What does a student interviewer for medical school look for?

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The medical school interview process can be near wracking. It is a high stakes situation; you’ve studied hard in college, done well on the MCAT, put your all into your extracurriculars and now it’s time to speak about it all in front of a physician! It’s so important to understand what medical school admissions committees are looking for in their students, so we sat down with Dr. Mili Mehta, a former interviewer at Columbia University, and got her perspective on the medical school interview.

For me, I’m always looking for people who are genuine about their interest in medical school and the activities they have done which have lead them to that point. It is easy to tell when someone is passionate about the things they talk about, whether it is community service, research or extra-curricular activities. There are a lot of things people do to try to get into medical school; hopefully each of these things you have done has had a meaningful impact on you and has led to a genuine interest in the field. I would let that part shine through in an interview.

The other thing I am looking for is someone I would want to be my medical school classmate. Are you someone who is going to be supporting your classmate while they’re studying? Are you someone I would like to collaborate with and learn from? Are you someone who will enrich my experience during medical school?

I am also looking for people who can communicate well, because I think this is the most important thing in patient care; having the ability to talk to your patient and get your points across clearly. So in the interview I am looking for someone who makes good eye contact and can have a pleasant conversation. That is really important to me when I am conducting an interview.

“The other thing I am looking for is someone I would want to be my med school classmate. Are you someone who is going to be supporting your classmate while they’re studying? Are you someone I would like to collaborate with and learn from? Are you someone who will enrich my experience during medical school?”

MedSchoolCoach’s advisors can get you ready for the interview! Our mock interviews are conducted with actual physicians who have been on admissions committees, so they know how you can stand out. Click here for more information about our interview preparation.

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