Can You Use Your Notes During Medical School Interviews?

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Session 204

You know exactly what you want to say during your medical school interview. So can you use notes to jog your memory?

Your questions are pulled directly from our Nontrad Premed Forum. If you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up so you can join a collaborative community of like-minded students and post your questions as well.

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

[01:01] OldPreMeds Question of the Week:

“Does anyone consider it unprofessional to bring a written list of reasons why you’d like to attend/questions about the school to a med school interview? 

I’ve found that my top choices exhibit several characteristics that draw me to them, and I don’t want to miss relating any of them to the interview committees if I’m granted an interview. 

Thank you for your thoughts!”

[01:38] When Not to Open Your Notes

Bring notes to your medical school interview. But don’t open your notes and read them out loud during the interview, like when you’re asked why you want to go to medical school. This would come off as lazy and like you aren’t taking the interview seriously.

You should have that list. But at some point during interview day, look over that list before you get in front of the admissions committee.

[02:30] When You Can Potentially Look at Your Notes

When you can actually potentially bring it out and read it is when an interviewer asks you if you have any questions. A lot of students actually blank out at this point.

Write down questions you want to ask the interviewers and refer to that list during your interview.

'The adrenalin rush of being asked questions just completely wipes your mind.'Click To Tweet

[03:03] Do’s and Don’ts During Interview

Do not take notes during an interview. Don’t even take notes during different presentations that different faculty or administration is giving.

Just listen. Maintain great eye contact. 

'Be present.'Click To Tweet

When you have an opportunity outside of those presentations and outside of the interview, take notes or jot down some information you think is important and move forward.

Maybe you can jot down some other general questions that you want to make sure are answered on your interview day. Look at that list and just make sure those questions are answered.

[Related tool: Medical School Interview Question Generator]

[04:00] What the Interview Day is All About

The most important thing you should be doing on your interview day is staying present and being there in person. The admissions committees want to make sure you are going to be a physician who’s going to be present with their loved ones. 

We have an issue today in medicine where physicians hide behind the computer screen, with their nose on the electronic medical record. And if your nose is on your notes during interview day, this just doesn’t look good.

'Be present. Be there. Have fun! That's what the interview day is all about.'Click To Tweet

[04:40] Other Resources to Help You Prep for Your Interview

If you want more information about the medical school interview, go to where you can grab a copy of The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Interview. You will also find the Guide to the Medical School Personal Statement.


Meded Media

Nontrad Premed Forum