Top 5 Tips for the Day of Your Medical School Interview

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So, you’ve carefully filled out your autobiographical sketch, written your essays, obtained your references, and completed the CASPer. You’ve patiently waited over the past few months for your medical school application to be reviewed. At last, you receive the coveted email you’ve been hoping for: you’ve been selected to attend an admissions interview! You spend weeks reviewing your application, dissecting the different question types you might be asked, and practicing with friends and family to ensure you’re ready. Finally, interview day arrives, along with all of the associated nerves and excitement. Here are five key tips to keep in mind for the day of your medical school interview.

  1. Get in the right mindset

When it comes to getting yourself in the right state of mind on interview day, everyone has a different approach. Some students opt to listen to music to get energized before their interview, others may rely on a pep talk from a friend, and still others may prefer meditation to calm their nerves. Whatever you choose to do, ensure that your interview day routine helps you adopt a positive mindset and prepares you to be sharp, focused, and ready to showcase your very best to your interviewers. Treat your interview as a privilege and an opportunity for further learning and personal growth, regardless of the outcome. You’ve gotten all the way to this point, so enjoy the experience while it lasts!

  1. Take full advantage of the opportunity

In much the same way that a medical school is interested in getting to know you personally during the interview, this is also your day to hear and get to know them! You’ve already spent your time travelling to a particular campus for the interview, so it’s worth it to fully participate in events outside of your specific interview time slot. Medical schools often run optional tours before or after your interview, and even though you’ve probably already taken the time to research the medical program at the school you’re interviewing at, this is your chance to see the facilities in person, learn more, and have all your burning questions answered. You’ll also likely have the opportunity to meet other interviewees and speak with upper-year medical students to get further insight about what life is like at the medical school. If you’re fortunate enough to receive multiple offers of admission, participating in these extra opportunities on interview day could help you determine your top choice school to attend!

  1. Have confidence in yourself

You’ve spent hours reading about the latest trends in healthcare. You know your application inside and out. Maybe you’ve read Doing Right, or you’ve gone over all of the scenarios on the University of Washington’s Ethics in Medicine website. It’s now the day of your interview, so it’s best to forget the worrying and just be confident in yourself and your capabilities! Try putting yourself in the shoes of a doctor who’s meeting a new patient for the very first time. The doctor has fully trained for that very moment, just as you’ve fully prepared for your interview. First impressions count and confidence is key, so try to shake those interview nerves if you can.

  1. Don’t hesitate to clarify

If your interviewers say something unclear or you don’t understand a particular question you’ve been asked, don’t be afraid to clarify it. This also goes for any details you feel you may have missed within a question. During your interview, you may be asked about nuanced scenarios which require a comprehensive understanding, attention to detail, and application of your critical thinking skills in order to arrive at the best possible response. Being assertive and asking for clarification in a respectful manner can help ensure that you have the best possible understanding of a given question. Plus, your interviewers are more likely to be impressed by a candidate who uses a methodical approach and takes the time to clarify their understanding of a complex scenario, than by a candidate who quickly rushes into a superficial answer. So, clarify when you need to! You’ll be able to generate a more thoughtful, focused, and impressive response.

  1. Reward yourself

Pat yourself on the back! You’ve put in a lot of effort preparing for this day, so now it’s time to relax and be proud of yourself for coming this far in the admissions process. Take the chance to unwind with friends and family over a meal, enjoy a few movies or some TV, or explore around the city you’re in if you have the chance. It’s often said that how you feel walking out of an interview doesn’t readily correlate with your ultimate admissions decision. So, do your best not to dwell on exactly what words you said or what you would’ve changed, and instead try your best to move forward with life as you finish up the rest of the school year. Time ends up passing a lot faster this way, and decision day is only a few weeks (or months) away!

More Med School Interview Prep Blogs Here:
How to Prepare for those “Hot Topics in Medicine” Questions During Medical School Interviews
Online Medical School Interviews During COVID-19: Tips & Advice
Interviewing Well for Medical School: What is non-verbal communication and how can it help you?
Approaching Acting MMI Questions
Canadian Medical School Interviews: Personal Questions
Responding to Ethical Stations
Preparing for Medical School Interviews
5 Tips for Medical School Interviews
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Sample MMI Question and How to Approach it
6 Tips for the MMI

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