What if I Don’t Have a Response to an Interview Question?

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Session 8

While I’m doing mock interview with students, I often hear from students that they weren’t prepared for the question or they haven’t formulated the response for that question.

As you go through this process of preparing for your medical school interviews, you are never going to prepare for every or any question that can be asked during the interview process.

Even if you have prepared for a question, the interviewer may ask it in a way that’s different than what you’ve prepared for. This is going to throw you off the game. You’re going to stumble and you’re going to trip.

So what is the goal of doing mock interviews?

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[01:14] The Goal of Practicing

If you’re going to the interview thinking that you have prepared for everything possible. My book, The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Interview contains 600 questions.

Understand that the goal of the questions is just to give you an idea of what possibly could be asked. I got a review on Amazon for this book saying you don’t need to buy it. You’ll be better off practicing, doing mock interviews. Plus, they went on saying they give you a false sense of hope that all you need is the book.

Funny thing, the book basically tells you to practice and practice. The goal of that practice is not to be prepared for every question possible. The goal of practicing is to understand how you respond, how you’re going to handle being that stressful environment. Number two: it is to help you think on your feet and be comfortable thinking on your feet. You practice so you can be confident in knowing that the answer is in your head.

[Tweet “”Everything is in your head, always has been, always will be.” https://medicalschoolhq.net/what-if-i-dont-have-a-response-to-an-interview-question/”]

[02:58] Trust Yourself

The difference between being prepared and not being prepared is being comfortable enough to let that information come out of your head versus being so practiced on what you think is every question that can be asked. Then it comes off rehearsed. And if a questions is asked a different way, you stumble. If the interviewer stops you, you lose your train of thought at one point. Then you start freaking out because you don’t know where to start off again. You need to trust yourself in these interviews.

[Tweet “”You have to be comfortable with who you are, so that in these interviews, you just relax. You have a conversation.” https://medicalschoolhq.net/what-if-i-dont-have-a-response-to-an-interview-question/”]

[03:49] Different Ways to Practice

This is like an analogy of going out on a first date with somebody. You’re sitting across your date and the first thing out of your mouth is this rehearsed, memorized things. You think you need to get across to the interviewer. Instead, just sit down and look at that person in front of you and talk from your heart.

This is easy, as long as you practice, and that’s why you need to practice. Whether that’s one-on-on practice with your premed advisor or a mentor or a family member. Or use my mock interview platform. It’s a monthly access to it with 600 questions, which are all the questions from this book. I’ve recorded myself. Then you sit in front of a webcam and you just talk. Too many students keep it all in their head and then when they say it loud for the first time, they realize it’s not what they meant to say. That’s why you need to practice.

[Tweet “”There are lots of options to practice, but you just need to practice.” https://medicalschoolhq.net/what-if-i-dont-have-a-response-to-an-interview-question/”]

My mock interview platform is a great way to practice since you’re recording yourself and you get assessment as well. You get the chance to give yourself feedback and have other people give you feedback based on that assessment. Then you can also do one-on-one mock interviews with me or others.

[06:17] Be Comfortable with Who You Are

You don’t need to prepare for every specific question out there. You just need to be comfortable with knowing that you’re going to be able to talk. You’re able to give your opinions and give your thoughts on whatever may come up. And if for some reason, you don’t know how to answer the question, just say you don’t know enough about that subject. It’s just a conversation. It’s just getting to know each other during the interview. So have fun and don’t stress so much about it. Just prepare and be comfortable with who you are.


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