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Whats better: open or closed interview

busthwt

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    I have a closed file interview coming up in which the interviewer does not know anything about my past. How should I approach this interview? Which would you say is easier, open or closed? thank you
     

    beep

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      i like closed better. gives you a chance to sum yourself up for the interviewer rather than meeting them when they've already started to form some judgements about you.
       

      Law2Doc

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        busthwt said:
        I have a closed file interview coming up in which the interviewer does not know anything about my past. How should I approach this interview? Which would you say is easier, open or closed? thank you

        I've never had one, but I would think a closed file interview would probably be much harder as the interviewer knows nothing about you with which to get the ball rolling - it will all be up to you. But it would enable you to focus the interview on solely the things you wanted to discuss or emphasize, so if you need to sell yourself I think the closed file interview would really be to your benefit. You may want to consider bringing along a resume or C.V. if it is permitted, which will help to steer the discussion to your accomplishments.
         
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        KosmoKramer

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          I also preferred closed interviews. You can direct conversation to what you want, what areas in which you are strong. This can also help make you sound less like you are trying to guess what they want to hear (which I do not suggest in any case). I suggest when you go in, have a few really strong topics that you hopefully hit upon during the interview. Try to move the conversation towards those subjects, but don't force it if the opportunity does not present itself. I think I did better on my interviews than on paper, and I think was pretty composed, easy going for the most part, but when challenged on a topic, I took a stand. This was my experience, hopefully others will comment on theirs. Good luck.

          KosmoKramer
           

          lorelei

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            The closed file interview is much, MUCH more likely to start with "So, tell me about yourself."

            That can be good or bad - bad if you're not prepared, and stutter before saying "Um, Leo, chocolate fiend, likes romantic dinners and candlelit walks on the beach."

            But if you've prepared ahead of time, you get a really excellent chance to sell yourself, putting forward the things that are best about you and leaving out all the bad parts!

            At the start of the interview process, I hated closed interviews, but now I think I like them a lot, mostly because I can come across as much more enthusiastic in person than in writing.
             

            dopaminophile

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              There are a couple of schools that do a combination of sorts. They will prevent the interviewer from knowing your stats and grades, but they know your activities and essays. I think that's the best personally.

              I've two entirely closed interviews and I hated them. I spent much of the time repeating things that were already on file and the interviewers asked me my numbers anyway. I found the conversations to be awkward, to not flow at all, and to be rather useless. The whole thing was a waste of a good opportunity to show the school what I'm like as a person. Instead, they now have a reiteration of what they already knew. I don't think there's much you can do about that though, as it's entirely up to the school. The good thing, too, is that everyone has the same crap deal.

              -dope-
               

              AStudent

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                Open, no quesiton. Gives you a chance to start with an icebreaker (tell me about this volunteer activity) and direct the conversation elsewhere. (most 'open' interviews aren't 'open' the entire time...just as a good start to a conversation)
                 

                DoctorMalki

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                  I had one closed interview and it was great because they do not have preconceived notions about you and they tend to not be judgemental when evaluating you even before they have met you. This gives you a chance to steer the interview in the direction you want since most likely the first question will be tell me about yourself. You can use this question to highlight yourself and talk about things that are really important to you.
                  Good Luck with the interview !! :luck:
                   

                  Law2Doc

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                    lorelei said:
                    The closed file interview is much, MUCH more likely to start with "So, tell me about yourself."

                    Clearly it would be a good idea to be prepared with your story so that you can sit down and start things with "So, let me tell you about myself".
                     

                    PBMaxx

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                      I liked the closed interviews that I have had better. Even though they all have been low stress, I feel less like I am getting "grilled" at closed file interviews, and that they are trying harder to get to know me as a person rather than explain pieces of my app file.
                       

                      BGGA

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                        I have only had one closed interview but I was suprised how similar it was to my open interviews. With the exception of grade talk, you basically end up discussing the same time of things. The advantage is that you get to direct the conversation to the topics that you want to highlight. If you are a good conversationalist and you have in your mind elements of your application that you want to mention then you are golden. I think you get a better chance of strongly conveying your motivation and accomplishments because your interviewers are all ears. I've found that in some of my open interviews the interviewers have already decided the question that they want to ask you and while you are responding to one question they are already thinking about the next.
                         

                        gdk

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                        1. Resident [Any Field]
                          both of my closed file interviews started with "so tell me where you went/go to school, GPA, MCAT, clinical experience...." blah blah blah. Basically everything that you could read in an open file interview. I wish they would have been open file so we could spend more time talking about other stuff. So for me, I prefer open file b/c then you can expand on things you wrote in your essay, why you went to school X, and so on.


                          edit: i think my 2 open file interviews were open except for gpa and mcat score, which they never asked me. i think this is a good policy so everybody is more on even ground
                           

                          myodana

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                            i had a closed file interview and there was a lot of him asking me to tell him what my jobs, activities, majors were... a big time waster considering he could have read all of that stuff in advance. open certainly gives you more to talk about, though closed might give you more control over what actually gets discussed.
                             

                            twicetenturns

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                              All of my open file interviews were just like closed file ones. The interviewers were normally so busy that at best they had the time to only glance over the application before I got there. Usually they said they would go over it in more detail afterward. Anyone else with this experience?
                               

                              freaker

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                                As a non-trad who has lived and worked all over the world, I way prefer open interviews. It's a royal pain to have to re-explain where I was at a certain juncture in my career/education.

                                Ex: So was this before after you left for Zanzibar to work in Helmet weaving?

                                RRRR

                                Just keep the timeline, the grades, and the numbers all there in front of 'em.
                                 

                                DrThom

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                                Using sight beyond sight...
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                                  I've had every which way kind of interview:

                                  Open File
                                  Fully Closed File
                                  Interview who only has your grades
                                  Interview who only has your activities
                                  Interview who only has your PS

                                  I honestly enjoyed my closed file interviews more because I got to direct the conversation alot more than at my open file interviews. At some open file interviews, I really wasn't even asked alot of questions (*cough*Pritzker*cough*) because my interviewer read my file and assumed he knew it. Therefore, I had a feeling I was headed for the waitlist from the start.

                                  Closed file, you don't have this problem.
                                   
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