Your medical school interview day is a crucial point on your path to becoming a physician. What do you need to know going into that day to set yourself up for success? That’s what I discuss today!
If you want to learn more about interview tips, check out my book The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Interview. And check out all our podcasts on MedEd Media.
[00:53] 1. Know your application inside and out.
If you put something on your application, you better be able to answer questions about it in your interview.
If you put some minor little research thing that you did for two minutes, and you have no clue about the research or what happened or what you were trying to study, don’t put it in your application. Otherwise, you’re not going to be able to talk about it in your interview.
You have to know your application inside and out. Know why each thing on your application is meaningful and be able to talk about it. Talk about how it impacted. Don’t just add filler and then get called out when you can’t talk about it.“You have to know your application, inside and out. Everything you put in your application should have some meaning behind it.”Click To Tweet
[01:58] 2. Understand the logistics of the med school interview.
Many medical schools host socials the night before the interview day. Go to those! It will help you understand the culture of the school, and it will help more people at the school get to know you.
Staying at a Medical Student Host
A lot of medical schools have had opportunities to stay with medical student hosts. You either stay in the dorms with a medical student or you stay at their apartment. And if the medical school offers that to you, really look into doing it.
If you’re offered to stay on campus, I’d generally recommend that. It’ll help you get a better sense of the school. That said, if you know yourself and you know you need your space, you can stay at a hotel.
Your job at a medical school interview is to go and be interviewed and have great conversations and show them who you are. But it’s also to “interview” them and to see if the school is going to be a good fit for you. That way, you get a good sense of all of that by staying the night with a student.
Now, if you’re someone who just isn’t comfortable sleeping on a couch or sleeping in a sleeping bag, and you really need your beauty rest on a nice comfy hotel then do that. You need to be prepared for your medical school interview above everything else. Make sure that your comfort comes first.
Where to Park or Get Dropped Off
You also have to understand how to get to the medical school, where to park if you’re driving, and where to be dropped off if you’re taking a Lyft or an Uber.
It’s the worst if you get dropped off in one corner of the campus and the interview is at another corner. And you only arrived a minute before and you’re going to have to run to the admissions office to make sure that you’re there on time.“Know the logistics for your interview day so the stress is removed and all of your focus goes to your interview day, your interviews, your conversations, and everything else.”Click To Tweet
[04:36] 3. Plan out what you’re going to wear on your interview day.
Remember that what you wear on your interview day is important. Watch our video about What to Wear During Interview Day.
It’s recommended to bring your suit with you on the plane, just in case your luggage gets lost or something. Then you’re not scrambling at the last minute to either find a suit or buy clothes. Or worse, show up without a suit to your medical school interview.
You don’t need to bring resumes and you don’t need to bring your applications. You don’t really need to bring anything except you. Maybe have a water bottle with you if you drink a lot. Women can have a small clutch with them.
But there’s really nothing that you need to bring on your medical school interview day outside of what the medical school asks you to bring. And usually, that’s some picture ID just to make sure that you are who you say you are.
[05:54] 4. Understand that the med school interview is not a sales pitch.
They just want to get to know you. Don’t try to sell yourself. Have a coffee shop conversation. Don’t go in with an agenda or trying to prove something. Check out this video to learn what the medical school interview is all about.“Your medical school interview is not a sales pitch.”Click To Tweet
It’s especially hard for nontraditional students who have been in very business-oriented interviews. Because they may have to sell themselves and sell their accomplishments to get hired for a job.
But for medical school interviews, they just want to get to know you. So don’t try to sell yourself. Go in and have that coffee shop conversation. Be relaxed, enjoy yourself, don’t try to prove anything, or go in with an agenda in that interview.
[06:33] 5. Know the medical school inside and out. Know why you want to go to THAT school.
A lot of students are not doing this, and it’s hurting their chances. Research about the medical school and really understand your motivations for wanting to go to that medical school. Understand the school’s mission, programs, clubs, and culture.“A large percentage of students that are not getting accepted to medical school because the medical school has no clue why the student applied to them in the first place.”Click To Tweet
Admissions committees want to make sure that you’re going to that school for the right reasons. So look at their website, do tons of research into their website, look on social media, on YouTube, on Twitter, on Facebook, see what they’re talking about. Do a location search on Instagram and see what students are talking about.
Remember that the hospital that is affiliated with the medical school is not the medical school. And so when a school asks why you want to come to their school, don’t say it’s because the hospital is a level one trauma center. Instead, talk about the school itself and do tons of research about that medical school.
You have to reflect on each of those things and talk about why they’re important to you. Then understand why each of these things is meaningful to you and why it resonates with you specifically.
[08:43] 6. Know that your interview day should be fun.
The best interviews often come when you’re having a good time, having conversations, smiling, and being friendly. It CAN be a fun experience!“The best interviews are ones where you walk out having fun.”Click To Tweet