RurouniKarly

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Aug 2, 2015
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At one of my interviews a couple weeks ago I was asked something that kind of been nagging at me, and I'm not sure if it was fair game or something I should mention to the school. The interview was partially closed file, so the interviewers had my personal statement and activities, but not my GPA or MCAT. When I walked into my first 1-0n-1 interview (of 2) almost the first question the interviewer asked me was about my MCAT. The exchange went something like this:

I: Hello, I'm Dr. So-and-So, please have a seat.
Me: Thank you, it's a pleasure to meet you.
I: Let me just pull up your file here. (scans through document)
I: Tell me about your MCAT
Me: (slightly confused) Gives a brief overview of my strengths and weakness on the exam
I: *gives me a pitying look and in an exasperated tone says* I need your numbers

Given that GPA and MCAT scores were left out of the file for the interviewers, was it appropriate for him to start the interview by asking for information that was intentionally obfuscated?
 

radian313

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Jun 26, 2009
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At one of my interviews a couple weeks ago I was asked something that kind of been nagging at me, and I'm not sure if it was fair game or something I should mention to the school. The interview was partially closed file, so the interviewers had my personal statement and activities, but not my GPA or MCAT. When I walked into my first 1-0n-1 interview (of 2) almost the first question the interviewer asked me was about my MCAT. The exchange went something like this:

I: Hello, I'm Dr. So-and-So, please have a seat.
Me: Thank you, it's a pleasure to meet you.
I: Let me just pull up your file here. (scans through document)
I: Tell me about your MCAT
Me: (slightly confused) Gives a brief overview of my strengths and weakness on the exam
I: *gives me a pitying look and in an exasperated tone says* I need your numbers

Given that GPA and MCAT scores were left out of the file for the interviewers, was it appropriate for him to start the interview by asking for information that was intentionally obfuscated?
Partial Closed File means that exactly.

He wanted to hear from you, on what you had to say about your scores. It never said, he didnt have a right to ask you about your numbers, just that he wouldnt look at those parameters. Yet he still wanted to hear from you and get your input.
 
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gannicus89

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Jun 4, 2015
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Did they state it was a partially closed file interview? Or are you going by what SDN has said about that particular school?
 
6

68PGunner

Doesn't matter. If he's interested in certain portion of your application that's not released to him, it's fair game. You can certainly pull the I can't answer the question. But, it will probably land you in the reject pile.
 
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Oct 27, 2013
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As long as the interviewer is not talking about things pertaining to sexuality, religion, politics, etc, anything is fair game on the interview, anything you wrote on your application.
 
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mathnerd88

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The reason it has been nagging you, was because you didn't really give what the interviewer wanted and felt that the interview probably went poorly. The first question is what would set the tone for the rest of the interview. Since you did not answer his first question appropriately, it probably wouldn't go so well afterwards unless you really know how to make up after that.

Anyways, to answer your question, yes it was fair game. Lots of interviewers would ask about weaknesses in your application, and having a not so great MCAT score would be a weakness. Just be honest and straightforward with your interviewers from now on, and don't try to mask anything. Interviewers dislike those who try to hide faults. Just because he didn't get it in his file for you doesn't mean he can't ask.
 
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hse

Dec 7, 2014
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As long as the interviewer is not talking about things pertaining to sexuality, religion, politics, etc, anything is fair game on the interview, anything you wrote on your application.
explain the popularity of questions about obamacare, drug costs, abortion, stem cell, euthanasia, vegetative life support etc. etc
 
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RurouniKarly

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Aug 2, 2015
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The reason it has been nagging you, was because you didn't really give what the interviewer wanted and felt that the interview probably went poorly. The first question is what would set the tone for the rest of the interview. Since you did not answer his first question appropriately, it probably wouldn't go so well afterwards unless you really know how to make up after that.

Anyways, to answer your question, yes it was fair game. Lots of interviewers would ask about weaknesses in your application, and having a not so great MCAT score would be a weakness. Just be honest and straightforward with your interviewers from now on, and don't try to mask anything. Interviewers dislike those who try to hide faults. Just because he didn't get it in his file for you doesn't mean he can't ask.
I wasn't trying to hide anything or beat around the bush, the wording of the question was just vague enough to confuse me. If he just wanted my score and not my own assessment of my performance he should have asked "What did you get on your MCAT."
 

mathnerd88

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I wasn't trying to hide anything or beat around the bush, the wording of the question was just vague enough to confuse me. If he just wanted my score and not my own assessment of my performance he should have asked "What did you get on your MCAT."
He just asked to tell him about your MCAT. The score of the MCAT is the most important answer to that question. If he wanted to know more he would've asked for reasons you did what you did.

However, you should be fine. Sometimes interviews may not go well and you still get accepted.
 
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Goro

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What part of "tell me about your MCAT?" was so confusing?

A correct answer could have been anything like:

"520" OR "Too long" OR "I did best in Bio and CARS"


It will be interesting to hear how you do at this school. Do let us know!

I wasn't trying to hide anything or beat around the bush, the wording of the question was just vague enough to confuse me. If he just wanted my score and not my own assessment of my performance he should have asked "What did you get on your MCAT."
 
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RurouniKarly

2+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2015
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What part of "tell me about your MCAT?" was so confusing?

A correct answer could have been anything like:

"520" OR "Too long" OR "I did best in Bio and CARS"


It will be interesting to hear how you do at this school. Do let us know!
Confusing in the sense that he evidently just wanted to know my score, but he asked in a way that could be interpreted differently. I answered with my own assessment of my strengths and weakness on the exam, but apparently that wasn't what he wanted.
 
6

68PGunner

Confusing in the sense that he evidently just wanted to know my score, but he asked in a way that could be interpreted differently. I answered with my own assessment of my strengths and weakness on the exam, but apparently that wasn't what he wanted.
It depends on your interviewer's personality. The dude could have been a surgeon and wants to get straight to the point. He has a certain list of things that he wants to ask all candidates in order to set the starting place for the interview.
 
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IslandStyle808

Akuma residency or bust!
7+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2012
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I gonna have side with OP on this one. If I were to be given the question, then I would have said "I did best on VR section, but did poorly on PS." I would not have know to give a direct number.

You can't let it get to you on this one OP. Just see what you can to prevent misinterpretation next time. I don't believe you were at fault.