless specifically prompted. Instead, focus on the other aspects of your application that make you a real person. Done with tact and grace, as well as a very positive attitude, you should have no problem in your ability to convey a great deal of information both verbally and non-verbally to your interviewer.
     
  15. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member
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    Vader..very good--you and Becky can become paid UCSF consultants here at SDN!! and you won't ever have a shortage of 'clients'!
     
  16. paisley1

    paisley1 Senior Member
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    I keep mulling over my UCSF interviews, thinking about things I said and literally driving myself crazy. Is this normal?
     
  17. isa

    isa Senior Member
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    Paisley, I'm going NUTS about my UCSF interview toom, especially since Dec. 15th is just around the corner. Do you guys know if we can assume a "hold" or "rejection" if we don't get acceptances by then?

    Am a nervous wreck now...
     
  18. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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  19. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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  20. figure five

    figure five Member
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    the interviews at ucsf were just as mellow as other places that I've visited. I talked to two faculty members, both of which were very interesting people who actually seemed pleased to be a part of the admissions process. they spoke very highly of ucsf and I came away with the impression that they are eager to do whatever they can to help push your application through. overall a very pleasant experience...and while you're there, make sure you check out the great view of the golden gate and presidio from the anatomy lab windows!
     
  21. bump anyone else have any other info that they would like to share?

    do you guys recommend student hosts? how are they...I am just asking for a friend thanks so much...

    is the student interview first, or the faculty? (is it true what EPI said, that if both interviewers give strong scores then your automatically accepted? because I read on the website, that interviewers are an important factor and that an overal review of the application is done again? )
     
  22. Wednesday

    Wednesday Senior Member
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    I was told that the interviews are given a score. The two interviewers talk and make sure they "were talking to the same person" and then you get points for the interview portion. They said it was like 20 pts out of 100 or so (she said she didn't know the exact numbers, but these were close). She also said that everyone interviews well (although I don't think that I did) so it's not really a deciding factor. Also, you don't always get a student interviewer. Everyone who interviewed the day that I did had two faculty interviews. It depends if they're available or not. One of my interviewers said that the students were harder. Can't say, since I didn't get to find out.

    Just thought I'd add what I learned from the day.
     
  23. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member
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    to those who think they interviewed 'badly', I read somewhere--and i think it is good advice--that almost anybody can behave in a 'socially-appropriate manner for 30 minutes', so they really can't tell what you are like as a person unless you behave outrageously (like say "Well, I don't know" when they ask you to tell about yourself) or you say something offensive/rude. So I agree with Wednesday and again, i read somewhere, that they DO conduct an overall-application assesment afterwards and then decide. I am no expert, i am just trying to reconstruct the info i read from different sources and keep you and me from freaking out... :)
     
  24. EpiII

    EpiII Senior Member
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    Personally, I highly recommend staying with a student. More glimpses into the school can't be bad. Some though need to be alone before the interview, it is a personal thing.

    I see many are having trouble believing what I reported back from my interview. Oh well, I tried.
     
  25. paisley1

    paisley1 Senior Member
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    Epi, thanks for sharing your input. I believe what you heard was correct from YOUR interviewer's perspective. You should consider yourself fortunate to have had an interviewer who told you precisely what he/she wanted to know about you. For many of us, however, that was not the case (or we simply did not ask outright) and we simply had to operate based on what sort of vibes we were getting from our interviewers.

    Both of my interviewers, for example, didn't seem to care at all about my academic accomplishments or even school for that matter. Admittedly, I would have liked to bring out everything that could possibly contribute to them perceiving me postively (including grades, etc.) but I didn't feel comfortable talking about something that they didn't seem to want to know.

    Thanks, Vader. I feel much better. I still keep thinking about my interviews though! What was your first reaction when you found out that you had been accepted to UCSF? I love asking people that question because of the very different answers I've gotten.
     
  26. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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