How to Prepare for Interviews
Where and How to Get Started Before the Interview
Dress the Part
Be conservative and professional but still comfortable
Types of Interviews to Expect
- Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)
What are MMIs?
- Involves multiple stations/rooms (2 minutes to read a scenario and 5-8 minutes to execute)
- The evaluation may be based on:
- How you answer the question
- How you emotionally react to the interviewers’ questions
- How you consider multiple or possible answers/perspectives
- How you respond to opinions that you disagree with
Do Your Research
- Know the program that you are interviewing for
- Know what questions to anticipate
- AAMC Core Competencies, NACE Core Competencies
- Youtube, Reddit, forums.studentdoctor.net (Keep in mind that everyone has different experiences/opinions)
Make a Cheat Sheet
- Make a sheet before each interview to review immediately before the interview:
- What specifically excites you about that program?
- What are some of your strengths (with examples) or weaknesses (with how you are improving on them)
- Outline for “Tell Me About Yourself”
- Review any application materials (personal statement, resume)
- Why did you want to pursue ____, as opposed to any other healthcare field?
You won’t know every question they are going to tell you, but you can practice how you articulate your skills/abilities and use these tools to build answers
- Make an appointment with Career Services
- Practice in front of a mirror
Interview Strategies & Tips – During the Interview
- Be nice to everybody and be prompt
- Know where you’re going and how long it will take to get there! Prepare any interviewing necessities
- Expect the unexpected – be flexible
- Take your student interviewer(s) seriously
- Anticipate any things on your application that might concern the interviewer (i.e. poor grades) and have an explanation ready – not an excuse or rationalization
- If possible, practice using the platform in advance (Check your window screen and microphone)
- Look at the camera when speaking – not your face
- Pick a quiet space
- Turn off phone and computer notifications
- How is your internet connection?
- Communicate with roommates
- Wear professional attire – don’t just wear your pajamas
- Check the time zone
General Interview Strategies
- What is the question really asking? (Questions can be asked multiple ways)
- Elaborate, but keep your answers relevant and positive
- Give examples to support what you say
- STAR interviewing techniques
Types of Interview Questions
- Questions about you, your qualifications, and/or your application materials
- Behavioral – Tell a story or give a specific example
- Scenario – You are given a hypothetical situation
- Stress – You are asked to complete a task
- Role Play
- “Tell me about yourself” → “I’ve reviewed a lot of applications…remind me of who you are, why you’re here, and why I should pay attention to the rest of the interview!”
- Create a structure to body your information
- Give an overview of your qualifications and interest in medicine
- Why have you chosen this career? Where did this interest come from?
- “What is your greatest weakness?” → “What are some areas that you will need additional support or development, and how are you working on these areas?”
- Give an honest assessment of what you anticipate the most challenging thing for you to do in medical school or as a healthcare professional
- Finish with what steps you take to improve on this weakness and what strategies you use
- Behavioral Questions – Asks you to tell a story or give a specific example
- Situation: Brief background for context
- Task or problem: What were you dealing with?
- Action: What did you do (lots of details!)?
- Result: What was the outcome? If it wasn’t successful, what did you learn?
- Scenario Questions – You are given a hypothetical situation and asked what you would do in that situation.
- Google is your friend! Research how professionals in medicine handle these difficult situations
- Apply the four pillars of medical ethics:
- Autonomy – How does this show respect for the patient and their right to make decisions?
- Non-Maleficence – Does this harm the patient?
- Justice – What are the consequences of this in the wider community?
- Beneficence – How does this benefit the patient?
After the Interview
Thank You Notes
- Why: Although this won’t make or break your application, this step to express genuine gratitude won’t go unnoticed
- Who do I send it to Anybody that you felt you had a meaningful conversation with? A representative on behalf of a department?
- The person who coordinated the interview? Those who had lunch or a one-on-one interview with you?
- When to send it: Ideally within 24 hours
- Email or handwritten: Ideally – email first, followed up by a handwritten note
Career Services Interviewing Workshop & Handout
American Association of Medical Colleges
Columbia University – Bioethics for Pre-Meds
Berkeley Pre-Health Advising – MMI Resources
UW – Ethics in Medicine
Harvard Office of Career Services
COBE Career Closet