By the time you’ve crossed the finish line for the first wave of applications during medical school admission season, you’ve just about exhausted nearly all of your engines, backburners, and energy reserves.
While a letterhead or inbox message containing the logo to your dream medical school requesting an interview is certainly a reason to celebrate, that relaxing elation should only be temporary. For potential medical school students on the verge of meeting with the admissions teams at their dream school, more than a bit of medical school interview preparation is required.
While the notion of a high-stakes interview can make even the most confident med school applicant a bit squeamish, there’s reason to feel doubly prepared. If you’ve made it this far in the admissions process, you’ve already completed a sizable bulk of the legwork. And while a medical school admissions team might be impressed by your 36 MCAT score and 3.9 overall GPA, it’s your personality, perseverance and shine that will captivate them.
Here are a few tips, tricks and notable things to remember when it comes to thorough medical school interview preparation.
Do Your Homework Beforehand
Although you’ve done well to showcase your breadth of chemistry, biology and physics expertise in the MCAT, those questions do little to exemplify both your potential as a future doctor, and your dedication to an academic program.
Always conduct thorough research of the school you’re interviewing at when concerning medical school interview preparation. Have they made any recent changes to the curriculum? And what’s more, how do you feel about it? Be sure to offer an answer that is full of originality and inquiry.
Be Prepared to Package Your Story in a Small, or Large, Box
Let’s face it, we’re all a little ego-centric. And while a number of medical schools will admire a lengthy, detail-filled backstory, you’d be surprised at the number of interviewers that will request you condense your story into 15 seconds – or less.
Find ways to package your story in multiple sizes throughout medical school interview preparation. Try aiming for super short (like 15 seconds), medium-length (roughly 2-5 minutes) and longer (up to 15 minutes).
Keep Up on Current Events
With your medical school interview preparation, always ensure you’re up-to-date on the latest medical field breakthroughs, ethical issues and news. And don’t just be aware of them – be sure to take a substantial stance on each topic, and be prepared to discuss at length.
Be Wary of Time Variations
Although the majority of medical school interviews will be somewhat condensed, some interviews have been known to last up to eight hours.
In order to ensure your energy levels stay sustained throughout a long day of dialogue, consider bringing your own packaged lunch and plenty of water. Although many institutions will provide some snacks, it’s not a guarantee, so be prepared.
Be on Time, and Dress the Part
This last component to any medical school interview preparation should go without saying. Always be sure to err on the conservative side in terms of dress, and plan on arriving well before your scheduled interview time.