Congratulations, you have received that much-awaited interview invitation from that coveted medical school. While it is a great achievement in itself, you still have a long way to go. Merit has gotten you there but the way you take things ahead from this point will shape your future.
As an endeavor to establish convenience, we have outlined some tips that will help students significantly increase their chances of success at interviews.
Scheduling an Interview
A common mistake made by students is scheduling their interview at a date that does not leave them a lot of time to prepare. When it comes to medical school interview, two weeks aren’t enough. It is, therefore, recommended that you schedule the interview a month after receiving the invitation so that you have ample time to prepare for it. Try your best to schedule it on a Friday or Monday. If the campus requires you to travel, try to stay in the area a day before scheduled interview.
Don’t Get Caught In the Labyrinth of Directions
In order to steer clear of any hassles on the interview day, it is advised that you pay a visit to the medical school and find out the exact location of admission office. You can also contact any students currently studying there and ask for their assistance to give you a tour of the area. This way you will have something interesting to say when the interviewer asks for your opinion of their institution.
How to Handle Questions
Perhaps this is the most important aspect of interviews. Since the way you respond to questions plays a principal role in making admission decisions, practice cannot be emphasized enough. Ask your family or friends to act as the interviewer reading questions out loud to you. Make sure you maintain eye contact. Film yourself answering questions. Make sure you look confident. Your body language should also suggest so.
Dressing for an Interview
A business suit is a must. In case, the weather is cold, a long jacket, plain and professional-looking, is what you need. Most men dress appropriately for medical school interviews. However, women mostly spend a lot of time on their appearance. If you are a woman, make sure you don’t wear makeup. Don’t wear jewelry or paint nails.
Keep your hands free and avoid having a handbag with gaudy buckles. Don’t forget to keep a pen. You may have to do a lot of walking as some schools give a tour of the campus. In this scenario, wearing anything that clacks on the floor (stilettos or heels) is not a good idea.
Three Tips to Do Well in an Interview
Once you have met your interviewer and introduced yourself, there are some things that you need to keep in mind.
- Act professional. You have to show that you are enthusiastic about studying in the school but in a decent manner. Also, you should try to achieve a balance between friendliness and confidence.
- Talk about work and research. Ask them about any training programs they have initiated? Are they conducting research in some area?
- When asked weird questions, don’t get nervous. Such questions are meant to test your confidence. Try to give a witty reply or dodge them as gracefully as possible. When asked about hobbies, don’t say anything like you love partying. Instead you can say you collect recipes or do photography.
Look around and if you find any books or journals you’ve read, ask your interviewer’s opinion about it. It can be a great way to start a conversation but make sure the interviewer doesn’t get the impression that you are trying to intimidate him/her.
At the end of the interview, ask for the interviewer’s business card. A lot of things can go smooth if you have a contact on the admission faculty. On a final note, remember that interviews can be stressful and a good interview does take a lot of effort but at the end of the day, the reward is worth the time and effort.