Step 4: Interview Day
The interview day normally consists of six parts: a welcome from the admissions office, information sessions on the curriculum, financial aid, etc., a lunch (usually with students), a student-led tour, two interviews, and a wrap-up session.
At most schools, you will have two 30-45 minute interviews with a member of the admissions committee, physician from the community, faculty member, student, or administrator. When you first arrive at the school, you’re likely to receive your personal schedule of events, including the names of those interviewing you.
You should treat every interaction during the interview day as if that person is evaluating you, so act accordingly. This even applies to the medical students you meet.
The Interview is a Two-Way Street
The interview is a time for the admissions committee to check you out as a possible student; however, you should also approach the interview day as chance to determine whether or not you would want to attend that particular medical school. Based on information you have found on the school’s website, identify the aspects of that program that you wish to learn more about. Don’t ask anything that can be easily researched by going on the school’s website; instead, ask probing, in-depth questions.
Always answer “yes” when your interviewer asks you if you have any questions for him/her. Take the time to think of the questions that shed further light on what is important to you.
At the end of the interview, many interviewers will often ask you if there is anything else you’d like to say before ending the interview. You should definitely use this opportunity to say something that you think should be said but didn’t have a chance to say during the interview. If you don’t have anything specific to add, use this time to reiterate your main points.
Your appearance will be the first impression you make on the interviewer, so dress conservatively. Decide on your attire well in advance of the interview. Perfume or cologne should be used sparingly, if at all. Men should wear a suit and a tie. Women should wear a suit, dress, or skirt and blouse. Be aware of possible distractions like dangling earrings and plunging necklines. Shoes should be close-toed. If you have a hard time walking around in high-heels, you should also bring a pair of comfortable shoes for the school tour.
One suit or dress should be enough to get you through the interview season. You don’t need a new outfit for every interview unless you want one. If you have a bunch of interviews in a row, arrange to have your outfit dry cleaned.