Common Medical School Interview Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Session 146

Session 146

Today, Ryan talks about the 9 biggest mistakes during the medical school interview and how to fix each of them to help you go through the interview successfully.

The medical school interview is a key part to the application process which, unfortunately, many students take for granted. So they end up not doing very well during the interview and making a lot of mistakes.

You need to understand that interview spots are limited and precious so if they're offering you an opportunity for an interview, remember that the interview day is your opportunity to show them who is on the application and who is written about in the letters of recommendation and your personal statement. They want to make sure what they see on paper is who you are in person.

So here are the biggest mistakes you should keep away from during the interview as well as some strategies to help you do well during the interview.

9 Biggest Mistakes During the Medical School Interview

  1.  Sounding too rehearsed
    • It should be conversational between you and your colleague.
    • It has to flow back and forth.
    • Don't sound like you're reading a script.
    • Following a script makes it hard for you to find your place in your head in case the interviewer throws you off.
    • Rehearse it enough so that you know what the key points are without sounding scripted.
  2. Sounding like you're reading your application or resume
    • Tell them something exciting.
    • Show them what you've done and tell them something memorable about you (favorite hobby, sport, coolest place you've ever been to), something that someone else isn't going to say
  3. Dressing inappropriately
    • Wear a suit.
    • For men, shave
    • Dress neutral.
  4. Not taking the time to think before answering the question
    • Do not answer the questions too quickly that you're not taking the time to think and not interrupting the interviewer.
    • Take a pause after the interviewer asks the question.
    • Ask yourself, did you understand what he/she just asked you? If not, ask for clarification.
    • Should you need to pause, tell the interviewer you need to think about it for a second.
  5. Not staying on topic
    • You may go down rabbit holes that might not have been asked by the interviewer
    • You might have the tendency to say things you're not sure it's true or don't know all the facts of and the interviewer may ask follow-up questions.
    • Answer what is asked of you and no more.
  6. Being negative
    • Don't push blame on other people.
    • Don't be negative about former bosses, classmates, or teachers.
    • Being “unmotivated” is not a good word you can use. Rearrange your words to come up with a stronger answer and make it less negative or have a positive spin to it.
  7. You don't put on a smile.
    • Understand your nervous tics and gestures that get in the way of the interview.
  8. Not having good, solid, informed questions to ask
    • Be prepared and that you care by asking informed questions that connects you to the interviewer.
  9. Not doing a mock interview
    • Prepare for a mock interview like it's a real interview.
    • Get it recorded to see your vocal pauses and nervous ticks.
    • Understand your stress level so you're able to control your responses.

One-on-One Mock Interview Prep

I've been doing mock interviews with many students over the last couple of years. Last year, every student I did a mock interview with, got into medical school.

If you're interested in mock interview prep – go here!

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