Shadowing a Doctor

June 24, 2014

Don’t Make These Three Common Interview Mistakes

Students learning clinical procedures from their hospital mentors In preparing for your medical school interview, you would have read several articles dispensing advice on the importance of arriving on time, being polite, being well dressed, preparing your replies and a few other regular guidelines. However, that’s not all that matters. There are other things too that you could do or not do that could potentially jeopardise your chances of getting accepted into medical school.

Walking Into The Interview Room Unprepared To Answer The Basic Questions

Just because you have written a great essay and your grades are good, does not mean you can afford to walk into an interview without practicing what to say. Neither an outstanding personal statement nor high grades are a guarantee of your success. Many students who rely solely on their high grades to get them through the interview and who walk in unprepared, freeze when they are asked even basic questions. This is because they do not know how to frame their answers properly and have not prepared fully for the interview. To prevent any embarrassment at your interview, spend time practicing how to respond to various potential questions. Ask your parents and friends to do mock interviews with you so you are comfortable with the process and you know exactly what to say in reply to those standard questions, including that all-important, nerve-wracking “Tell us something about yourself”.

Getting Overly Nervous Before Going In To The Interview Room

The thought of sitting in front of a panel of interviewers can make anyone nervous and sitting in the waiting room with other students awaiting their turn does nothing to help calm the nerves. However it does not help to dwell on the competition. Even if the other students have better grades, that doesn’t mean that you should give up hope and start believing you don’t stand a chance against them. Pay no attention to anything that may dishearten you. Avoid getting into conversations where you are questioned or told how tough it is to get in. Instead, stay focused on the upcoming interview and determined to give it your best shot. 

Not Telling The Interviewers What They Want To Hear

Every medical school has their own set of values and morals that may be different from the others. When you receive the interview letter, do some homework about the school before the scheduled date. Read the school’s mission and vision. Explore what the school is looking for. All of this will help you frame your answers in such a way that they conform to what the school is looking for instead of mistakenly saying something contrary to their mission. However, stay as close to the truth as possible. For example, if a school prefers students who have spent time working for the underprivileged, don’t talk about how much you love working with the underprivileged if you have not had any experience in this area. Don’t lie about it. There’s nothing worse than getting caught out in an outright lie. It could damage your credibility entirely and will shoot down all chances you have of gaining admission right there and then.