Important Med School Interview Advice
January 7, 2014
Question 1: What is the best advice you would give someone before their interview?
Answer: By the time you’ve made it to the interview phase, you possess the credentials to attend medical school. You have a solid MCAT, decent GPA, good extracurriculars and the admissions committee wants to speak with you personally to get a better feel for who are you. That should be really encouraging! You’re already a pre-med baller.
To build on that already solid pre-med application, the advice that I give students about the interview is that you should be yourself. There’s no point in lying about who you are, your passions or why you’re hoping to attend medical school at this point in the application process.
In theory, you’ve impressed the committee with your application and they are looking for personal and academic characteristics that would make you a good fit for their university. If you’re honest about what makes you tick, your interviewer will pick up on that and ideally you’ll be accepted to a medical school with which you’re compatible.
For example, I would not excel at a university where competition between students is the driving motivation for doing well. I prefer a collaborative environment where students work together so that everyone can achieve and I was honest about that in my interviews. Due to my honest assessment, I ended up in a university that values student cooperation. If you just own who you are and are honest, you’ll end up in the right spot.
Question 2: When can I expect to hear about my acceptance status? What if I end up on the waitlist?
Answer: This question is a doozy. For some people, the wait is a few days or a week and for others it’s a several months-long emotional roller-coaster. This is an important question to ask the admissions folks at your interview, as each school has a different procedure and policy for notifying interviewees. You’ll kick yourself later if you don’t find out what your expected wait time is. Most schools will give you a time-frame, but you should at least expect to hear by late April/early May.
The advice that I want to give you about ending up on the waitlist is that you shouldn’t give up hope. One of my class co-presidents found out that she was accepted to medical school only a few days before orientation. It happens to hundreds of students each year and it could happen for you!
What questions about interviews do you have? I would love to help!
Emily has been a teacher for Kaplan for over six years; she's taught MCAT, ACT, SAT, SAT2 and tutored pretty much every subject under the sun in both the classroom and live online (aka Classroom Anywhere) settings. She's also worked for Kaplan in content development and teacher mentorship roles. Emily is currently a second-year medical student at the University of Colorado and is hoping to go into Pediatrics. She's involved in many campus opportunities such as being a Prospective Student Representative, admissions committee member, CU-UNITE member, and co-president of the Education and Teaching Interest Group. Prior to medical school, Emily got a BA in Biochemistry and Spanish from Lawrence University and a Masters in Public Health- Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. In her free time, Emily enjoys dancing, baking, playing tennis and exploring her new Colorado home.