Prepare for the interview
You've been invited to an interview -- now what? As your interview date approaches, there are several steps you can take to set yourself up for success. Above all else, be honest and do your best to help the interviewer get to know the real you. If you need a moment to collect your thoughts, ask for it. If you don't know the answer to a question, showcase your interest and eagerness to learn more. Use examples to "show" rather than "tell" them who you are. Interviewers are not looking for perfect answers to every question - they are simply looking to get to know you and better understand who you are as a candidate for their program.
In the weeks and months leading up to your interview, continue to familiarize yourself with current issues in medicine. Health professions schools are looking for lifelong learners who are intensely curious about their field of interest. Expect to be ask questions pertaining to current events, issues, and research advancements.
- Diagnosis by Dr. Lisa Sanders and Patient Voices in The New York Times
- TED Talks about bioethics, healthcare, and emerging research areas
- Journal of the American Medical Association and Journal of the American Dental Association (available through the UVM Libraries)
- Look for podcasts, books, and articles created or written by patients, doctors, medical/dental students, and researchers
Research the Program
Familiarize yourself with the institution you are interviewing with, including the school's mission, curricular style, and clinical experiences. Prepare questions of your own for the interviewers, but make sure they are not already answered on the program's website. Remember that you are interviewing them, too, in order to determine if the program meets your needs and interests.
Schedule an appointment with a career counselor or ask a friend to help you practice answering questions out loud. Becoming more comfortable speaking about your interests, skills, and experiences is a critical part of interview preparation. Consult the Career Center's guide to interviewing for tips on approaching different kinds of interview questions, along with a list of sample questions you might be asked.
Some programs offer Multiple Mini-Interviews (MMIs) rather than traditional long-form interviews. Applicants move through a series of sessions, each of which focus on a specific aspect of their skill set. Each session includes 1-2 interviewers who present the same question, scenario, or task to each applicant. A single session will likely take less than 10 minutes, and you might complete six to ten sessions.
- Question sessions involve an interviewer asking an applicant a question and a series of follow-up questions. These aim to gauge your communication skills, professionalism, and thought processes.
- Scenario sessions involve an interviewer, an actor, and the applicant. You will be given a scenario prompt and asked to interact with a trained actor based on that prompt. This is where you might showcase your social skills or problem-solving ability.
- Task scenarios are where you will be asked to attempt to complete a task, potentially while working with another applicant. You may be evaluated by your teamwork or communication skills.
Although some students think this format sounds intimidating, having several mini interviews lowers the stakes of each individual interaction.
Learn more about MMIs:
- What it's Like to Participate in Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs) from the Association of American Medical Colleges