Whatever type of health-care practitioner you want to become, it is extremely important that you know how to perfect that dreaded medical school interview. For medical schools and the like, interviews are only granted to students who are strong candidates for admission. Getting an interview means that you are no longer a number, no longer a statistic, but an applicant who is “oh so close” to reaching his or her dream. You must not underestimate the importance of an interview. Whether you are a 4.0 student or a 3.5 student, if you have gotten an interview, everyone is almost on the same level ground. You need to prove to the admission’s staff that you are a great fit for their school. However, knowing this is not enough. You must know how to prepare and how to succeed. To help you, we did our research and have compiled a list of things you must absolutely do to maximize your preparedness for school interviews.
1. Come up with 100 possible interview questions and prepare an answer for them
100?! C’mon, that seems way too much…Trust me, it isn’t. And if you really want to go to medical school, you would. You have spent many years in college trying to prepare for medical school and now that you are almost at the finish line, you’re going to tell me you do not want to try? I’m no rocket scientist, but that seems like baloney. This task probably takes at most a week. It should be fairly easy to come up with 100 possible questions given that we live in the information era. Do a Google search on possible medical school interview questions. If you already have a medical interview lined up at a specific school, search questions that were specifically asked from that school. Practicing and memorizing a 100 questions will not only give you things to say, but will also help you prepare for how to answer questions. Even if you get asked a question that you did not prepare for, you will be better at answering it because you had a lot of practice.
2. Videotape yourself doing a full on interview
What?! That is so awkward…Yes I admit, it can be pretty awkward, but it will help. Make sure your roommates are out and just do it. Make sure that you treat this self-interview like it is the real interview. Prepare all your thoughts and make sure to dress as nice as you would for the real thing. Pretend the lens of the video-camera is the eyes of the interviewer. Mentally ask yourself questions and answer them in front of the camera. When you finish and look back at the tape, I guarantee you will find many things about your interview habits that you would want to change. Maybe something was wrong with your tie, maybe you stutter too much, maybe you do not make enough eye contact. Whatever it is, it really helps to see yourself doing an interview.
3. Go to mock medical school interviews
This again can seem awkward. But you need as much practice as you can get. Don’t you want to prepare as much as you can? Ask your friends, ask your parents, ask your professors, heck as random people. Have them pretend there are admission counselors and conduct a mock interview for you. Some schools even offer mock interviews. Make sure to schedule them and take advantage of this valuable resource.
4. Be extra conscious about your first impression
Many people believe that in any interview, the most important phase is the first 10 seconds. This is no different for medical school interviews. Make sure that you get critiqued on how you dress, the way you look, the way you smile when you meet someone, how firm your handshake is, etc. If you get a good first impression, your interview can seem easy sailing. However, if you make a bad impression, you are going to spend the entire interview to negate it.
5. Be humble
This might be the most important advice given here. This is important for two reasons. One, no interviewer wants to root for the arrogant and obnoxious student. If you give off the impression of a “know-it-all” kind of guy, chances are the interviewer is going to look for every reason to deny you admissions. In contrast, if you come off as a humble and rooted individual, the interviewer will naturally want to help you get into their school. Secondly, it is important to stay humble during the preparation phase. In the tips listed above, you must learn to take criticism well. Stay humble and realize that you have a lot to work on. If you are not, then you will either not learn from constructive criticism or nobody will want to tell you about your flaws.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ProspectiveDoctor. Follow ProspectiveDoctor on Twitter @ProspectiveDr