Why Medical School Mock Interviews Are So Important

You might think it’s unnecessary to do mock interviews to prepare for your medical school interviews. But the medical school interview is different from other interviews like interviewing for a job.

“Doing a mock interview for medical school will completely blow your mind. The medical school interview is different than other professional interviews, and so you need to prepare for it.”Click To Tweet

Just because you’re a good communicator or you’ve prepared for other interviews doesn’t mean you’re ready for the med school interview.

The medical school interview takes practice.

[01:31] MCAT Practice Tests = Mock Interviews

As an analogy, think about this: We all take MCAT practice tests before the real MCAT.  That’s because it’s different from other exams and different from the exams in your premed classes, too. The same applies to the med school interview. You should practice for it!

The MCAT is a test to make sure you know how to take the MCAT. It doesn’t mean that students who do well in their classes and are great standardized test takers are going to do well on the MCAT.

What most students do is prepare for the MCAT properly. And just like what you would do to practice for the MCAT and other full-length exams, you do the same to practice for your interviews. And that’s what a mock interview is all about. Hopefully, the premed advising office at your university will hopefully offer mock interviews.

[02:28] Doing Mock Interviews with the Right Person

“The health care interviews are going to be a little bit different than other professional interviews.”Click To Tweet

Be careful that you don’t just do mock interviews with advisors who do general mock interviews like for a job. The med school interview is different. Ideally, you want to do a mock interview with someone who knows the med school interview specifically.

Make sure your mock interviewer is going to cover the types of questions you’re going to get and give you feedback specific to the schools you’re going to be interviewing at.

Now if you’re at a school that doesn’t have access to mock interviews, that’s okay. Hopefully, you have a friend or a mentor who will be able to sit down with you and ask these questions and give you feedback.

[03:52] Other Mock Interview Resources

If you don’t have access to do mock interviews with anyone in person, you can use my Anytime Mock Interview Platform.

The way this works is you log into your computer and log onto the website. You’ll see me ask you common med school interview questions, and you get to record your answers with your webcam. There’s a custom assessment there as well. And you can send the recordings to others for feedback. (I also include a guide to providing feedback and what to look for.) You can easily share that with friends, mentors, and family members so they can fill out that assessment too.

Also check out my book, The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Interview, where I included some tips for mentors or people who aren’t prehealth advisors. So they’re able to ask you questions and give you feedback.

“At the end of the day, you need to do mock interviews to prepare for your interview.”Click To Tweet

[04:20] Avoid These Common Mistakes

One of the common mistakes that students make when it comes to preparing for their interview is practicing too much. So you don’t want to OVER-prepare for the med school interview.

You don’t need to be prepared with exact answers for every possible question. What you need to do is to be ABLE to answer every question.

So get comfortable with the setting. Get comfortable with being asked something you didn’t prepare for, and practice being able to answer anyway. You want to be prepared for any question, without actually preparing answers for every question in advance.

“You also can't practice too much because you don't want to come off as superscripted.”Click To Tweet

Here are some tips to help you prepare better and not overextend yourself when it comes to practice:

  • Bullet-point your answers.
  • Figure out the highlights including why you want to be a doctor.
  • Don’t memorize your exact answers. That’s not real communication or connection with the interviewer.
  • If you don’t know something, either say you don’t know it. Or take the time to think about it appropriately.

The goal of the mock interview and the goal of practicing isn’t to answer every single question possible. 

The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Interview contains 600 questions right there but you’re not expected to answer all of them. Instead, the goal is for you to gradually gain your confidence so you’re prepared to answer any type of question. And you have the confidence to respond appropriately.

[06:05] How to Do the Mock MMI

The same thing rings true with the MMI. A lot of students want to see 4,000 different MMI scenarios, but you just don’t need it. My book also includes few scenarios. But again, you don’t have to try to think about and work through every type of scenario. 

“Your goal with an MMI mock interview is to understand the process.”Click To Tweet

In preparing for the MMIs, think about what it feels like to read a scenario for a couple of minutes. What is it like to go into a room and have that discussion with an interviewer or an actor for 5-8 minutes? What is it like to go from station to station and freak out about the first station and try to reset yourself for the next one?

Links:

Anytime Mock Interview Platform

Meded Media

The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Interview

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