Interview Dos & Don’ts

Don’t Be Late

Being late for the medical admissions interview suggests that you don’t care about your interviewer’s time. Interview schedules are often quite rigid, so you are expected to arrive promptly. If you rely on public transportation, attempt to arrive within walking distance of your interview an hour or more early. A late bus or train would be an inexcusable hinderance to your attending medical school.

If, for some extraordinary reason, you are unavoidably late, call the office and advise them as soon as possible. Offer to reschedule the interview. When you finally arrive, apologize and draw no further attention to your tardiness.

Don’t Carry What You Don’t Need

Leave the cellphone in the car or turn it off before you enter the building. No one who is calling you is as important as the your interviewers. Being on the phone when your name is called or attempting to answer a call during your interview (as some poor souls have done), you demonstrate immediately how unimportant this appointment is to you.

Do not bring food or drink to your interview. Do not carry large bags or oversized purses. If you wear sunglasses, leave them in the car or put them in a case before entering the interview room. Your right hand should be free to offer a handshake at the outset and conclusion of your interview, so fumbling with accessories will make this awkward.

If you need to hold something in your hands, bring a folder with a copy of your application, essay, references, and, perhaps, a pen. These items will likely not be needed, but it will be less distracting and more appropriate than anything else.

Don’t Talk Too Much

The interviewer really doesn’t need to know your whole life story. Keep your answers concise and focused. Endeavor not to ramble. As a guide, each of your answers should fit comfortably into a voicemail message (somewhere between 15 seconds and 2 minutes).

Don’t Be Arrogant

You may have indications that the interview is going quite well. Do not turn your confidence into arrogance. Do not be overly-familiar with your interviewer by making personal inquiries or suggesting interaction with them outside of the interview process.

Do not condescend or be effusive in your comments. Hugging or patting your interviewer on the back are all extremely offensive. A smile and a polite handshake is all that is necessary.

Medical School Interview Guide Cover Picture


Medical School Interview Guide icon for medical interview guide.

Medical School Interview Guide Cover