Your medical school interview offers the chance for you to set yourself apart from other prospective students. Knowing how to prepare for a medical school interview not only helps you ace it, but can also calm the inevitable jitters that such an event usually ushers in.
Follow these tips to prepare for your med school interview:
- Dress the part
- Take care of yourself before the interview
- Prepare thoroughly for the interview
- Keep your cool
- Ask the right questions during your interview
1. Dress the Part
Remember the old saying, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have"? While it may be cliche, it does ring true. We don't suggest you show up for your medical school interview in scrubs or a lab coat, but you should dress in a way that helps the medical school admissions team envision you as a professional, put-together medical student and future physician.
Be sure to look professional during your med school interview. A business suit that fits well and is clean and pressed exudes confidence. Focusing on looking the part encourages the interviewers to take you seriously.
Even better -- dressing in business formal allows you to see yourself at your best, too. Looking like a medical professional can help you get in the right mindset and feel confident during the interview.
If your interview is in person, it's best to wear full business attire. For men, a tie and suit jacket will never fail. For women, a sharp blouse and business pants or skirt should suffice.
If your medical school interview is virtual, don't take it as an opportunity to roll out of bed and into the meeting! You might only be in your home office or bedroom, but it's still important to look and feel your best. Imagine you're going into the admissions office and dress as if you were meeting potential future medical school mentors, faculty, and staff.
2. Take Care of Yourself Before the Interview
Set yourself up for success by making sure that you are at your best -- both mentally and physically. Get a good night sleep prior to the interview, eat well and drink plenty of water.
If you're physically going to the admissions office, map out the route you're going to take to get to the interview and allow yourself sufficient time to get there. Build in extra time to accommodate traffic and other possible delays.
It may feel over-the-top, but consider even repeating positive mantras to yourself the night before and morning of the interview. Remind yourself why you're capable, and you'll be sure to walk in feeling ready!
3. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
While you won't be able to guess every question you'll face during your med school interview, there are a few general topics you can expect to have come up.
You'll want to be able to answer questions about your research experience, academic background, employment, leisure and extracurricular activities.
In addition, don't be surprised if you are asked to detail why you want to become a doctor. You also might be quizzed about current ethical issues or relevant medical problems.
In the days leading up to the interview, have a friend or family member run through a practice interview with you. Take it seriously, and use the rehearsal as a chance to get your nerves out of the way. That way, you won't be flustered and over-practicing the morning of the big day.
4. Keep Your Cool
It's not unusual for a med school interview to include situations and questions that are designed to make you feel uncomfortable. These are designed to give the interviewers an idea of how you might perform while stressed or when you are in a challenging situation.
The key here is to relax. Take your time working out how you want to answer the question that's been presented. Focus on articulating what you want to say in a clear and detailed manner.
If you've been asked a question that throws you for a loop, first take a deep breath. The interviewers are not here to see you fail, so be honest with them if you want to think through the situation thoroughly before giving an answer.
Everyone in the interview room will know that it's a nerve-wrecking situation. Simply remember that you're there to prove your potential to think through tough situations on the fly, and that you're willing to learn things you may not know yet.
5. Ask the Right Questions During Your Interview
It's important to think about the medical school interview as more than just a vetting process for the admissions department. Instead, the interview is also an opportunity for you to determine if the school is a good fit for your goals and personality.
Some questions to ask during your medical school interview include:
- Are students involved in volunteer and/or community service?
- Will students have computer facilities available to them? Is this component an integral part of the curriculum?
- Is guidance on debt management and budgeting as a med student available?
- Does the school have a diverse student body and are support services available for them?
- Describe how students are academically evaluated and how are clinical evaluations are handled.
- Do you have any advice for prospective med students?
Don't forget one of the most important aspects of your medical school interview prep: following up. Send a thank-you letter -- either to each individual or to the entire committee. Jot down a few brief notes after your interview so you can use them to personalize your letters.
Taking the time to prepare for your med school interview might seem like it is one more thing to add to your already-crowded to-do list. However, doing so demonstrates a commitment to the school and that you are prepared to put in the hard work to be successful.
Want to learn more about the Trinity interview process? Contact us today!