It is safe to say that the interviewing aspect is one of the most crucial portions of any medical school application process. At this stage, the individuals interviewing you believe that you are a strong candidate for their program and will determine whether or not the qualities on your resume match with you in person. Here are some tips and tricks any interviewee should utilize to make a strong and lasting impression in the Caribbean Medical School interview.
Once you have received an interview invitation, be sure to confirm immediately. By doing so, you are showing interest in the program and respect for both your time and theirs. Communication in the early stages of the interview process is crucial to determine where you will be meeting, at what time and with whom. On the day of the interview, be sure to arrive ahead of time allowing for weather conditions, traffic, directions, parking, etc. so that you will not be frazzled walking into your interview.
Before walking into any interview, it is crucial to do your own research. Learn more about who they are, what the school’s mission is, and how their program is set up. This will give you a glimpse of what they are looking for in their students, as well as providing information you can use as follow up questions in the interview.
Along with research, it is a good idea to run through some questions that may come up in the interview with a friend or mentor. This allows you time to think and structure your answers, so you are not caught off guard. However, on the flip side, you want to be sure your answers do not sound scripted. The best answers are genuine and speak to who you are as both a student and individual. Confidence is everything!
While you do not want to come off arrogant, by preparing yourself with questions an interviewer may ask, and writing down some of your own, you will become more relaxed with the process so that you are able to highlight your true self.
Attitude is Everything
From the moment that you walk into the school, or wherever the interview is taking place, you will be observed as to how you carry yourself. With that being said, be courteous and respectful to everyone you meet, from the administrative staff to students and to your interviewers. As physicians, one of the crucial qualities is the ability to clearly communicate and to work as a team.
Remember, a smile goes a long way; so does your body language. Be mindful that your hands and feet are still, not fidgeting or bouncing, and keep strong eye contact with the person interviewing you, especially when answering a question. Your phone, and any other electronic devices that may go off during the interview, should be turned off or put on do not disturb for the duration of the interview to avoid any distractions.
Ask Insightful Questions
While they are interviewing you, you are also interviewing them to determine whether or not you will be a strong fit for the program. It is strongly advised to write down insightful questions that you have about the program ahead of time. These are questions that you are not able to find on the school’s website. These questions can be about anything from the curriculum, student life, research opportunities, or even the local area. This shows you are prepared and interested in their program. If you choose not to write them down, you may forget good questions and have nothing to ask in return. By not asking any questions, you look disinterested in the school and what they have to offer.
Sending a Thank You Message
While a Thank You message to one or all interviewers is socially acceptable, it also allows for open communication with an individual(s) that can advocate for you on the admissions committee. This kind gesture is one of the many ways for you to stand out in an interviewer’s mind, separating you from all the other applicants.
In this message, it is important to highlight a unique conversation within the interview that resonated with you and made you think further on the subject. This will be your last chance to sell yourself before a decision is made.
ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Dr. Therese Massri