Horror stories about the medical school interview abound online, and you might be concerned that you will face a difficult interview experience. Although the occasional interview goes awry, most interviews are fairly routine and you can avoid all the difficult situations by educating yourself about the process.
As you prepare for your interviews, a good first step is to read up on the most common questions that premeds ask about the process.
Q: “How do I answer the controversial interview questions?”
A: Most schools ask controversial questions that are intended to give the interviewers a sense for who you are and how your mind works. The most commonly asked contentious topics are:
• Physician Assisted Suicide
• Healthcare Laws
• Prescription Drug Abuse
Now, you shouldn’t let these topics scare you away. Chances are, you already know how you feel about them and that is what the interviewer is looking for. They are not going to judge you based on your beliefs, but they do want to know what your opinion is and why you feel the way you do. Stick to your beliefs and present a clear, unambiguous position.
Q: “I have NO idea how to answer this question…”
A: The best way to tackle this problem is to avoid the situation entirely by over-preparing for the interview. You can prepare for unexpected “wild card” questions by reading interview experiences or using our “how to answer a question you don’t know the answer to” guide in “The Medical School Interview Video Course.”
Q: “I think my answers are fine, but I’m afraid they won’t like me.”
Part of becoming a doctor is having the confidence and ability to communicate with all different sorts of patients and coworkers. It’s important to be articulate AND confident. Confidence is key here.
Allow your personality to shine in your responses. Avoid being too animated or too monotone and rehearsed. The best responses come from when you act naturally and make eye contact with the interviewer, something you should be able to perfect by practicing interviewers with your friends and other premeds.
Q: “Will my attire really influence their decision?”
A: An important thing to realize is that how you are dressed will have an impact on your results. Dress for the interviewer and meet their expectations. Most interviewers expect professional attire.
Make the interview about you, not your clothing, piercings, tattoos or hairstyle. You’re not going to the dance club, or a wedding! Do you really want to spend precious time in your interview talking about your fauxhawk or eyebrow piercing?
Impress them with your charisma, knowledge and respect, and you will dramatically increase your chances of being accepted. For an online guide to guaranteed interview success, I recommend “The Medical School Interview Video Course.”