Congratulations! You have been identified as one of the most promising applicants for medical school this application cycle. Follow these seven steps to ensure that you will ace your interview and receive an acceptance:
While you may be nervous about embarking on the next step in your journey, don’t forget to celebrate each small victory along the way. Take some time to fully acknowledge all of the people and effort that have contributed to your success. Share the good news and express your gratitude!
• Stay Active
To ensure that you will be in the most positive frame of mind, work out at least three times a week. Staying physically active will allow you to burn off all that nervous energy and help you to regain your focus while increasing your endorphins. The closer it gets to the interview, work out more frequently but not to the point of injury. Exercise has been proven to increase mental acuity—this will help you stay sharp and focused on your goal!
• Review your AMCAS application
The most important thing you can do to prepare for an interview is to review your AMCAS application every day leading up to the interview as well as the secondary essays you submitted to the school. Reminding yourself of all of your experiences will make it easier for you to answer specific questions about them and to provide an overall timeline of what you have done to prepare for medical school.
• Update your CV/Resume
Arriving at your interview with copies of your updated CV/Resume and reviewing it on the way will help you appear organized and focused. If it’s a traditional interview, it may guide the direction of your conversation. Use it as an opportunity to update the interviewer on what you have been doing since you submitted your application.
• Research the School
Take some time to read the school’s website. If you have friends or family attending the school, contact them to ask questions about what they do and don’t like about studying there. You should prepare at least three questions for your interviewer(s) that demonstrate your knowledge of their curriculum, special programs and volunteer opportunities in the community.
• Prepare with Mock Interviews
Whether it’s a traditional interview or a MMI (mini multiple interviews), mock interviews are the best way to prepare yourself for the actual interview day. Running through all possible questions and scenarios can help you formulate the strategies that will earn you the most points! Take the time to practice. Mocks will not only ease your mind but give you an edge!
• Test Drive your Interview Outfit
While that suit or outfit may look fabulous on the hanger, you won’t know until you try it on whether the buttons are loose or if it would benefit from a visit to the tailor. Wear the outfit you’re planning on using for the interview for a few hours and see it is comfortable and professional enough for the interview. You don’t want to have any wardrobe malfunctions when you’re traveling and unable to find a replacement. It wouldn’t hurt to bring a couple of back-up outfits, just in case.
Having helped students successfully prepare for medical school interviews for almost a decade, I hope that the tips that I have shared will lead to a wonderful experience and that you will be offered an acceptance. Most importantly, be yourself. And answer the questions honestly and thoughtfully. Good luck!
Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.
Learn how to get Columbia’s attention by following the tips in Get Accepted to Columbia Business School, an on-demand webinar that we just posted to our site for anytime viewing. The webinar aired live last month and was a huge success, so if you missed it or if you attended and would like to review, then you’ll want to tune in to the online recording for not-to-be-missed advice on how to snag that Columbia acceptance.
Don’t you want to make sure you’re approaching Columbia’s application properly? View Get Accepted to Columbia Business School for free now!
1. Law schools want people who are likable. Contrary to any bad lawyer jokes, law schools are looking for people who like people. They are looking for people who will contribute to classroom discussions and engage with other students in a positive way. This attribute can be shown through the personal statement as well as thoughtful letters of recommendation from people who know you and your work well.
2. Law schools are looking for people who are interesting. Grades and LSAT scores are important, but law schools also want people with interests outside of school. Anything that you’ve engaged in for a significant length of time can qualify.
3. Law schools want a diversity of backgrounds. Sometimes people think they should enter the law because they are good at debate. But, in fact, law schools look for people of all backgrounds – people who’ve studied the liberal arts, people who’ve studied economics, people who’ve studied political science, people who’ve studied the physical sciences.
4. Law schools want people who are eager to learn. Most law schools do not anticipate that you know exactly what type of law you’d like to practice when you apply. While many applicants have some experience in a legal setting, it’s not essential to emphasize that you understand the law. Instead, you should focus on what about the study of law interests you. Is it working with people? Is it analytic thinking? Is it writing and research? As many schools move to an emphasis on advocacy and hands-on experiences during the third year, it can also help to think about what sort of clinical experience you’d like to gain.
5. Law schools wants people who can write well. While law is changing as a field, the cornerstone of law school is reading and writing. Law schools will look to your personal statement to see how clearly you can express yourself.
Jessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s PostBacc Program and teaches writing at all levels.
On one hand, the new USC Marshall MBA essay question is very focused: goals, why Marshall. There is a little twist, however, which gives the question an intriguing complexity: personal and/or professional goals… What does this twist say about Marshall? That the adcom trusts you to frame your goals in the most meaningful way, and to reveal or not reveal personal considerations and plans as you see fit. Knowing yourself – what you want and need and why, and knowing how to present and share what’s important about you will be keys to contributing to Marshall’s collaborative community and making productive use of Marshall’s flexible program. In this one essay, convey that knowledge.
Required Essay: What are your short-term and long-term personal and/or professional goals following graduation from USC Marshall? How will USC Marshall enable you to develop or improve your skills in order to reach your goals? (500-700 words)
Most people will want to address professional goals in this essay, and I suggest doing so. As far as personal goals, there is no one formula that works for everyone; some may address this point extensively, and some not at all – and both approaches may be exactly right for those particular applicants. That said, there is not necessarily a solid line between personal and professional goals, and so if you address (a) how you intend your career to develop and (b) how you want to grow through the MBA experience, that will likely be just fine, and you needn’t worry about personal versus professional.
The key is to be specific about whatever goals you do discuss. Clarify why the goal is important to you, and give some concrete and practical expression of what achieving it will look like. Don’t forget to discuss both short- and long-term goals, and for the former, for professional goals be specific about industry, function, type of company, perhaps geography.
In explaining how USC Marshall will facilitate these goals, cite particular qualities and aspects of the program that address your learning and growth needs, and/or your academic or professional interests. Rather than citing 10 things you like about the program, focus on the top 2-4 in some depth, with thoughtful insight about their applicability to you.
Optional essay: Please provide any additional information that you believe is important and/or will address any areas of concern that will be beneficial to the Admissions Committee in considering your application. (250 words)
This question invites you to both discuss points that will enhance your application and explain anything that needs explaining (e.g., gap in employment, choice of recommender, etc.). For the former, if you ask the adcom to read additional material, make sure that it truly illuminates and is germane to your candidacy. It should not be something that is just nice for the adcom to know.
Re-application Essay: Please describe any significant professional, personal, or academic growth since your last application to the USC Marshall School of Business. Discuss your specific professional goals and how the USC Marshall Full-Time Program will help you achieve these goals. (500 words)
The key to a successful reapplication is to show growth and that’s the job of this essay. At least one of the growth points you present should be professional – there are the obvious things like a promotion or a new project to lead, and less obvious things like new industry or functional exposure, informal leadership, a challenge or problem that “stretched” your skills and perspective. In describing goals, if they’ve changed from the previous application, note why.
Cindy Tokumitsu is the author and co-author of numerous ebooks, articles, and admissions guides, including Why MBA and Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her fifteen years with Accepted.com.
…that doesn’t mean that you can’t get into med school! Medical school admissions boards are looking for well-rounded students, and while high stats are certainly important, it IS possible to highlight some of your other super strengths and still get accepted. There are also other routes you can take (DO programs, international programs, taking additional courses, etc.) that will do wonders to your profile if you find yourself in a situation with less-than-perfect stats.
What can you do NOW to increase your chances of getting in? Read up on essential tips and information in our new admissions guide, Applying to Medical School with Low Stats: What You Need to Know. This 16-page report will become your trusted companion as you make the journey towards med school acceptance.
Don’t let your low MCAT or GPA get you down! Download Applying to Medical School with Low Stats: What You Need to Know to get started on your admissions adventure today!