Interview Dos & Don’ts

Don’t Be Confrontational

Even if your interviewer is argumentative and seemingly adversarial, it is your choice to rise above the occasion with a calm and accepting nature. Attempt to objectively view your interviewer’s attitude and do not take it personally. Defensiveness will kill any appearance of confidence.

Remember, there will be many angry and hostile patients and customers you will encounter in your professional life after school. Winning points in a contest of wills with patients or your interviewer will result in a loss for you. Period.

Don’t Forget to Follow Up

Follow up your interview with a handwritten thank you note reiterating your interest in the school and showing your appreciation for the interviewer’s consideration.

Be Prepared

Before arriving for your admissions interview, investigate the academic, social, historical, and geographic features of the institution. Use the Internet and the academic catalog to get an overview of the curriculum. Since you will likely be asked (at least once) during your interview why you want to attend their school, use your research to form opinions of the most appealing features of the school and to formulate thoughtful questions specific to the academic program.

Be prepared to provide details included in your application. The interviewer may not be familiar with or remember the specifics. If you did research, prepare clear statements of the goals and methodology of your research, your contribution to the goals, and why the research was important.

Be Well-Dressed

Dressing appropriately shows respect. The way you dress should be neat and professional. For both men and women, this requires a suit—the only appropriate dress for a formal interview. When interviewing, you should reflect the image of someone who wants to attend a prestigious medical school. It is much safer to overdress! Your professional attire not only illustrates how serious you are in embracing a medical career, it conveys to your interviewer how much you value their time.

Be Humble

Do not try to impress your interviewers with your pedigree, monetary worth, or influence. Rarely will you foster anything but resentment. A lack of humility tends to make it appear as if you hold your interviewers or their school in disdain. Hardly the attitude for someone seeking approval for admissions.

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Medical School Interview Guide Cover