Being asked to interview is a key step in your acceptance to medical school... the medical school in question is telling you that they are interested in you and that you look good enough on paper to go there. See this opportunity as your chance to shine. You looked good enough on paper to get this far.
● Types of Interviews
● How to Prepare for the Interview
● Medical School Interview-4 Tips
● Grooming and Dress
● Top 10 Questions
● Interview Questions for Medical School
● Interview Videos
● After the Interview
● Interview Feedback
Includes an example of a med school that uses that type.
Panel: Eastern Virginia Medical School
This is where more than one interviewer interviews you at the same time. It can feel like the Spanish Inquisition, but try not to get over intimidated. Make eye contact with the person who has asked you the question, but also try to look and engage the other interviewers as you make your points. Usually panel interviews are made up of people from different disciplines such as basic science/ research, clinical medicine, or surgery. There is often a medical student as part of the panel. So be prepared for a real range of questions...
Blind: George Washington SOM
This is an interview where the interviewer has not seen any part of your file. He or she does not know your grades or scores and has not read your essays. Be prepared for the worst of all possible interview questions: "So, tell me about yourself." Expect to regurgitate a lot of what you have already written in your various application essays. Your previous prep to answer so why do you want to be a doctor questions will really help here.
Partial Blind: Loyola Stritch SOM
This is where an interviewer only sees part of your applications, such as your essays and secondary application, but not your grades or scores. This saves you from defending your C in second semester Organic Chemistry class, but requires that you look again at what you wrote. I was given a great ethical question at a partial blind interview.
MCV (up to the interviewer whether they look at your file or not)(MCV has only one interview/interviewer)
In this type of interview it is up to the interviewer whether or not he or she will look at your file ahead of time. Be prepared, therefore, for "blind" type questions as well as questions addressing what you wrote in your essays.
I haven't experienced this personally. But my advice would be to keep your cool and composure and take your time answering your questions. If they ask personal questions (which you know they aren't allowed to), there are different ways to approach the situation. You can choose to answer the question they ask, or turn it around and give an answer which asks why the interviewer thinks this is relevant, or one which tries to diffuse the situation.
√ Be enthusiastic about the school. Know why you want to go there and be able to provide 4 or 5 reasons when you're asked.
√ When asked why you applied, don't say that you applied because you thought you had a good chance of being accepted.
√ Always emphasize that you are seriously considering the program even if it isn't one of your top choices. If it isn't one of your top choices, don't say so.
√ Consider your responses to questions beforehand, but don't practice too much because you don't want to look like you've rehearsed too much.
√ Have questions to ask. Ask about unclear aspects of their curriculum, research opportunities, and so on, but your questions should show that you are familiar with the school.
√ Read the catalog beforehand and use it to create questions. Good questions demonstrate your enthusiasm and intelligence.
√ Bring up your strong points, but don't be overly self-confident. Try to strike a balance between self confidence and humility.
√ Be prepared for an interviewer to bring up your weak points or ask you for your input on your weak points.
√ Listen carefully to the interviewer and often you will get clues or hints as to what they are interested in.
√ Understand that some interviewers may not have read your application or may not recall it. Be prepared to fill them in on your qualifications and experience.
√ It's ok not to know the answer to a question. Just say so.
√ If you did research, be prepared to talk about it. You should know the overall goal, methodology, what you found, and why it's important. Be able to discuss your part and contribution to the research.
√ Dress appropriately. Be neat and comfortable.
√ Try to relax and enjoy yourself.
Medical schools use the interview to identify candidates with maturity, empathy and superior interpersonal skills. They already know your credentials. Now they want to know what kind of person you are and how you relate to others. Don't put on an act; don't be something you're not. Here are four tips that will help you ace the interview.
Unless you read tea leaves, there’s no way to predict the questions you’ll be asked. Don’t wash your hands of it and forego preparation. Come to the table prepared to discuss your academic background, your extracurricular and leisure activities, your employment (and research) experience, your views on medical problems or ethical issues and your description of why you want to become a physician. Practice crafting substantial responses and concrete examples.
Take Your Time
Interviewers don't expect you to have a ready answer for every question, but they do expect you to be able to think on your feet and give a considered response.
If a question catches you off guard, don't be afraid to take a moment and formulate an answer before you open your mouth. If it seems ambiguous, ask for clarification. If you don't know, admit it and ask the interviewer to share the answer.
By taking the time to make sure that your response is well-conceived and well-spoken, you will come across as thoughtful and articulate—two characteristics essential in a good doctor.
Ask Great Questions
The best interview is a dialogue, with considerable give and take. As best you can, think of it as a conversation and not a Q & A.
You should already know a lot about the school. Don’t ask a question that you could find the answer to on their website or in their brochures. Don’t bring up controversy. If the interviewer asks you a charged subject, state your views plainly and move on.
First Impressions Matter
The tone of an interview is usually set in the first few seconds. Don’t forget that you’re there because you are being strongly considered. Be on time and look the part. Dress conservatively. Shine your shoes. Carry your documents in a portfolio. Make eye contact and use a firm handshake. Smile and be positive.
In a group setting, where the committee talks with more than one candidate at a time, you will be observed not only when you answer a question, but also when your fellow applicants are speaking. Keep alert, and show interest. After all, you never know what you may learn that you can use in your next interview.
● Smile! Radiate confidence. Fear is fine, but keep it in your heart and not on your face or in your handshake.
● A good handshake. Practice and ask for opinions if you are unsure what this means.
● A watch. Check the time zone!!!
● A comb/brush and toothbrush for last minute touch-ups.
● Minimal jewelry, conservative style. Prepare answers to likely questions associated with an engagement ring or wedding band.
● Minimal make-up. Look polished and professional.
● Neat, non-fussy hair, kept out of your face.
● You may want a nice folder or portfolio to keep papers and pen organized.
● NO white or ivory hosiery! Go for skin tone or off-black. Sheer navy is about as wild as you could go here.
● NO white or ivory shoes! Given that your suit is probably blue, gray, or black, match your shoes to your suit.
● NO perfume!
● Neat nails, preferably short, with no polish or clear/neutral color only.
● Extra hosiery. Snags and runs do happen.
● Consider pants as opposed to a skirt. This is a comfort issue as opposed to a fashion issue. You may be getting in/out of several vehicles if you are given a tour.
● Comfortable shoes. Walk, walk, walk!
● If you carry a purse, keep it small/simple and coordinated with your outfit.
● NO cologne!
● A good tie (silk, non-novelty, appropriate length for build)
● Comfortable shoes, probably black given the preferred suit colors.
● Socks that match the shoes.
10. what do you do if you suspect a colleague (another doc) is abusing drugs?
9. rank intellectual, compassion and integrity in the order of importance to you.
8. why physician? why not nursing?
7. What part of your CV are you most proud of?
6. What made you go into Medicine?
5. Tell me about yourself. (Don't give a complete life history. Summarize the key points in a chronological manner and sprinkle with few details in your more recent history.)
4. Why did you volunteer where you did? (see Sample Interview Question Video: Volunteering)
3. Who are your heroes/role models and why? (see Sample Interview Question Video: Role models)
2. Why did you apply to this medical school? (see Sample Interview Question Video: Why this medical school)
and the #1 question is...
1. Why do you want to be a doctor? (Give several key points in summary form). Replace very general responses like "I want to help people" with more specific intentions
Example 1: Admissions/Volunteering
Example 2: Role models
Example 3: Why this medical school?
Example 4: Medical School Interview: questions tips answers and preparation
Don't forget to send a thank-you letter after each interview. You can write several individual letters or one that addresses the entire committee. It's a good idea to take a few brief notes right after you leave, such as the interviewer's names and some of the topics they covered.
Be patient. It can take anywhere from one week to several months before you get a final decision from the school. Different schools have different policies and approaches (find out about this school's process on interview day or before); often the committees fall behind schedule and it takes a bit longer than the four or six weeks they promised.
Interviews alone can't get you into medical school, but they can definitely strengthen a borderline application or completely eliminate you from contention. You can no longer change your grades or scores... those are in. But you can stand out for who you are. Show them what a warm, charming, intelligent, thoughtful and professional person you are. They'll want you... how could they do otherwise?
If the school is still not sure whether they want to admit you, they’ll place you on a "hold" list. This means that they want to see what the rest of the applicant pool looks like before accepting you.
If you’re on the hold list, you can send in supplementary material to bolster your application. If you have recent academic or extracurricular achievements that didn’t appear on your application, write a short (less than one page) description and send it to the school. Use restraint and discretion—don’t flood them with additional recommendations or extraneous information.
Large Database of Medical Schools feedback from Student Doctor Network (SDN)
Click here for interview feedback from many schools in Allopathic Medical Schools & Osteopathic Medical Schools