Purpose of the Interview
During the interview, the interviewer is looking for the following:
- Communication skills. For instance, you may ask questions, but make certain that you have read the school's catalogue and website first. Do not ask, "Do you have a program in neurobiology?" but rather, "Tell me about your program in neurobiology."
- Personality, maturity, and the ability to relate to others.
- Motivation, concern, or compassion for others. If you can discuss lab research experience or an internship with another doctor or volunteer work in an emergency room, do so. Do not generalize. Be specific about observations of patients or accounts of your work. If you had a family experience with illness or disability and it was an important part of your motivation, describe it.
- Meaningful experiences in and out of the classroom and in life.
- Evidence of creativity, original thinking, independent thinking, and leadership.
- Interviewers like to see you stick to one or two extracurricular activities. If you have been in many, stress only one activity that you have enjoyed the most.
- Ability to cope with stress. What obstacles have you overcome and how? What would you do differently if you had the chance? What was your hardest decision? Here you may have the opportunity to explain flaws or weaknesses or expand on your credentials. For weaknesses, assume responsibility for yourself and your academic experiences. If there is a weakness on your application, be prepared to discuss it.
- Depth of commitment. If you are asked why you want to be a doctor, dentist, etc., don't just say that you want to help people. There are many professions that help people. They will be very unimpressed with this answer.
Be honest in all your answers so that you may defend them convincingly. Most interviewers have encountered hundreds of applicants and have heard almost everything. We suggest that you be confident about yourself without being abrasive.
Health professions are looking for capable, mature young persons. The interview will give you an opportunity to demonstrate your capabilities.