This is the second article of a three part series, "Logistics of the Medical School Interview"
Part 1: Getting to the Interview
By: Victor Lin, USC Keck School of Medicine
In the first part of our three part series on the logistics of the interview, we went over the details involved in getting to the interview day, such as planning flights, ground transportation, and lodging. This article will focus on the intricacies of the interview day once you show up to the campus.
The Interview Day
Most medical schools will arrange a number of events for you to sit through during the interview day. The typical interview day includes an introduction to the agenda of the interview day as well as the program, speakers to further delve into the details of the program, interviews with the faculty (and sometimes students), tour of the campus and hospital if easily accessible, lunch, and closing remarks.
Even though you are only formally evaluated during the interview, you should be the best version of yourself at every point throughout the day. Be genuine, kind, and pleasant with the admissions office staff, other applicants, and anybody you encounter that day. People you meet that day will say phrases such as “oh, don’t worry, we’re not evaluating you, so you can be yourself.” While the former may be true, red flags that show up when applicants relax too much and lean towards acting unprofessionally. Anybody affiliated with the program can talk to the admissions office and severely impact your chances at admissions.
Given the sizes of the applicant pool, interviews are likely to be staggered throughout the day and may have two sessions, i.e. a morning and afternoon group of interviews. This means you may have the tour first, have lunch, then interview. If that is the case, you would have to be especially careful during lunch not to accidentally stain your outfit. All the work you put in that morning to make yourself professionally presentable should not go to waste because of a salsa stain from the burrito they served at lunch.
If you have scheduling concerns about the interview day, you should contact the admissions office as soon as you can. This includes needing to leave the interview day slightly early to make it to your flight. Many applicants fly in the night before, stay nearby for the night, bring their luggage to the admissions office, then head straight to the airport for a flight back home that evening. Admissions offices are generally understanding and accommodating of applicants and their traveling needs, so do not hesitate to reach out to them and ask if you can leave your luggage in their office.
Congratulations! You have made it through the interview day. It may not be the easiest feat to be the best version of yourself the entire day, so you deserve to treat yourself for a job well done. Perhaps on your way back from the city you are interviewing in you can have a nice dinner or drop by the local bar in the airport. In our next article, we will look at what you should and should do after your interview.
- Oct 27, 2016 Logistics of the Medical School Interview: After the Interview (Part 3) Oct 27, 2016
- Oct 17, 2016 Logistics of the Medical School Interview: Succeeding on Interview Day (Part 2) Oct 17, 2016
- Oct 4, 2016 Logistics of the Medical School Interview: Getting to the Interview (Part 1) Oct 4, 2016
- Sep 15, 2016 Mapping a Successful AMCAS Application Timeline for Medical School Sep 15, 2016
- Jul 1, 2016 The Medicine Advantage: Meet Victor Lin Jul 1, 2016
- June 2016