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.