The day has finally come—my first medical school interview. And boy was it a lot to take in. In this blog, I’m going to fill you in on what went down during my interview day and advice I’d give to anyone preparing for their medical school interview!
Advice #1 – Triple-Check Your Interview Time/Time Zone
I was ecstatic upon receiving my first medical school interview invitation! The agonizing wait to hear back from a medical school had finally come to an end. I opened the email invitation, glanced at the interview time, and continued onwards with my day. Fast forward to the night before my interview, I decided to double-check the email. I wanted to make sure I remembered the interview time correctly. To my surprise, the interview time was in central time! Meaning it was an hour behind me. If it wasn’t for me double-checking, I would have shown up to my virtual interview an hour early. God forbid, I lived in the mountain time zone region. Because in that case, I would have completely missed my interview. So to reiterate my point from earlier, please triple-check your interview time and time zone!
Advice #2 – Have a Plethora of Meaningful and Thought-Provoking Questions for Your Interviewer
After weeks of rehearsing for my first medical school interview, I’m finally in a zoom meeting being interviewed by two members of faculty. The interview is going well, they’re asking me questions about my application and monitoring my responses to ethical dilemmas. They’re also asking me about my interests outside of medicine and why I want to attend their particular medical school. My interviewer now begins wrapping up the interview and asks me “Do you have any questions for me?”. I skim over my notes and ask him “Does ____ offer any international/humanitarian trips for its medical students?”. My interviewer kindly answers my question and follows it up with “Any other questions?”. I reply, “No that’s all”. My interviewer is taken aback and says “Really? That’s it? Alright then, it was a pleasure interviewing you have a great day!”. After the interview, I realized the importance of asking questions during your medical school interview. Asking questions shows interest and proves you’ve done your research on their particular medical school. I wish I had more questions to ask my interviewer before the interview had ended.
Advice #3 – Take Plenty of Interview Notes
After my interview was over, I had about a 3-4 hour gap until the scheduled virtual presentations. During this gap, I came up with more questions to ask, freshened up my clothes and had breakfast. The presentation began with a warm welcome from the dean of the medical school. He introduced himself and provided us (attendees) with a brief history of the medical school. After the dean was finished with his presentation, another member of faculty presented an overview of the medical school’s curriculum. I found this to be extremely beneficial and really helped solidify if the medical school was a right fit for me. During the presentations, the information being presented to us felt overwhelming at times. That’s why it’s important to take notes. By taking notes you’ll be able to look back on them and reflect if a particular medical school is for you.
Advice #4 – Smile When You’re Speaking
Upon joining my virtual interview meeting, the first thing I did was smile and say “Hello! How are you?”. My interviewers immediately took notice of my smile and reciprocated the same energy back with a smile on their faces. I strongly believe the fact I smiled initially, set the tone for a great interview to come. Not only does smiling portray you as a positive and friendly individual, but it also demonstrates you’re authenticity as a medical school applicant. Check out the following blog on How to Appear Authentic During a Medical School Interview for more advice on medical school interviews, as well as MedSchoolCoach’s interview preparation to crush your upcoming medical school interviews.
Advice #5 – Send a Thank You Letter to Your Interviewers
In the professional world sending a thank you letter after an interview is a polite gesture to do. The letter should be short and to the point. Sending a letter can set you apart from other applicants and further demonstrate your interest in a particular medical school. For more information on writing a thank you letter, pre-meds should check out the following article from Indeed on How to Write Medical School Interview Thank You Letter in 5 Steps.
There you have it, my advice for pre-meds going through medical school interviews. I hope you found the following information helpful. If you want to leave a lasting impression during your medical school interviews be sure to check out MedSchoolCoach’s interview preparation. You’ll be paired with physicians who’ve served on admissions committees to get you that long-awaited acceptance letter.