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What was Your Hardest Interview Question,

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by RadMD1day, May 10, 2007.

  1. RadMD1day

    RadMD1day Cat Scan 2+ Year Member

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    and what was your reply?

    Please respond seriously, I have a list of about 70 questions already, I am adding to it and will post the whole list for everyone on SDN
     
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  3. Sol Rosenberg

    Sol Rosenberg Long Live the New Flesh! 10+ Year Member

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    Living in America
    If you could clone yourself, what would you have your clone do?

    I forget my exact BS answer to that BS question.
     
  4. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology 10+ Year Member

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    WTF! You have got to be kidding me, right? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
     
  5. Goldenhair

    Goldenhair 2+ Year Member

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    How many mammograms are done each year in the U.S.

    The proper answer was to come up with a number estimate by using logical reasoning.
     
  6. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology 10+ Year Member

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    WTF! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!!!
     
  7. Robizzle

    Robizzle 1K Member 2+ Year Member

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    After an entire 45 minute interview: "So tell me something about yourself I can't find on this paper."

    Totally blanked. Yeah... didn't get in.
     
  8. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology 10+ Year Member

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    That sucks that you blanked out. Seems like you got caught off guard. However, that question is much more reasonable then the other two!
     
  9. hasy

    hasy Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    describe dna transcription.
     
  10. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    The Big Easy
    What is medicine?

    His answer: Love
     
  11. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology 10+ Year Member

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    This one has to be a joke.
     
  12. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist Rocket Scientist Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    You say you had trouble with those particular basic science classes due to the compressed nature of the curriculum (referring to a accellerated program I had been in several years earlier)... How could you have trouble with them, they were basic sciences?
     
  13. RadMD1day

    RadMD1day Cat Scan 2+ Year Member

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    Alabama

    ouch
     
  14. MeCord3

    MeCord3 2+ Year Member

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    Nov 11, 2006
    Was this at your Buffalo interview?
     
  15. OwnageMobile

    OwnageMobile is just a moniker. 5+ Year Member

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    a better place
    Him: "Years from now, you are a doctor. Describe to me a day at work."
    OwnageMobile:"Hmm, umm, uhh, well, I really don't know just what I'm going to be doing yet. So that's a toughy."
    Him: "Ok, just explain to me what a day at work would be like."
    OwnageMobile, a bit surprised, frustrated, and feeling like he's being put to the proverbial pressure test: "well, hmmmm. I'll get up, go to the hospital or office, maybe 'see patients,' maybe 'do research,' then eat lunch."
    Him, not amused: "Ok, let's move on."

    Yeah, "let's move the f*ck on." I mean, wtf. Weak sauce. Waitlisted.
     
  16. soy sauce

    soy sauce New Member 2+ Year Member

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    Come up with six words that describe you and explain why. SIX!!!
     
  17. alwaysaangel

    alwaysaangel 5+ Year Member

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    Orange, CA
    MDApps:
    I was lucky. 4 interviews and never got anything close to what I would consider a hard question.
     
  18. ltrain

    ltrain Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    At Buffalo:

    Tell me about a time that your curiosity got you in trouble.
    >>Blanked.

    Tell me about a time you felt really strongly about something, but compromised anyway.
    >>Still can't think of a good example.

    Wasn't such a great interview.

    At a different school:

    Why do so many people at MIT kill themselves? I've always wondered.
    >>Uh...it's a high stress environment that attracts driven individuals? (this cannot be an appropriate question, right?!?)
     
    Lisha likes this.
  19. SuperHiro

    SuperHiro Attending 10+ Year Member

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    I got the the same question and I had the same answer you did. Yeesh, I hate that question.
     
  20. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central 2+ Year Member

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    MDApps:
    :laugh: I was asked that (except for 3 words, not 6) at an interview for admission at a private high school.
     
  21. Heimerfink

    Heimerfink Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    "Being that you're an accomplished premed with good grades/MCAT/activities... what is your biggest failure?"

    i shoulda said "not getting into med school last year" but i didn't think of it.
     
  22. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology 10+ Year Member

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    Are these just extreme examples or is it normal that you get asked crazy questions like these during interviews? How the hell do you prepare youself for this?
     
  23. RadMD1day

    RadMD1day Cat Scan 2+ Year Member

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    Alabama

    i think they get so sick of asking the same ol same ol...and they just like f**kn with us!:laugh:
     
  24. HamburgerHelper

    HamburgerHelper Member 7+ Year Member

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    "With your interest in science and physics, do you believe in God?"

    You can probably guess why this was difficult for me! :rolleyes:
     
  25. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central 2+ Year Member

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    Alberta, Canada
    MDApps:
    Is that really an appropriate question? I think I would refuse to answer this if it were really phrased in that manner ("do you think it's possible to be interested in science and physics and still believe in god" is a different matter though).
     
  26. undrcovrgunner

    undrcovrgunner Junior Member 2+ Year Member

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    Interviewer: "what bugs you about people?"

    Me: "ummm..."

    - I ended up giving a long-winded response to this question. I think it's a trap in some ways.

    Interviewer: "given that you need to pay staff and break even with overhead costs for a clinic, how do you manage to fit in home visits into your clinical practice?" (I got this question because I had brought up home visits earlier in the interview, as a way I was exposed to the medical field)
     
  27. Kfire326

    Kfire326 7+ Year Member

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    This question is taken out of its context, but scary nonetheless:

    "So say I told you I wanted to commit suicide. What would you do? What would you tell me?"
     
  28. HamburgerHelper

    HamburgerHelper Member 7+ Year Member

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    No, it wasn't appropriate. However, it's the nature of the beast (I hate saying that), but I think it is the truth. Perhaps I should have brought it up with the Dean of Admissions, but oh well...
     
  29. DoctaJay

    DoctaJay bone breaker Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Why is your MCAT score so low?

    I was surprised by this because I had received a lot of interviews, so I thought I was alright and hence hadn't prepared for this question. Anyway, I blamed my Kaplan course and my physics class (for never really teaching me physics), which the interviewer told me in the end wasn't a good answer, lol. So yeah, I got waitlisted there, but obviously the Lord has better plans for me.
     
  30. RokChalkJayhawk

    RokChalkJayhawk Muck Fizzou 2+ Year Member

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    "Tell me about yourself."


    :confused:
     
  31. SB100

    SB100 7+ Year Member

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    You guys had it easy. Here's one of my favorite from a memorable interview in which I was asked more stuff along these line (pm me if you care): "Are we smarter, less smart, or equally smart to humans that lived during the stone age?"
     
  32. Trevelyan

    Trevelyan 5+ Year Member

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    Pennsylvania
    "If you had access to a time machine, who from history would you want to speak to and why?"
     
  33. Orthodoc40

    Orthodoc40 7+ Year Member

    I would have LOVED answering that question!!

    "What is the biggest problem facing healthcare today?" was the hardest one I got. Another one that would throw off many young interviewers was the first question one interviewer asked me, "What should I ask you about yourself and/or your application?"
     
    gjktudor likes this.
  34. Kfire326

    Kfire326 7+ Year Member

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    Buffalo?
     
  35. lakersbaby

    lakersbaby 10+ Year Member

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    you have a magic wand...now how would you fix healthcare?
     
  36. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Ha ha - wouldn't you just wave it and everything would be fixed??
     
  37. holafarita

    holafarita 2+ Year Member

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    these are fairly typical questions, it's surprising that after 5 interviews (2 seasons) i haven't learned how to articulate answers:

    1. why do you want to be an md? (i know why, i just don't know how to explain it well even after all this time :()
    2. why did you decide to go from literature to medicine (see above)
    3. it seems like you were destined to become a doctor? (my parents are md's. i hate the idea of just following what my parents did w/o a thought...i didn't!)
    4. what are you going to do if you don't get in? (this is the second time around, and in the context of a convo about serving ppl living in poverty...as in, applying to med school is really expensive, if you are serious about fighting poverty why are you wasting all this $$? or at least that's where i thought it was going :rolleyes:)


    it's hard answering questions about yourself! at least for me it was...ask me about healthcare, the world, anything but me!!! i dunno why. :confused:
     
  38. Trevelyan

    Trevelyan 5+ Year Member

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    Huh?
     
  39. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    First question in two of my interviewers. "Tell me about yourself".

    This always catches me off guard and for some reason I think I need to tell my life story in chronological order. Both times I didn't include medicine in my answer.:eek:
     
  40. gsmithers68

    gsmithers68 2+ Year Member

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    when I interviewed at a reach school:

    interviewer: so where all have you interviewed?
    me: blah blah blah...
    interviewer: oh, those are all tier 2 schools? how does that make you feel?
    me: ...

    at my state school:
    So let's say you have a practice, you allocate 15% of your patient base to be uninsured patients. The other practice in the city only accepts 5%. Knowing you take uninsured patients, the emergency rooms keep referring them to you. Ethically, is it alright to say no and turn patients away? Let's say if your uninsured patient quota reaches 20 or 25% of your patient base??

    Me: :scared:
     
  41. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

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    Give me an impromptu speech on the topic of humility.
     
  42. glamqueen

    glamqueen 5+ Year Member

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    Here's my answer to this question from above...

    Tell me about a time you felt really strongly about something, but compromised anyway.
    ....

    Every day in my marriage! Ha!
     
  43. CATallergy

    CATallergy 2+ Year Member

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    1) teach him to read
    2) give him a copy of the 13th amendment
     
  44. klayn

    klayn

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    hahahahaha. good call -- if i were the interviewer, that would be an acceptance right then and there.

    My hardest question(s):

    (preface) I used to work as a consultant for a major pharma company, on the medical team of a recent controversial blockbuster drug. This was on my application, so my interviewer knew about it. He has a history in pharma as well, but now is in academia. For one reason or another, he was of the opinion that big pharma is evil.

    First question of the interview:

    "So do you believe all the bulls**t that [my company] spews to patients and the media about [the drug]?"

    That was the only question of the interview... what followed was an hour-long debate over whether or not big pharma is pure evil and if the drug I worked on actually does what people say it does. At the end, he revealed to me that he used to work in the lab that discovered the drug that I worked on. I freaked, but stuck to my guns. I was accepted 5 days later...
     
  45. ChessMess

    ChessMess 2+ Year Member

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    I had been practicing the "What are your weaknesses" response, but was asked the "What are your strengths" question.

    Totally blanked and had to get out my "notes".

    (shudders)

    My first interview at my top choice school too.

    GAH!
     
  46. GlobalMD

    GlobalMD 2+ Year Member

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    Interviewer 1: "What is your denomination?" (Weird, "illegal" question...why does that matter for this interview, anyway? I had to answer it though...)
    At another school....
    [Female Residency director (married to a fellow physician) who as interviewing me for med school said this regarding pregnancy during training]: "I tell my female students/residents: 'you know how this happens and you know how to prevent it.'" (As if children or not are her business--I don't even know how that got into the discussion--it's not like I wanted to discuss that with her!)
    She asked about my mother (?) (Father had passed away more than 1.5 yrs previous to this): "How is your mother doing?" I said mom was doing very well and was getting remarried. (Which I had no problem with.) The residency director kind of stiffened and said kind of coldly, "Well! I'm glad she's moved on so quickly!" (I was like "WHAT??? You don't even know my mom! Why would anybody say it that way??" I wondered if maybe her husband had left her or she was widowed or something. It was very odd...) I just smiled...
    The same residency director then proceeded to question my dedication to medicine because she was aware that my husband and I both wanted to attend med school at the same location. (She and her husband had been separated for part of med school.)
    I, as a female, had a much easier time with male interviewers than that female interviewer! She told me that she was cynical ("Really??")...Funny thing is, this was a school that has a fantastic reputation for being "family oriented" and working with nontrads, and married students!
    Wasn't expecting that kind of behavior, especially about kids/family issues--especially since it was a female saying anti-female comments! My premed advisor was horrified and told me I should've immediately requested another interview, but I didn't think of it then. Oh well!
    I thought for sure that I wouldn't get in there. But, I did. Somehow. Didn't go there, though.
     
  47. klayn

    klayn

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    During one of my interviews, I had mentioned that I have a very strong background in evolution, which sparked the following question:

    "From an evolutionary perspective, why are humans the only species that expose the whites of their eyes?"

    It's one of those deductive reasoning questions -- it doesn't really rely on someone's knowledge of anything in particular, just a basic understanding of evolutionary principles and decent deductive reasoning skills. It took me about 5 minutes to come up with an answer, but I eventually got it...
     
  48. RadMD1day

    RadMD1day Cat Scan 2+ Year Member

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    Alabama
    ummmm. (with hand of popcorn to mouth) what did you say?
     
  49. klayn

    klayn

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    Well, it wouldn't be any fun if I just gave it away now would it? ;)

    This was my reasoning. I said everything out loud, pretty much in this exact manner:

    If humans are the only species that expose the whites of their eyes, that means exposing the whites of your eyes is a favorable trait (otherwise it wouldn't have survived for so long). The only effect I can think of that exposing whites would have is a negative one -- it makes camoflage less effective for hunting or hiding, especially in the dark. So, if it can't be a positive trait based on appearance, it has to be a positive trait based on something else. If not structure, then most certainly function.

    From the statement, humans are the only species that expose whites (which I was not aware of), so that means that there has to be some function that human eyes have that other species' eyes do not. What is unique about human eyes?

    Each eye's field of vision overlaps with the other. That in itself isn't special. What's special about this is that humans have this ability AND peripheral vision. From an evolutionary standpoint, that's big. Most species either evolved eyes that are located on the sides of the head, allowing for a greater range of vision (better for defensive purposes moreso than hunting), or eyes in the front of the head (better for hunting but definitely not for self-defense).

    Now that that's established, what's so special about the whites? Well, this again goes back to function. What does having exposed whites enable us to do? Or rather, what would we not be able to do if we did not have exposed whites? The answer also has to do with the unique structure of the human eye (or rather, the eye socket).

    That's as far as I'll go with that... I don't want to spoil all the fun :)... but the important thing to remember is that it doesn't matter if you get the question wrong, all that matters is that you have a coherent and rational line of reasoning to get to whatever your conclusion is, even if that conclusion is that you have no idea.
     
  50. nabs86

    nabs86 2+ Year Member

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    -As a female, how do you plan on balancing being a doctor with taking care of your kids. (I later learned this was an illegal question. Besides, I don't have any kids so I'm not sure where that came from.)

    -You're only 20. Your best friend is going to get married, have kids, and embark on a new career. How do you justify throwing out your 20s for more schooling and hard work?

    -What do you think are the greatest challenges facing female doctors today?

    I had no idea my gender was going to be such a big issue during interviews!
     
  51. alwaysaangel

    alwaysaangel 5+ Year Member

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    Orange, CA
    MDApps:
    Those aren't really illegal and they're understandable. They can't discriminate against you because you're female or want to have kids but they can (and will) ask. I got asked that. Its just like the "why MD" question. They want to know that you've REALLY thought through what your career will be like as an MD and you really understand how hard it is to have a family and have considered how you will handle it.

    And yes, they ask women this question more than they ask men because shockingly despite feminism women are still the ones who give birth and still have to consider when is a good time to do that.

    Men get questions about "have you considered military to pay for med school" and "how do you think you'll juggle a marraige with your profession." Which women are less likely to get.

    Is it sexist? Yes. Is it understandable and necessary? Yes.
     

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