Applying to Medical School

How to Deal with Tricky Medical School Interview Situations

It is interview season, which means that there are thousands of medical school applicants scheduling, preparing, and practicing interviews. Below are some commonly asked questions that MedSchoolCoach clients have asked.

Will I be at a disadvantage if I pick a later interview date?

Choose a date based on when you think you will be the most prepared.

How do I prepare for the VITA, traditional interview, or MMI?

Here are just a few great resources from ProspectiveDoctor has several great resources on VITA, the traditional interview, and MMI. Check out the website for many more.

My virtual interview ended in the middle of a conversation because I reached the time limit. Will this hurt my chances for acceptance? 

No, this will not hurt your chances as it was beyond your control. The interviewer will understand this, too. In your “thank you” note to the interviewer, you may want to reference how the conversation ended. For example, you could say, “It’s too bad we got cut off right as we were talking about [insert topic here]. Hopefully, we will have a chance to finish this conversation at a later date!”

During my virtual interview, I did not notice the link that was supposed to lead me to my next interview and I clicked on it late. Will I be automatically rejected from that medical school?

No, you will not be automatically rejected. While not ideal, medical schools understand that technological snafus will happen, especially considering virtual medical school interviews are new. The best thing to do is email the admissions office immediately, apologize for the mistake, explain what happened, and see if there is anything else you can do.

What should I do if I go completely blank when an interviewer asks me a question?

This happens to the best of us. The worst thing to do is to start talking right away, because it will lead to a poor, rambling response. Instead, say something like, “That is a great question. I just need a few seconds to think about it.” Use those few seconds to take a deep breath and focus on one topic you can use to answer the question.

My interviewer was unfriendly, disinterested and a little weird during the interview. Was it something I did? Will it hurt my chances of being admitted to that medical school?

If your interviewer behaved in way that was unfriendly or disinterested, it is possible that she or he behaves that way with every interviewee. Do not take their behavior personally or think that you did anything wrong. In every medical school interview, just remain calm, professional, and friendly.

Medical Interview Next Steps

It is important to remember that interviewers are on your side! Interviewers will not trick you or make you suffer—they want to see the best of you. Furthermore, they have all been interviewees at one point, and completely empathize with you. You will find that many of these interviews become conversational and quite enjoyable!

Do you need help preparing for your traditional and MMI interviews? MedSchoolCoach has a team of physician advisors who can help.

Do you need help with VITA preparation? Sign up for MedSchoolCoach VITA Virtual Interview Prep.

Do you need more help navigating your journey to medical school? MedSchoolCoach has a team of physician advisors ready to guide you on your path. Schedule a free consultation with a MedSchoolCoach enrollment advisor.

Ziggy Yoediono MD

Dr. Yoediono was a Duke University pre-major advisor, and an adcom member for Duke University School of Medicine, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Program. Today, he is an Associate Director of Advising at MedSchoolCoach.

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