Sep 9, 2014
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39
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Pre-Medical
Hello everyone!

So I have a closed file interview coming up and I have a bunch of things I can talk about in my interview. How do I choose what to talk about? Should I try to guess what they want to hear? And if so, how do I determine that?

Btw the school is UCSF if that helps any. I have already posted in school specific forums but I figured it would help here too.

Thanks!
 

RussianFrolic

2+ Year Member
May 18, 2014
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Pre-Medical
Sorry, for the initially condescending comment. I guess I didn't perceive your question as being genuine.
 
Last edited:
Jun 25, 2013
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Medical Student
Are you trolling?
It's an interview YOU dont pick what to talk about per say. You pick what to say in response to the questions they have about specific topics.

Why not read some resources that are on the amazing Google?
I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with your statement. Yes, they ask questions, but YOU can take direct control of the conversation.

From my preparation, I've learned that for closed file interviews, you have to repeat a lot on what is on your primary/secondary applications. Know them well, and know what you want to highlight about yourself. Chances are, you'll have to talk about why you want to be a physician, why this school, and answer the "tell me about yourself" question. It's also good to keep a few good stories in your back pocket that can be easily used to answer a variety of questions. For instance, if you have a good story on volunteering, you can use it for "tell me a time when you were humbled" or "tell me about one of your most rewarding experiences" or even "what are you passionate about."

For the open ended questions such as "tell me about yourself," the flow is in your hands. A good place on where to find what they like is on their website, MSAR, and the interview feedback forums on SDN. Be genuine, and smile =D

Good luck!
 
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repititionition

Sure!
7+ Year Member
Feb 29, 2012
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MS1 here - had two closed-file interviews last year. One went awesome because the interviewer knew WTF he was doing and how to guide things in a meaningful direction. The other was a train wreck because the interviewer was either rambling on a tangent for 10 minutes at a time or asking me questions about my (distant) childhood and parents' occupations.

Both highly-ranked schools (in fact, the first is even more highly ranked, FWIW - and I know that "what it's worth" is a topic of debate which I'll not broach here).

Result: acceptance at school 1, rejection at school 2.

Now of course there are many confounders in this, but I did call school 2 to inquire about the rejection. The AdCom told me that the committee "just didn't think they understood your motivations for pursuing medicine".

Me, in my mind: SO WTF WAS THE INTERVIEWER DOING ASKING ABOUT WHAT MY DAD DID FOR A LIVING (not a doctor, nothing relevant, btw) for half the interview???

The moral of this story: if a closed-file interview is not going where you want it to, take steps (tactful and at your own peril) to get your point across, because the combination of closed file and sh!tty interviewer may tank you.
 
OP
A
Sep 9, 2014
59
39
Status
Pre-Medical
MS1 here - had two closed-file interviews last year. One went awesome because the interviewer knew WTF he was doing and how to guide things in a meaningful direction. The other was a train wreck because the interviewer was either rambling on a tangent for 10 minutes at a time or asking me questions about my (distant) childhood and parents' occupations.

Both highly-ranked schools (in fact, the first is even more highly ranked, FWIW - and I know that "what it's worth" is a topic of debate which I'll not broach here).

Result: acceptance at school 1, rejection at school 2.

Now of course there are many confounders in this, but I did call school 2 to inquire about the rejection. The AdCom told me that the committee "just didn't think they understood your motivations for pursuing medicine".

Me, in my mind: SO WTF WAS THE INTERVIEWER DOING ASKING ABOUT WHAT MY DAD DID FOR A LIVING (not a doctor, nothing relevant, btw) for half the interview???

The moral of this story: if a closed-file interview is not going where you want it to, take steps (tactful and at your own peril) to get your point across, because the combination of closed file and sh!tty interviewer may tank you.
Hey and thanks four your response. When you say "get your points across," what do you think are some general points that would be helpful to get across?

Thanks!
 

repititionition

Sure!
7+ Year Member
Feb 29, 2012
622
526
Status
Hey and thanks four your response. When you say "get your points across," what do you think are some general points that would be helpful to get across?

Thanks!
Just as you'd expect: the goal of every interview day is to successfully convey why you would be an asset to their school while not looking like you're doing it!