Preparing for Your Interviews
Congratulations on your interview invitation! To secure an interview means that your hard work is paying off and you are one step closer to reaching your goal.
The purpose of the interview
As part of the admission process, applicants who are seriously being considered for admission are invited for an interview. The purpose of the interview is twofold:
- For the school to assess your social skills and how you would actually conduct yourself with patients. They want to know you as a person!
- For you to determine whether that school is a good match for you. You want to know them!
How to prepare
There are different interview formats, so we encourage you to find out which format the particular school you are visiting uses. Remember, the admission committee is confident in your intellectual skills and potential. The reason they invited you to interview in person is that they want to know whether you have the personal qualities that are needed to be a successful medical, dental, or veterinary student and a future physician, dentist, or veterinarian. For example, they are assessing your maturity, sensitivity, empathy, and self-knowledge as well as your communication skills. How well do you think on your feet?
It is reasonable to want to practice. After all, practice makes perfect! But remember you don’t want to sound rehearsed. In fact, in certain interview styles, you don’t even know what they are going to ask you. Therefore, our best advice is to be yourself! Be confident in your abilities and in who you are.
- Traditional interview: You will sit down with one person (a member of the faculty or admission committee or a medical student) for a meeting that might last 30 minutes. These interviews may be informal and much like a conversation, or they may be a series of questions and answers. You may have several interviews during your visit.
- Panel interview: You will be be interviewed by several people at a time.
- Group interview: You and other candidates will be interviewed by several people at a time.
- Multiple mini-interview (MMI): You will rotate between stations, interviewing with six to 10 interviewers. You may have one to two minutes to read a prompted question and then six to eight minutes to respond with an answer before moving on to the next station. The questions asked may be more traditional, or they may focus on ethical situations, puzzles, or scenarios. More and more medical schools are moving toward this style.