Interview days can be difficult and tiring and there are a couple of things I have learned about interviews as the time has passed. I just had my first Residency interview a couple of weeks ago and it was not as bad as I thought it would be. I remember being downright exhausted after my medical school interviews and not sure whether or not I had done well enough to procure an acceptance to medical school.
Lesson #1: Interviews Get Better With Time
For my Residency interviews so far, I have not really done the “practice” questions that you use to practice when you are preparing for medical school interviews but surprisingly things have been going pretty well. I do remember putting in a lot of time before interviews practicing my response to the most commonly asked medical school interview questions. Since I put in a lot of time before my medical school interviews, now I feel like I am a professional at answering the typical medical student interview questions. Moral of the story is… practice practice practice. Practicing now will make your medical student interviews better and will help you with future interviews also. So naturally, as the interview season proceeds, you will get better and better. Do not fret if your first interview does not go as well as you would want because you are just getting your feet wet.
Lesson #2: Be Prepared
For each interview invitation, make sure you do your homework on that particular school. Everyone thinks that this a given but honestly I have seen many applicants who are not prepared for their interview. Preparation includes looking up information about the medical school prior to your interview so you are not that one person who keeps asking questions that everyone knows or are already listed on the website. Also, if someone asks you if you have any questions (especially after your interview), you should have 4-5 questions prepared well in advance and written down. The reason it is important to write down your questions is because when you are nervous you will not be able to recall your questions. interviewers do not mind you referring to your notepad or notebook for questions. This shows that you were thinking about the school which lets interviewers know that you care about their specific institution.
Lesson #3: Don’t Be Someone You’re Not
I really hated the “be yourself” advice that people always tell you prior to interviews. After having gone through interviews in many different scenarios, I have realized this to be true. The reason people always say “be yourself” is because when you try and act like someone else, that is when people come off weird. This can be a red flag for many interviewers. This is why it is better to just act like yourself, which is what you are comfortable with. You may think you are really good at acting like someone you are not but it is pretty obvious when you go on interviews who is not acting like themself.