Whether or not we were rooting for the Patriots or the Seahawks, we all watched the Super Bowl and really enjoyed Katy Perry’s performance during the halftime show. There were certain people that noticed something was a little off during her performance but I didn’t realize until the next day when I saw headlines about it. All of the headlines mentioned one thing… the Left Shark. I watched the YouTube video over and over again as I bet most of you did. It was clear as day. The left shark had no idea what he was doing and was completely out of sync with the other less famous shark, Right Shark. Now I want you to know, my heart went out to the Left Shark because he would be known as the infamous Left Shark that messed up Katy Perry’s performance. But after my initial reaction, all I could think about was “how could this happen during the Super Bowl?”

PREPARE WELL

Performing in front of a large audience is a pretty difficult task as is participating in an interview for medical schools. So how do you make sure that you don’t end up looking like Left Shark at your interviews? Easy, prepare well. Interviews are just like performances, it is a chance for you to show people who you are. Making sure that you take the time to practice different types of questions so that a difficult question does not throw you off is key. You need to become comfortable with environments that may not be very comfortable. Maybe Left Shark did not get to practice on that huge Super Bowl stage in front of thousands of football fans and when he got up to perform he was completely out of his zone. Who knows what exactly happened to Left Shark but there is one thing for sure, it was pretty obvious that he was not well prepared. And this is exactly what you want to avoid, looking as if you are unprepared. When you don’t prepare, it will be easy to compare you with your fellow applicants just like it was easy to compare Left Shark with Right Shark and be able to tell that Left Shark was not prepared.

PRACTICE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

The best way to prepare for your interview is to get a list of commonly asked medical school interview questions and have someone ask you them and you reply as if you are actually at the interview. This helps to raise the stake a little bit higher than if you just practice the questions by yourself. Another great way to be ready for random questions is to look up random ones that have been asked previously. The purpose of this technique is not to “memorize” responses to random questions but rather to get better at answering questions. Interviewers are not looking for one “correct” response to a random question, they just want to hear your thought process. That is actually what medicine is all about, your thought process. So by practicing with random questions, you will be ready even when a question is asked from left-field and instead of dodging around like Left Shark, you will be well-prepared and it will show.