Making A Great Impression: Medical School Interview Tips
If you’re human, then there is a pretty good chance that you’re going to have some nerves during your medical school interviews! That is completely normal and expected, but fear not: this bridge has been crossed by many before you, including your interviewer.
With this in mind, here are our top three tips you should follow to ensure that when you walk out of the interview, you can feel confident that whether you gain acceptance or not, you definitely put your best foot forward while making a genuine and long lasting personal impression on the interviewer!
Everyone is watching you – don’t you ever forget it!
Whether you know it or not, you’ll quickly learn that your conduct is being watched, evaluated, and scrutinized by everyone you come in contact with before, during, and after an interview, from reception to passersby. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the only person whose opinion matters is the person conducting the interview.
Treat every encounter as a precious opportunity to display your positive, authentic intentions, and character. You can’t delight everybody, but imagine the effects of rubbing someone the wrong way – you can count on them speaking out when given the opportunity.
These little interactions can go a long way – in your favor, or against – so be mindful and genuine above all.
Leave your phone in the car – your reputation is on the line.
Facebook notifications, Instagram “likes”, Snapchat stories, emails, and text messages are the new ‘nail biting’ habit that occupies our downtime. And regularly checking on them, or responding to them has become an embedded norm in our behavior.
Here’s a good question for you: when was the last time you were sitting anywhere for more than five minutes without checking your phone?
Once you’ve realized how much your smartphone inadvertently controls your conduct, you can see why we urge you to circumvent any chances for you to ruin or scar your first impression with mindless phone activity during a time of such serious and life impacting encounters.
There is no way of knowing the school’s outlook on cell phone use while waiting, and moreover, an observing individual’s personal opinion of cell phone use in this environment, so don’t even gamble. Better to just keep your phone out of your hands from the time you enter the building until you leave.
Spare yourself the stress – leave it in the car, or turn it off before entering the building!
Don’t try to steer from the ‘passenger side’.
Every interviewer has his or her own style of interviewing. Whether they are the conversational type or more formal, the standard gauntlet list of questions that every applicant must endure, or the type that run down your entire application seeking your takeaways from each listed experience, you need to be ready for whatever they throw at you by being yourself.
“But how do I prepare for the unpredictable?” you might be thinking.
Though this step is admittedly way easier said than done, especially on the front end of your career, being yourself happens to be the one thing that you should have the most experience in.
Don’t try to ‘bully’ the conversation by cornering them about why they should choose you. Instead be attentive, open minded, and listen to what they are asking you. A lot can be observed, on your end, from what and how the questions are laid out, to the tone in which they use.
Notice everything that you can about the interviewer, just as you would in a social setting, or on a date even. Getting to know what makes them tick can serve as ‘keys’ to the doors inside of what they are really looking for in applicants.
Remember, the only thing you can control in an interview is you! So go in with your head high without expectations, and rest your confidence in the one most important fact that this interview will never be able to change – there is only one you.
Click here for more steps you should take to ace a medical interview.