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  1. INTERVIEW TIPS FOR Med/Vet/Dental School

  2. Preparation: to make ready (Merriam Webster) Give yourself time to become “ready” for your interviews. It will make all the difference! • Know yourself, gather your thoughts. • Practice speaking. • First Impressions: you can only make them once. • The Interview experience. • Question hints • Types of Questions • Learn about the school you are visiting. • Anticipate logistics. • Consider your clothes. • Styles of Interviews • Be yourself—Be honest

  3. 1. KNOW YOURSELF: Gather your thoughts SIT DOWN AND WRITE! GATHER AS IF DOING A RESEARCH PROJECT. • There are many common questions that are asked—you can have already thought through many of them. • An interview can have surprises, but if you gather your thoughts about key questions you will be more flexible and “at the ready” for any questions. • When your stories and experiences are easily available in your mind, you will feel much more at ease. • Question examples include: Why do you want to practice medicine? What are some of your strengths and weaknesses? Tell us about a time when you overcame a challenge? Tell us “about yourself?” …. (More about questions posted at end of pwrpt) • A good resource= 100 Medical School Interview Practice Questions @

  4. 2. Practice Speaking (!) • This Can’t Be Overstated. Your interview is a conversation. Whether you are shy or extroverted, you can become more at ease with expressing yourself skillfully.It is a huge leap from “thinking your thoughts” to SPEAKING them aloud. Practice so you can easefully translate your thoughts into verbal communication with others.Get together with friends or family and have them ask you questions. This gives you the chance to build your capacity to respond coherently and be more relaxed, more “yourself.”

  5. 3. First Impressions (you can only make them once! DO • Arrive on time (aka, 15 minutes early) • Dress appropriately • Treat everyone you meet well-interview starts when you enter front door. • Have a firm handshake • Make good eye contact • Use good (nice long spine), and attentive posture. Don’t • Be late • Be sloppy • Look down or disconnect during greeting. • Bring food • Slouch • Put arms in defensive position • Play with your hair or face. Smile, Connect! BODY LANGUAGE SPEAKS

  6. 4. The Interview Experience If you are at an interview: Congratulations! This is already a great step. Now you have a chance to be met in person, use it well. • Interviewers are often very experienced. They genuinely want to get to know you better and want to have a conversation with you. The interview is not meant to be “scary” though you might feel nervous (which is natural). It is meant to engage you. • If you need a moment to answer, take a moment. “Hmmm, good question..” • If you stumble, it’s okay to laugh at yourself…recover, move on. • Talk WITH the interviewer, not AT the interviewer. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarity. This is a conversation. • Answer the question asked. If it’s repeated, they want you to give more of an answer. • If you don’t know or have, the answer to something, let them know, don’t fake it. They can tell. • Confidence is different than arrogance. Be sincere.

  7. 5. About Answering Questions —some hints: • Q: why do you want to be a physician? • *Remember what a physician does. They’re not just looking for a great student or researcher, but also someone with the spirit/desire to help people. • Q: Describe a weakness. • Turn this around. Think of a quality of yours that at it’s best is a strength but sometimes is a challenge. IE: “I love to take initiative and enjoy the challenge of helping start projects. However, sometimes I have to be very mindful because I can take on too much….” • Q. What would you do if a parent refused a controversial, but life-saving treatment for their child? • Questions like these are chances for them to learn about your reasoning skills, empathy, understanding of “first do no harm”. There aren’t “right answers. Be thoughtful and genuinely consider your answer. • Q: How do you spend your free time? • They really want to know! What do you enjoy in life? Talk about an interest, a passion: Nature? A sport? Time cooking with friends? Be genuine! • Q: Tell me something about yourself? • Think of this as an icebreaker vs. an overwhelming blank slate. An opportunity to suggest a topic of conversation by mentioning something meaningful to you. Is there something you’d love for them to know tha t didn’t make it onto your application? • Q: What will you do if you don’t get into Medical School? • Do you really want to go? Tell them about your plans to become a better applicant next time around. They’re looking for applicants who really WANT to practice medicine, not just think it’s a “good idea.” They’re not trying to trick you! Each Q is an opportunity to let them know more about you…how you engage is as important as what you say!

  8. 6. Styles of Questions that are often asked…. Practice Questions in all these areas and you will be FABULOUSLY prepared…even if you can’t have predicted a question you actually get. You will have greater access to yourself and your ability to be flexible and creative! • Personal • Your Motivation and Commitment • Knowledge of Program • Education & Experience • Goals and Plans • Current Events and Issues in Medicine • Behavioral/Choices

  9. 7. Learn about the School! • Before any interview, read up on the school you are visiting! Look at any info on the schools own website. Read what you can from other sources. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to know something about who you are meeting! • Are there any programs you are curious about? • Are there any projects that you’ve noted with interest? • Are you aware of any unique attributes about the institution? • Anything YOU’D Like to know??

  10. 8. Anticipate Logistics… Okay so, Common Sense! • Know when your interview is and where you need to go • Figure out directions and time to venue ahead of time, plan your travel accordingly. • Make a plan that includes a decent sleep, time to get dressed, eat something and arrive 15 minutes early. • Would you like to take notes: bring a neat folder/pad/pen to write with.

  11. 9. CONSIDER YOUR CLOTHES! Do make sure to dress appropriately! It’s not a black tie affair, but even if THEY are casual, and many interviewers will be, You need to be spiffy.

  12. STYLES OF INTERVIEWS OTHER INFO about interviews: • Some are “blind” ie: they haven’t seen any other part of your app. • Some are “partial blind”, usually have seen everything but your scores • Some are “Open”, so it’s up to the interviewer whether they’ve read your app. **So you many get questions that sound like they know nothing about you, or quite a bit… STRUCTURES • Individual, one on one interview • Panel: several interviewers at once • Multiple Mini Interview = MMI

  13. BE YOURSELF, BE HONEST The more prepared you are the easier it is to be comfortable in this unique experience, and to be yourself. Always be honest. After interviewing perhaps 100’s of candidates over the years…interviewers are excellent at discerning sincerity, honestly and a true desire to become a medical professional! Good Luck!!!