How to Reduce Anxiety Around the Med School Interview

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How to Reduce Anxiety Around the Med School Interview

Session 58

There’s a lot on the line in a medical school interview. How do you practice for interviews and reduce your stress so that you can truly shine?

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[01:05] The Purpose of the Interview

When your answers are too structured, they sound too rehearsed and this doesn’t allow the conversation to flow. The core of the interview is the conversation.

The goal of the interview is to talk to you and see who you are as a person outside of your application. They want to see how your mannerisms are like. They’re there to see who you are as a person.

'The goal of the interview is to have a conversation with you.'Click To Tweet

[02:35] What the Interview Is Not

They’re not there to grill you or interrogate you or pick apart your application. It might seem that way. Some interviewers out there may like making the students stressed. There are going to be those people.

But in general, your goal is to have a conversation so they can understand who you are. You can go inside the campus and understand the culture of the school.

[03:15] A Coffee Shop Conversation

Think about the last time you went to a coffee shop or to dinner to hang out with a friend. How much preparation did you have to go into that meeting with a friend?

You don’t rehearse everything you need to talk about. You don’t practice in front of the mirror or rehearse it in your car on the way. You simply go and meet up.

Instead, you only have those bullet points of what you want to talk about to your friend. Outside of that, you just let your brain fill in the rest. 

[04:30] How Well Can You Communicate?

'In general, the anxiety and stress over the medical school interview are usually misplaced.'Click To Tweet

The goal of the medical school interview is just to have a discussion with you. They want to make sure you can carry a conversation. They want to make sure that if you were taking care of their mom or dad, that you can communicate. Communication is very important.

But if you come in stressed and anxious and have very structured answers, you’re not likely to communicate very well. If you can’t do that, then they surely don’t want you to communicate with their family members.

[05:20] Get Rid of the Script

To reduce the stress and anxiety about the medical school interview, do not be as prepared or as rehearsed. It sounds completely counterintuitive. Of course, you need to practice to some extent, but not above that.

You don’t want to have written-out, scripted answers for questions. Understand the setting and how you’re going to respond in that situation. You have to understand that you may have to answer questions you’ve never heard before. You need to be okay with taking a second to think about it.

'Be okay with not having that script.'Click To Tweet

[06:15] The Goal of Doing Mock Interviews

The goal of doing mock interviews is not to rehearse your answers. You can try answers and practice different answers. This way, you’d have an idea of how you sound like. And what it’s like to talk about certain topics. But don’t rehearse it so much that you have your script.

'Don't have it so structured that you sound like a robot.'Click To Tweet

[06:46] Have a Conversation

The goal of the medical school interview is to see how well you can communicate and to have that conversation with that person sitting across from you.

When you’re able to do that, then you’ve accomplished your goal. That you can have a conversation. And that in the future, you actually have bedside manner and you’re able to communicate to patients and their families well.

'Stop stressing over trying to be perfect with your answers or having to be perfect or having the perfect answer to your questions.'Click To Tweet

The goal of the interview is to have that conversation. 


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