Sample Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

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Prepare Questions!

“Sample Questions to Ask Your Interviewer” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success. To download the entire free special report, click here

Since your goal should be to come up with questions that are specific to your situation, I can’t give you a list of must-ask questions without knowing who YOU are. But here are a few sample questions that you can review and tweak so that the questions are more appropriate for YOU:

If you are interviewing with med school alum or a second-year student, then you should ask questions about their experiences, for example:

• Who are/were some of your favorite professors? Favorite classes?

• What is/was a typical day like for you?

• Are there clubs or activities that you would recommend for someone interested in XYZ? What clubs are/were you involved in? How important do you think it is to be involved in extracurricular activities?

• If you could change anything about your experience at this program, what would it be?

You get the idea. You want to come up with questions that personalize you and that show you have an interest in your interviewer’s experience (if relevant).

Be specific, show that you’ve done your research, and most importantly, relax!

Click here to download your complete copy of The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success!

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Related Resources:

Interviewing with Impact: How to Make an Impression in Your Med School Interviews
• Multiple Mini Interview: Method or Madness?
• Common Myths about Medical School Interviews

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You can view the real-time rankings and check out CEO profiles here.

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Related Resources:

• How to Become a Management Consultant
• Consulting at Top MBA Programs
• MBA In Sight: Focus on Management Consulting

Introducing the MMI (Multiple Mini Interview)

Want tips for acing your Multiple Mini Interviews?

Ready to create something out of spaghetti?

The Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) method was created in Canada. McMaster University published a research study in 2004 that examined using this new interview method to more accurately assess candidates for admission into medical school.  In their study, they found that the traditional interview format was not a reliable admissions tool because too often the interviewer was influencing the quality of the interview.  It’s expensive for students to fly to interviews—only to be interviewed by one or two people—who may or may not provide them with a fair interview or review for any number of factors.  By providing ten different stations, the McMaster MMI allowed students to interact with a wide range of evaluators.  The scores and feedback provided by a larger number of people served as a more accurate way to review the performance of applicants.  In the U.S., UCLA and UC Davis were the first medical schools to begin using this new interview format.  More and more schools are adopting this method.

The basic structure of the MMI in the U.S. includes:

An average of six to ten different stations.

A time limit at each station, as well as a time limit to prepare.

An evaluator to observe at each station.

Stations that may be held in an open area or small rooms.

The stations themselves are broken down into four main types of activities:

1. Traditional Interview Questions

Most schools will have a station or two with questions about why you want to go into medicine or what you have done to prepare yourself for a career in medicine. You can always expect to encounter these types of questions in any kind of interview.

2. Debate Questions

For this type of station, you will be given a topic and instructions on whether you will be arguing for or against the topic assigned. Often you will be given some time to prepare and a time limit to present your argument.  At the end, you will need to provide feedback on the other student’s response.

3. Team Activities

The types of team activities offered varies widely from campus to campus. Some schools have you draw a picture from verbal instructions only, other schools will have you work with another applicant to take turns building something with blocks and giving instructions. Or you will have to work as a team to create something together using blocks, nails or even spaghetti and marshmallows.

4. Actors and Fake Scenarios

The actors who participate in the stations will often present you with a fake situation in which you have to respond to their distress, anger, grief or other strong emotions. The evaluator wants to see how many strategies you have in relating to others and resolving conflicts of any nature.  These stations give you a chance to demonstrate how you think on your feet.

While it is difficult to know how to prepare for this type of interview, understanding why it is used and its basic structure will help you begin to strategize. This format will ensure that you are given a fair evaluation.  It’s designed to help them identify the strengths that you will bring to your medical training.

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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.

Related Resources:

• Multiple Mini Interview: Method or Madness?
Interviewing with Impact: How to Make an Impression in Your Medical School Interviews
The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success

Study More, Study Better: Advice from a 4th Year Med Student

Click here for more med school student interviews!This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Evan Kuhl…

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?

Evan: I’m from Louisville, KY and went to Bellarmine University for undergrad, where I received a BA in biology with a chemistry minor. Bellarmine is unique in that they offer an undergraduate gross anatomy course which does an excellent job in preparing students for medical school gross anatomy courses. The Bellarmine University biology department works hard to make sure students going on to medical school are very well prepared, and I found many of my undergraduate books to be the same ones recommended for my medical school courses.

Accepted: What year are you at University of Louisville School of Medicine?

Evan: I’m currently a fourth year med student.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about your program? And if you could change one thing about the program, what would it be?

Evan: My favorite part of Louisville is the people. The faculty, administration, and support staff are always great to work with. It’s not uncommon for faculty to roam the library to answer questions, stay late to explain a concept, and provide detailed study guides for complex material.

During my first two years of med school my biggest complaint was our study space; the building had not been renovated in many years, but they have actually just finished renovating the entire school with more modern lecture halls, really nice group study rooms and a new student lounge.

Accepted: Can you share some advice to incoming first year students, to help make their adjustment to med school easier? What do you wish you would have known at that point in time?

Evan: My biggest piece of advice is to start off studying more than you think you need to. After the first test, re-evaluate your study habits and decide what is working best.

At the same time, make sure you still have time for non-med school activities; running, hobbies, etc. You’ll study better if you’re able to keep up with your normal stress-relieving activities.

I wish someone had stressed to me the importance of learning the material by understanding, not just memorizing. If you learn material through understanding the process/pathway/ physiology, you’re more likely to remember it for later tests, such as Step 1 and Step 2. Everything you learn in your first two years you will need later, so take the time to learn it well the first time.

Accepted: How important do you think pre-med clinical experience is? What sorts of clinical experiences did you have before med school and how did they contribute to your decision to attend med school?

Evan: Pre-med clinical experiences are extremely important to me. As an undergrad student, I worked in EMS and in a local ER as a tech. I spent a lot of time working with care providers and providing care directly. Although I had already decided I wanted to attend med school, this type of work definitely solidified that decision. Anyone thinking about attending med school needs to have more than just a few hours of shadowing before really deciding to pursue medicine.

When it came time first and second year to learn basic exam techniques, interview skills, and practice basic patient interactions I was far ahead of the game. This carried over into third and ever fourth year, as I was much more at ease working with patients and staff. I also had hands-on shadowing experience which made me much more comfortable placing IVs, suturing wounds, and other simple tasks that can help streamline patient care and make more time for teaching.

Accepted: Did you go straight from college to med school? Or did you take time off?

Evan: I did go straight from college into medical school at an allopathic program. Looking at how competitive many residencies are becoming (with increasing numbers of competitive international and osteopathic students applying) I would recommend trying to not have any lapses in your education timeline.

Although having a year off to backpack through Europe sounds attractive, I would probably try to fit it in your summer before.

If you do find yourself stuck with a year off between application cycles, I would recommend getting some research or work experience, or finding a masters program that could help fill your resume.

Accepted: Looking back, what was the most challenging aspect of the med school admissions process? How did you approach that challenge and overcome it?

Evan: Neither of my parents are physicians, and I had little to no interaction with the medical community before med school, so just learning how to apply and what was expected of a applicant was the hardest part. I spent a lot of time online during my freshman year of college trying to figure out how to become a competitive candidate.

For me, it was important to layout the next three years into a plan, with goals along the way. I made sure I had all the required classes, research, and community projects I felt were important. Even before you are close to the admissions deadline, be sure to take a step back and evaluate yourself from an outside perspective.

Be sure to reach out to your professors as well, they usually have a keen since of what you should be doing.

Accepted: Do you have any other advice for our med school applicant readers?

Evan: Don’t forget to live. Medical school may be a major part of how you define yourself, but don’t forget about your family, friends, and the rest of the real world. You’ll be working hard and spending most of your time between books and wards, but it’s important to find a balance. I’ve found it’s easier to study and do well when I find time to go for a bike ride or not skip that family gathering.

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of med school admissions services.

You can follow Evan’s adventure by checking out his website, evankuhl.com. Thank you Evan for sharing your story with us!

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

Download your free  copy of 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Application Essays!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

Insights, Advice and Experiences of a Non-Traditional Med Student [Podcast Interview]
• Medical School Interviews: Preparing for the Big Day
• 5 Questions to Help You Decide Where to Apply to Med School

3 Ways to Get in Shape for Your Multiple Mini Interview

Click here to reserve your spot at Multiple Mini Interview: Method or Madness?

Your Multiple Mini Interview is coming up. Are you prepared? Here are three things you can do NOW to ensure totally MMI fitness:

1. Learn the ropes. Once you understand how an MMI works, you’ll be a lot more confident walking in. While you can’t know every question in advance, you can certainly familiarize yourself with the interview concepts covered, significantly increasing your readiness.

2. Rest up. Like a triathlete (which is not so unlike an MMI interviewee), you’ll need to do lots of prep, but the night before the interview/race, you need to take it easy. Relax and get a good night’s sleep. Exhausted competitors don’t generally fare well!

3. Register for our new webinar! Sign up for Multiple Mini Interview: Method or Madness? to learn additional secrets to beating the MMI! See details below.

Date: Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Time: 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST

Registration link: Multiple Mini Interview: Method or Madness?

Click here to save your spot!

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