By Amanda Wilks
You have finally received the letter that you have been waiting for and opened it. Fortunately, it started with “Congratulations!” and now you have some worries about not being able to ace an interview at the school of your dreams.
It’s high time you stopped worrying about that, because we have prepared a list of 6 important tips to help you ‘wow’ the interviewers at your future medical school.
1. Stay Up-To-Date
In the world of medicine, research is everything and many discoveries can be made within a short period of time.
As a good prospective medical student, you should always be up-to-date with all the current research and discoveries that pertain to the world of medicine. This can be achieved through reading medical journals and blogs or even talking to researchers and resident doctors you may meet while working or volunteering.
This is a good way to impress your interviewer as he/she will take note of your ability to form personal opinions on relatively new pieces of information. As KW2 says, you and the interviewer should be “bobbing to the same beat;” that is, understanding each other because of sharing current information.
2. Research on Interview Feedback
What better way to get prepared for your medical school interview than to ask those who have already been there about it? You can do this by talking to other medical students or doctors about how their interviews went so that you get a feel of what to expect when your day finally comes.
Websites such as The Student Doctor Network contain a lot of information from seasoned experts. There are even online webinars on acing your medical school interview from which you can gather valuable advice and information, shared by highly-esteemed experts in the field. This information will help you a lot while preparing and will also give you a good confidence boost.
3. Log onto the School’s Website
This is another great way to impress the interviewer, since the possession of knowledge about your prospective future school shows that you are actually interested in attending the institution. Most of the information about a school can be easily found by visiting their website. This is a simple way of gaining access to interesting details, such as information about their curriculum, teaching methods, student body and many more important bits.
You can also find this out by actually touring the school and talking to students who study there. At the end of the day, you should also strive to know about the school’s resident placements, mission, facilities, and hospitals in which you will be doing clinical rotations.
You should also find out what key aspects form the school’s most prized assets or reputation. This will go a long way in showing the interviewer why the school is the perfect fit for you.
4. Go Through Your Application
As with all interviews, your interviewer will go through the documents that you presented during your application and ask you questions based on the information that you made available. This can become a huge pitfall if you don’t review your application, which in most cases, was submitted months ago. The reason is that your memory of the details you have presented may become a little hazy.
Go through your AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) application, especially the sections on course work, work, and activities, your personal essay, and test scores as they will be featured during the interview.
Another important tip is, if you have ever conducted any research, be sure to remember the specifics about it, as well as how far the project has gone up to date.
5. Update Your Interviewer
Now that you have polished up on what you wrote on your application, you should also make sure to inform the interviewer on all that you have achieved in the time between the submission of your application and the interview.
Have you been volunteering somewhere? Have you conducted or helped in conducting research? What about where you live? Will the distance interfere with your studies? Have you made any publications?
All these and more questions will help you in remembering all the new information about yourself, which will help the interviewer to better assess you.
6. Prepare for and Anticipate Questions
Anticipating the questions that the interviewer may ask you will give you plenty of time to research on them and formulate your own personal opinions. This will also give you a boost in confidence, as you will feel better prepared.
A common pitfall is the question concerning end-of-life matters. Your interviewer is most likely going to ask you to air your views on matters such as euthanasia and other tough ethical issues such as abortion and stem cell research.
Such questions should be handled with seriousness and dignity, as the interviewer will want to know where you stand when it comes to such tricky and emotional matters. After asking you questions, he/she will give you an opportunity to air your queries too. Do not fall into the abyss of saying that you have none, because you will give the impression of being a shallow person, who has no interest in this domain of study.
Instead, you should prepare a series of thoughtful questions that cannot be answered by simple online means such as the FAQ section of the institution’s website. These meaningful questions will show that you truly have an interest in studying medicine at their school, as you have sought further clarifications regarding it.
These tips will prepare you for a successful medical school interview. Remember that your application is to show your credentials, but the interview is what will determine what kind of person you are, so always strive to show interviewers the best version of you.
Author Bio: Amanda Wilks is a guest blogger and a SchoolChoices.org contributing author. As a motivational writer focused on education and social activism, Amanda loves sharing her work, hoping that it will inspire others to shape a successful career. Visit Amanda’s Twitter for more of her writings.