Medical School Admissions: Interview Tips, Part II

Earlier this month I discussed the importance of admittance interviews in the med school application process, and I shared three tips to help you as you prepare.  Today I am going to go into a bit more depth as I share more tips for excelling in your medical school interviews.

1)     Practice. No politician gives a speech without rehearsing, and no athlete doesn’t practice before he or she plays in a game.  Yet for some reason, many applicants do not practice for their admissions interviews.  Don’t make this mistake.  Some colleges will offer mock interviews—if yours does, take full advantage!  And if not, recruit a friend or family member to conduct a practice interview.  Provide them with a list of common questions to ask, but also encourage them to improvise in order for you to practice “thinking on your feet.”

2)     Make eye contact. When you are nervous, it is easy to spend the entire interview staring at the floor or out the window.  Unfortunately this sends a very clear message—you’re letting everyone in the room know that you are uncomfortable.  Even if you are nervous on the inside, force yourself to make eye contact.  You may be surprised to find that you able to relax as you build a rapport with your interviewer.

3)     If you aren’t sure what to say, take a second to collect yourself. Many applicants, when caught off guard by a question, spend a couple of seconds stammering or repeating “um” over and over as they try to think of a response.  Instead of going down that un-impressive route, discipline yourself to pause and think silently if you are caught off guard.  Your interviewer will be impressed by your composure, and more often than not you will think of a great response.

Your admittance interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences.  But you can minimize your nervousness and dramatically improve your performance if you prepare well.  Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for your interview.  Good luck!

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Dr. Toote was amazing. Until today, I thought only the grades necessary to get into medical school. Now, I realize that grades are only the tip of the iceberg and my story is what it’s all about. S. Monter Kingsville, Texas

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