Interview Preparation Part FourMay 15, 2014
Tips For Acing Your Interview
There is no one right or wrong answer to most interview questions. Each student’s replies will vary depending on their personal experiences and their inherent personality. For example, you may be against euthanasia while another candidate may be for it and both of the answers would be right provided you could justify your response objectively. So how do interviewers decide which one of you to pick? It’s not easy to choose and that’s why they ask such a varied set of questions.
Within seconds after your first response, the interviewers will already begin to form an impression about you. Most interviews last about 25 to 45 minutes. That time, the interviewer or the interviewing panel will have already formed that critical evaluation, which can have a profound impact on your future. With so much at stake, it is crucial that you be as prepared as possible.
The key to your success at your med school interview lies not just in what you say but also the manner in which you say it. Both of these will be weighed equally in your finally evaluation. So what do you need to watch for?
Get Your Demeanour Right
If you give your replies in a continuous monotone with little or no facial expressions, the interviewers will likely see you as unmotivated, which can be a huge strike against you. Nobody wants an unmotivated doctor. On the other hand, talking animatedly with the appropriate inflections will immediately and distinctly demonstrate your enthusiasm and eagerness for medicine.
Eye contact is also an important factor in an interview, more so when it is an interview for med school. This is because steady eye contact is a sign of sincerity and confidence- two qualities that are essential in a doctor. Make eye contact with your interviewers without staring. Looking at the walls, floor or ceiling to avoid eye contact while answering one of those tricky questions may be seen as uncertainty or worse – insincerity.
Get Your Replies Right
When it comes to the content of your replies, it is important that they should be unambiguous, to the point and well, interesting. Try to be as specific as possible. Interviewers are more likely to recall candidates who said something interesting and gave examples to back up their opinions, rather than some ambiguous or generalised statement such as “I want to be a doctor to help people”.
Whatever the question, listen carefully and take a few seconds to toss it around in your mind so you can consider the best possible response. Don’t just say what you think the interviewers want to hear. Instead, be honest about what you think and if it is a controversial topic on ethical issues such as abortion, euthanasia, human cloning or the prevailing health care system, back up your response with a few statements explaining why you are for or against it. A well-informed opinion can set you apart from most of the other interviewees.
Read ‘Tell Us About Yourself… Part One’ and ‘Tell Us About Yourself… Part Three’ for more med school interview questions.