What Should You Wear to Your Med School Interview?

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What should I wear?

“What Should You Wear?” 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.

Now you know what to say. But what should you wear?

For the men, suits are most common. You want to dress neatly and professionally. Applicants should have their hair groomed and it is best to wear business style walking shoes.

Women, on the other hand, do not need to wear a suit but often do choose to. Some color is fine but make sure it’s in good taste – not overdone. Applicants should not wear a lot of make-up or jewelry and they should definitely wear shoes that are comfortable.

The key is to wear something you feel comfortable in and even more importantly, something you feel confident wearing. Be professional. Remember you have been selected based on your credentials on paper. The interview is your chance to present yourself personally. You want to look and act like a physician, someone that will be treating future patients.

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

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• Interviewing with Impact: How to Make an Impression in Your Med School Interviews
• Common Myths about Medical School Interviews
• Introducing the MMI (Multiple Mini Interview)

How to Ace the MMI Interview

Want more advice for nailing your Multiple Mini Interview?

View the other applicants as your future classmates (not your competitors!)

Since the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format can be difficult to prepare for, this post will give you four specific strategies for success.

There are four main types of stations: traditional interview questions, debate questions, collaborative activities, and fake scenarios with actors. To excel in this multi-faceted type of interview:

Before the Interview–Review your AMCAS Application.

To prepare for the traditional interview questions, reviewing your AMCAS application can help you remember all of the activities you have been involved in so that when you are asked a question about team work or meaningful clinical or volunteer experiences, you will be able to quickly recall the activities that would work best as examples. It’s easy for an interviewer to see if an applicant has not recently reviewed her AMCAS application or resume because she often uses the same job over and over again or forgets to represent the full range of her life experiences.

During the Interview:

1. Think out loud.

Remember that this interview format is all about thinking on your feet. When you are given a challenging situation, talk through it, whether it is a debate question, a team activity, or a fake scenario with an actor. Consider all possible options and solutions. Brainstorm. It takes time to come up with good ideas so don’t hesitate to throw out as many ideas as you can before you find the one that will work best for the situation at hand.

2. Ask questions.

Get curious. Often the best way to resolve an issue or to find a solution is to collect enough information to make an informed decision. Phrase your questions thoughtfully so that you will get the information that you need in the shortest amount of time possible. This strategy can be used for multiple stations. Often, finding out what the other person’s main objective or goal may be can provide a shortcut to a happy resolution and an A-1 answer.

 3. Share your life experiences.

Empathy is defined by our ability to understand and feel what others are going through. Some of the most difficult stations at the MMI may involve actors who are expressing strong emotions—anger, grief, and fear. Rather than being overwhelmed by these emotions, sometimes giving in to them—empathizing—can be the best strategy. Sharing a story about a similar experience that you have had can help to calm a person down more quickly than dispensing advice. Think of a time when you have been in distress. What were the things that other people did to help you manage the situation?

Rather than viewing the other applicants interviewing with you as competitors, see them as your future classmates. You may have a lot to laugh about in the fall, if you survive the MMI experience together.  While you can expect a challenging interview experience, with highs and lows, focus on doing your best.  Hopefully the strategies above will make it easier for you to accomplish this goal and to earn an acceptance!

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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:

• Introducing the MMI (Multiple Mini Interview)
• Multiple Mini Interview: Method or Madness?
The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success

Sample Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

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

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!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

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

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.

MMI Webinar CTA

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

Typical Medical School Interview Questions

Want more advice for acing your med school interviews?

Come to your interview prepared to show that you are a good fit for the program.

“Typical Interview Questions” 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

Enter interview day ready to share what you feel you can contribute to the entering class and why you are confident you are a good match for this particular program. You will have already spent loads of time looking inward at yourself and outward at your target program – so these points should be no-brainers by now.

The structure of the interview usually goes as follows: First there are initial questions to get to know you and help you relax; then the interviewer will move onto some standard questions; and then there will be some personal questions about your experiences and then some thought-provoking questions. You’ll find examples in each of these categories below.

Initial Questions to Help You Relax

A good interviewer will work hard to help you relax initially so that you have a conversation, rather than a cut and dry Q&A session. Typical questions in this category include:

• Tell me about your parents? Your siblings?

• How was your trip here? Is this your first trip to our city? What do you think of the weather?

• What are your favorite sports teams?

• What are your hobbies?

Standard Questions about Your Education and Your Interest in Med School

Then the interviewer will move on to some basic question about your interest in med school:

• Why do you want to go to medical school?

• Explain your transcript discrepancies from your undergraduate record.

• Share your most meaningful extracurricular activity.

• Describe a time when you were in a caring role.

• Describe your clinical exposure. Was there significant patient contact?

• What was your most rewarding volunteer position?

• Describe your research exposure? What it bench or clinical?

• Describe the activities you had during your gap year?

• Why did you enroll in a post-baccalaureate program?

Personal Questions

Then the mood may change as the interviewer turns towards some more personal questions in an effort to better get to know you. These may include:

• Have you ever experienced adversity? How did you respond?

• What qualities do you possess that make you confident you can be a physician?

• What are your strengths? Your weaknesses?

• What are you most proud of?

• Who has had the greatest impact on your life, helping you get to where you are today?

Thought-Provoking Questions

They’ll then want to pick your brain a bit with questions such as these:

• Interviewers often challenge applicants with an ethical question which may be related to any number of controversial areas such as: What are your views on [choose any of these controversial issues – abortion/right to life/assisted suicide/Medicare/DNR]?

• Where do you envision yourself ten years from now professionally?

• How do you envision the field of health care in ten years?

• Do you think the U.S. is moving to managed care? Is this best? Will physicians lose all autonomy?

In a nutshell, you can expect questions to help you relax and questions that may challenge you. You can also anticipate questions about you, about healthcare, and about matters that will allow you to show fit with this particular medical school.

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

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

How to Ace Your Medical School Interview
Multiple Mini Interview – Method or Madness?
Free Medical School Admissions Guides