Receiving the news that you have an interview offer is thrilling – you are a huge step closer to admission to med or dental school. After the exhilaration of this new development wears off, your next step is to prepare so that you can make a great impression on interview day. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Research the school – “Why do you want to attend our school?” is a commonly asked interview question. A strong response will demonstrate that you are familiar with the school and are a great fit for the program. Read about the school and contact any current students or alumni that you know to get their insights about the school. Next, assess your background and interests and determine how those match with the school’s mission and program.
2. Review your application – You wrote it, but that doesn’t mean that you remember every word of it, especially since interviews may take place months after the primary was submitted. You could be asked about any detail on the application, so make sure that you brush up on your entire application package. Interviewers don’t necessarily focus on the most recent or relevant of your experiences, so the Ancient Greek History class you took freshman year could end up being a topic of conversation.
3. Purchase your interview attire – A suit is the expected attire for an interview and sends the message that you take the interview process seriously. It also helps the interviewer to envision you as a future physician or dentist, rather than as a student. For men, a suit and tie are the appropriate attire. For women, either a suit consisting of skirt and jacket or pants and jacket are appropriate. Conservative colors such as black and navy blue are ideal. While you can show some style in your choice of tie or accessories, save the fashion risks for another occasion.
4. Practice – No amount of reading or formulating answers will substitute for responding to questions in an interview setting. Practice with an advisor, teacher or mentor. Wear your interview attire and spend thirty minutes to an hour answering questions just as you would on interview day. Ask for feedback from the interviewer and consider using video so that you can see how you come across as a candidate.
More interview information and tips will be coming in future blog entries.
Good luck and get started preparing!