Congratulations! You have made it past the first hurdle and were invited to interview at your dream medical school! What an exciting time for you!
After the initial excitement sets in, you realize that your mind and body are racing and you are now in an all-out panic. What will you wear? What will you say to impress them? Is it too late to get more experience? How do you stack up versus the other candidates?
This whole process may feel a bit overwhelming, that’s ok, it is supposed to be. If you are feeling this way, then it is likely that a lot of the other candidates are feeling this way too.
So change out of your sweat-drenched clothes and take some deep breaths. Follow along as I give you three things to focus on to help make sure that you nail your pre med interview.
First Impressions Matter
You have probably heard this the a million times in your life. Just like it mattered in high school when you were afraid to go talk to your crush, it matters now.
This is likely the first time that you will be seen by the interviewer. Make sure that you look the part of a future doctor. Basic hygiene rules apply. Run a comb through your hair, make sure your nails look decent, make sure your teeth are brushed. Hopefully this is stuff that you are already familiar with so we will move on.
It is almost a guarantee that the first question that you will be asked is “tell me about yourself.” Make sure that you have something better than a memorized 20 second speech ready to go. The interviewers have already looked at your resume and application so there is no need to read that verbatim. This is your chance to really wow them.
Practice Answering Questions Beforehand
Although it is impossible to know before the interview what questions you will be asked you can formulate a decent guess. If you are a bit lost already, here is a list of 100 types of questions that you may be asked.
A tip that you may find useful is to record yourself answering some and play it back. This will allow you to see things that you may be doing without even noticing. Perhaps you realize that you are talking with your hands like a madman, or you look lifeless as nothing but your lips move. Just as an athlete prepares for games with video, so can you.
You could also ask your premed advisor to do a mock interview with you. This is another chance for you to do some recording, with their permission. Make sure that you write down all the feedback that they give you. Become a sponge, soak up everything you can as it will be useful to you in the long run.
Think About What You Want From Them
It is normal to get yourself so worked up about you answering questions that you forget to ask good ones of your own. Sure the focus is on you the majority of the time, but asking questions, and even better follow up questions, show that you are interested in and listening to what they are saying.
This is your opportunity to learn about them as a school too. Ask questions about the curriculum that they offer, how they dedicate themselves to developing the students, and any volunteer opportunities that there may be. As was mentioned earlier, have follow up questions about these subjects.
Asking the right questions show that you are serious about your academic career and allow you to better understand if the school will be a good match for you. There is a list of a few example questions at the bottom of the article that we mentioned earlier.
- Act professionally – Have a nice mix of friendliness and confidence. You want to be enthusiastic about the school but remember to do so in a decent manner.
- Talk about work and research. See if they have any training programs for you or if they are currently conducting any research. Make sure that you don’t talk strictly work so they know that you are a person not just a working drone.
- Strange questions may come up but don’t let that throw you off. These questions are meant to test your confidence. If possible come back with a witty response or try to dodge it as gracefully as possible.
- Lastly when asked about your hobbies, refrain from saying partying. Yes that might be your all time favorite hobby but that isn’t something that they need to know.
For more help with crushing your Pre-Med Interview take a look at my “Medical School Interview Course” today!