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What is a medical interview like and what questions are asked?

Medical School Admissions Interview

Ninety percent of unsuccessful interviews are a result of one of two common mistakes made by interviewees. One is being under prepared to answer a specific question; the other is being over prepared. Underpreparation results from the misconception that because it is not possible to predict with accuracy the specific questions that will be asked, it is impossible and/or inefficient to practice answers. The telltale signs of this mistake are meandering, disorganized replies to open-ended questions, contradictions, and redundancies.

The second pitfall, that of overpreparedness, results when good intention is combined with poor strategy. People who make this mistake are easily stumped by unusual questions and may give stilted and overrehearsed answers to more common questions. They might appear to be stiff and nervous, and can even come across as bad listeners, since their answers (though well organized and pointed) do not consistently address the question that was asked. Also, their ability to adapt easily to different interviewers and interview styles is inhibited, making it difficult for them to establish rapport.

This lesson will present a method of preparation that will help you avoid both these pitfalls. The method stresses both preparedness and flexibility. It takes into account the fact that you can neither predict specific questions nor rely on individually prepared answers.

What we will help you do is prepare generally for the specific. This method of preparation takes advantage of the fact that each of the thousands of possible questions that might be asked is derived from one of a handful of basic categories. We will introduce these general categories and list examples of the specific questions that comprise each. Then we suggest strategies for responding to each type of question.

Your job is this: For each category introduced, arm yourself with at least three points you would like to communicate about yourself and think of one or two specific details to support each. This will allow you to create a targeted, comprehensive set of answers to most of the questions you will be asked. With practice, you will be able to actively use the interviewer's questions (whatever they may be) to communicate the points you wish to make. This puts the control back into your hands, which should also help ease pre-interview jitters.

The Questions Interviewers Will Ask You

Interviewers are constantly coming up with new and creative questions to ask but no matter how different the question appears to...

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