A Primer on the Med School Interview
It should be obvious, but an interview at a medical school is just like interviewing for a job. You have to impress your interviewers enough for them to recommend that you be accepted. As opposed to U.S. medical schools, American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine does not have a limited number of spaces available. However, it does base its admissions decisions heavily on how applicants conduct themselves during, and after, the interview. Here are some tips to help you when it’s your turn to interview.
In life, you make only one first impression. Before you say hello, the interviewer will already size you up based on what you’re wearing. You may look good in a t-shirt and shorts but professional dress will make you look better. Dress business professional (i.e. suit and tie for men). It shows to the interviewer that you’re willing to take medical school seriously. Also, make sure that whatever you are wearing has been cleaned. Wearing something riddled with stains and wrinkles makes it look like you don’t care.
Show Up on Time
As Woody Allen once stated, 90% of life is showing up. This may seem relatively simple but it’s important. Plan so you’ll be able to show up ready and on time. Use Google Maps to give you an approximate time frame between leaving your front door, and entering the school’s offices. There may be factors that make you late that you cannot prevent such as traffic or a last-minute emergency. In case that happens, make sure to call or email your interviewer ahead of time to inform them you will be late. Most of the time, they will try to accommodate you.
You have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that, with the proper training, you can be an exceptional, compassionate physician. You should feel confident that you made it this far. There are thousands of applicants, but only a select few are chosen to be interviewed. Yes, the interview could be the difference between being accepted or rejected but don’t let that hang over you. Instead, focus on why you would be a great physician. Have a story prepared about what made you interested in becoming a physician in the first place. Dwelling on anything that could be potentially negative about yourself will only make matters worse.
What to Ask
When it comes for your time to ask questions instead of answer them, it’s best to have a few prepared. If you have no questions ready, it may look bad to your interviewer. You can generate questions by doing simple research. Look at the school’s website and find some things you are not clear on. Look at other medical schools too, and ask how AUA differs from the rest. Some of these questions should also be about what the interviewer has specifically talked about during the interview. It’s okay to ask about something you are not completely sure of. In fact, it can help. It shows that you are engaged with the interview and aren’t just asking generic questions.
Send a Thank You note
A simple post-interview thank you note is vital. Besides showing you are still interested in that school, it’s proper post-interview etiquette. Interviewers will more likely remember a candidate who sent a note than didn’t. Like your questions, your note shouldn’t be completely generic. Mention things you discussed in the interview or didn’t get to. Ask any lingering questions you have. Just make sure not to go on too long. Keep it to two paragraphs max.