Preparing for medical school interviews is much more than simply Googling the most common interview questions and sample responses. You must make a solid first impression, have accurate knowledge on the program you’re interviewing at, and know how to best convey yourself. To help you prepare, our interview coaches compiled a list of high-yield interview prep tips.
The medical school interview is often the biggest part of the application process, as it is the first time admissions committees will get a chance to meet and speak with you in person! With that in mind, it is important to make sure that you put your best foot forward and show them exactly why you deserve a place in their class as a student physician. Many people can feel quite apprehensive in the days leading up to their interview, but with plenty of practice, these nerves can easily be calmed (for the most part). To help you get started in preparing for your medical school interview, we have created some helpful tips as a guide to make sure you hit all the essential points before your big day!
Do your research on the program! You will best prepare yourself by looking up specific opportunities, features, and programs. Write this all down so that you can bring these notes with you on Interview Day. Note the features that you are interested in, details about each one, and even the reasons why you are excited about them. The more information that you have dug up about the med school, the more prepared and interested you appear. Here are some examples of what you might take note of:
Do not forget to find out what format your interview will take! There are four possibilities for the types of interviews you could encounter:
Most of your med school interview invites will include what format(s) their interviews take along with other important information. If your interview invite does not include which format, we suggest the following:
Based on your research about the school, prepare several informed questions to ask the medical school admissions committee and the interviewer.
Interviewing is a skill and like anything you want to improve upon, you must practice. You can run through with a friend, parent, or roommate your answers to these commonly asked medical school interview questions. A few important questions to practice are:
You can find strategies and sample responses to these questions here.
All this said, make sure not to prepare so much that your answers sound rehearsed! You do not want to just read from a mental script on Interview Day. This memorization will come off as ingenuine. Your practice should simply help you to have a direction to go in for the questions.
Conducting mock interviews is a powerful way to ensure you are ready for interview day. We highly suggest that you take these mock interviews seriously. The closer you embody the experience of your actual interview day, the better. Your interviewers will have no idea who you are so having a close friend or family member interview you may not be the best choice. Here are a few options of people we suggest:
Have your mock interviewer provide communication feedback for both non-verbal and verbal.
PRO TIP: Get the most out of mock interviews by trying as close as possible to mimic what you will be like on the actual day.
Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable during mock interviews will help you to better harness these feelings on your actual interview day.
Here is how our mock interview process works:
The entire session is also recorded so you can go back and learn from your mistakes that you also pick up on.
Prepare a small “go bag” for Interview Day of supplies you may need. This is helpful as unexpected issues may come up on the day of your interview, and you do not want anything to contribute to your already heightened anxiety!
Lay out the things you will need the night before.
Get good sleep.
This is so essential! Interview Day, especially your first one, is going to consist of many activities that you cannot anticipate. Being well-rested will help you focus, pay attention, and stay active through these many events.
I can’t overestimate how tiring Interview Day is. Having to be 100% “on” for four or more hours in a high-stakes situation is exhausting!
In your interview, you need to be extremely engaged, enthusiastic, attentive, and answer unexpected questions in the spur of the moment. Good sleep is an essential prerequisite for doing all these tasks.
Make sure you have a chill day prior to your interview if you know you won’t be able to sleep great.
Don’t doubt yourself. You got this and you belong at that interview! You would not have gotten an interview invite if they were not interested in you!