Interview - Chemistry

Report
The Health
Professions School
Interview
SC 201: Fall, 2013
“The reward goes not to
him with the greatest
ability, but to him with the
greatest determination.”
-Voltaire
Factors Behind the Admissions Process
GPA and test scores are still very important
– You are intellectually qualified!
Once you have been chosen for an interview, the school is then
looking for the rest of the picture of you:
• Can you handle stress?
• Can you handle long hours?
• Are you dedicated to the field above all?
• What type of practitioner will you be?
• Empathy
• Selflessness
Most admissions committees now take this holistic approach to
selection
Factors Behind the Admissions Process
Admissions committees are also dedicated towards their
needs!
• Do you fit in with their mission?
• Class diversity
• Increases student understanding of and
compassion for a wide variety of individuals.
• Includes diverse ethnicities, life experiences,
geographic backgrounds, and approaches to
problem solving
• They need to understand why a student believes he
or she is a good fit for that institution
Factors Behind the Admissions Process
Admissions committees are also competing for you!
• If you made the interview, other schools may be
interested as well:
• Sell yourself because the school is trying to sell itself
to you!
• The people who interview you will be the people to
speak up for you during the admissions committee so
show your best face.
Factors Behind the Admissions Process
Admissions committees are also competing for you!
• If you made the interview, other schools may be
interested as well:
• Sell yourself because the school is trying to sell itself
to you!
• The people who interview you will be the people to
speak up for you during the admissions committee so
show your best face.
Styles of Interviews
Structures
• Individual, or one on one
interview
Types
• “Blind”: they have not seen
any other part of your
application
• Panel: several interviewers at
once
• “Partial blind”, usually have
seen everything but your
scores
• Multiple Mini Interview
(MMI)
• “Open”, up to the interviewer
whether they have read your
application
So you many get questions that
sound like they know nothing
about you, or quite a bit…
Preparation for the Interview
This is about you and a serious investment in a demanding
and life encompassing career.
Don’t be someone else you think would get into the health
professions school.
Preparation for the Interview
Well in advance of the interview:
• Before any interview, read up on the school you are visiting!
• Look at any info on the schools own website or from other sources.
• If you want to be taken seriously, you need to know something about
who you are meeting!
• Are there any programs you are curious about?
• Are you aware of any unique attributes about the institution?
• Anything you would like to know??
• You should have five questions ready for the school.
Preparation for the Interview
As the Interview Approaches: Practice SPEAKING.
• This cannot be overstated: Your interview is a conversation. Whether
you are shy or extroverted, you can become more at ease with
expressing yourself skillfully.
• It is a huge leap from “thinking your thoughts” to SPEAKING them
aloud. Practice so you can easefully translate your thoughts into verbal
communication with others.
• Get together with friends or family and have them ask you questions.
This gives you the chance to build your capacity to respond coherently
and be more relaxed, more “yourself.”
• Mock interviews are a plus – seek them out!
Preparation for the Interview
As the Interview Approaches: Know YOURSELF.
• An interview can have surprises, but if you gather your thoughts about
key questions you will be more flexible and “at the ready” for any
questions.
• When your stories and experiences are easily available in your mind,
you will feel much more at ease.
• Question examples include: Why do you want to practice medicine?
What are some of your strengths and weaknesses? Tell us about a time
when you overcame a challenge? Tell us “about yourself?” …. We’ll
talk about questions shortly…
• Great resource: 100 Medical School Interview Practice Questions
http://www.colorado.edu/aac/PreMed_interviewquestions.pdf
Preparation for the Interview
Before the interview (common sense):
• Know when your interview is and where you need to go
• Figure out directions and time to venue ahead of time, plan your travel
accordingly—arrive the evening before if possible!
• Make a plan that includes a decent sleep, time to get dressed, eat
something and arrive 15 minutes early.
• Take notes! Bring a neat folder/pad/pen to write with.
Preparation for the Interview
Before the interview (common sense): Clothing.
Doctors are professionals. In your interview, you want to look the part!
Dress in a way that is not distracting for patients.
Fashion is for personal gratification. You are there for your patients not
to show off your individualism.
You also need to function as a health provider; any clothing that gets in
the way of cleanliness or function shows poor professionalism.
Preparation for the Interview
Men
Women
Preparation for the Interview
Men: Don’t:
• Turtlenecks
• Leather other than shoes/belt
• Jewelry in excess of a ring
• Piercings
• Tattoos (covered)
• Odd shoes
• Ties with pictures/designs
• Strong colognes
• Overly gelled/prepped hair
• Hair out of face
• Facial hair trimmed and neat
Women, Don’t:
• Short skirts/Bare legs
• Jewelry in excess of ring or
single pair of earrings
• Piercings
• Tattoos (covered)
• High heels/fad shoes
• Tasteful buttoning of blouse
• Strong perfumes
• Hair out of face, conservative
• Gaudy or trendy purse/bag
• Long nails/arty coloring
Arriving at the Interview
DO
• Arrive on time (aka, 15
minutes early)
• Dress appropriately
• Treat everyone you meet
well-interview starts when
you enter front door.
• Have a firm handshake
• Make good eye contact
• Use good (nice long spine),
and attentive posture.
DON’T
• Be late
• Be sloppy
• Look down or disconnect
during greeting
• Bring food
• Slouch
• Put arms in defensive position
• Play with your hair or face.
• Body language speaks!
The Interview
Interviewers are often very experienced.
They genuinely want to get to know you better and want to have a
conversation with you.
The interview is not meant to be “scary” though you might feel
nervous (which is natural). It is meant to engage you.
If you need a moment to answer, take a moment. “Hmmm, good
question..”
If you stumble, it’s okay to laugh at yourself…recover, move on.
The Interview
• Talk WITH the interviewer, not AT the interviewer.
• If you don’t understand something, ask for clarity. This is a
conversation.
• Answer the question asked. If it’s repeated, they want you to give
more of an answer.
• If you don’t know or have, the answer to something, let them
know, don’t fake it. They can tell.
• Confidence is different than arrogance. Be sincere.
• MEMORIZE YOUR APPLICATION – Many questions will be formed
from your own words and record!
The Interview
Styles of Questions that are often asked….
• Personal
• Your Motivation and Commitment
• Knowledge of Program
• Education & Experience
• Goals and Plans
• Current Events and Issues in Medicine
• Behavioral/Choices
Practice questions in all
these areas and you
will be WELL
PREPARED…even if
you can’t have
predicted a question
you actually get. You
will have greater
access to yourself and
your ability to be
flexible and creative!
The Interview
Q: why do you want to be a physician?
• *Remember what a physician does. They’re not just looking for
a great student or researcher, but also someone with the
spirit/desire to help people.
• This one be able to do in 2 minutes or less!
Q: Describe a weakness.
• Turn this around. Think of a quality of yours that at it’s best is a
strength but sometimes is a challenge. i.e.: “I love to take
initiative and enjoy the challenge of helping start projects.
However, sometimes I have to be very mindful because I can
take on too much….”
The Interview
Q: Tell me something about yourself?
• Think of this as an icebreaker vs. an overwhelming blank slate.
An opportunity to suggest a topic of conversation by mentioning
something meaningful to you. Is there something you’d love for
them to know that didn’t make it onto your application?
Q: What will you do if you don’t get into Medical School?
• Do you really want to go? Tell them about your plans to become
a better applicant next time around. They’re looking for
applicants who really WANT to practice medicine, not just think
it’s a “good idea.”
The Interview
Q. What would you do if a parent refused a controversial, but lifesaving treatment for their child?
• Questions like these are chances for them to learn about your
reasoning skills, empathy, understanding of “first do no harm”.
There aren’t “right answers. Be thoughtful and genuinely
consider your answer.
Q: How do you spend your free time?
• They really want to know! What do you enjoy in life? Talk about
an interest, a passion: Nature? A sport? Time cooking with
friends? Be genuine!
They’re not trying to trick you!
Each Q is an opportunity to let them know more about
you…how you engage is as important as what you say!
The Interview
From:
Quinn Capers IV, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Peripheral Vascular
Interventions Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Associate Dean for Admissions
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
If you get offered an interview, there is a chair in that school’s first-year
medical school class with your name on it. Based on your performance
in the interview, you will either claim it or give it away.
The Interview
From:
Quinn Capers IV, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Peripheral Vascular
Associate Dean for Admissions
Sit up straight (posture counts)
Slumping or letting your shoulders sag may feel comfortable, but it sends
the following message: “I’m bored, disinterested and unimpressed.”
Obviously not the message you want to send. Think military here: Back
straight, chin up! But you don’t want to look stiff; it makes you look tense
and uncomfortable. While keeping your back straight, lean forward a bit,
toward the interviewer. It makes you look interested.
The Interview
From:
Quinn Capers IV, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Peripheral Vascular
Associate Dean for Admissions
Make eye contact, but not too intensely.
Poor eye contact gives the appearance of dishonesty or low self esteem. It
also may be construed as a lack of interest in what the other person is
saying. Again, clearly not the messages you want to send when you are
interviewing for acceptance into medical school. Look the interviewer in the
eyes when they are speaking, and look them in the eyes when you are
speaking. On the other hand, you don’t want to burn a hole in the
interviewer with your gaze. Don’t stare; it is acceptable to avert your eyes
for a second or two. Blinking is also acceptable.
The Interview
From:
Quinn Capers IV, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Peripheral Vascular
Associate Dean for Admissions
The best answers are a combination of rehearsed fragments tied
together by extemporaneous connectors.
There are certain questions that you can assume will be asked at any
medical school interview. You will most likely be asked some version of
“Why do you want to be a physician?” or “If you don’t get into medical
school, what will you do?” or “What do you consider your main
strengths/weaknesses?” I disagree with some interviewers who
seem to hold with disdain the answer that sounds canned or rehearsed.
Rehearsing is fine; in fact, I recommend it.
The Interview
From:
Quinn Capers IV, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Peripheral Vascular
Associate Dean for Admissions
The best answers are a combination of rehearsed fragments tied
together by extemporaneous connectors.
The trick is, you want to sound conversational, not like you are reading a
script. How is that achieved? More rehearsing. When I interviewed for
medical school, I practiced my responses to questions that I thought I was
likely to be asked. Of course, it is impossible for you to anticipate every
question that may be asked, so you will have to do some ad libbing. That’s
OK. Be yourself, and enjoy the experience. Oh, and try not to let out a loud
“Whew!” or look too excited when you are asked a question that you
practiced for. Pause for a second, stroke your chin, and say “Hmmm, it
seems to me...”
The Interview
From:
Quinn Capers IV, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Peripheral Vascular
Associate Dean for Admissions
Look enthusiastic and happy to be there.
Being a physician is the greatest job in the world, and I truly believe that it
is the second most noble profession that you can undertake, second only
to being a religious leader, clergyman, minister, priest, etc. As stated
earlier, if you are invited for an interview, that medical school has decided
that you probably have the goods to succeed at their institution. So, be
excited! You are on the cusp of something great and your dreams are
within reach. Leave your interviewer with the impression that you are
happy to be there and grateful for the opportunity. Even if it is your lastchoice medical school, approach the interview with gratitude and humility,
and imagine yourself walking those very same halls as a medical student.
Because, well, you just might.
The Interview
From:
Quinn Capers IV, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Peripheral Vascular
Associate Dean for Admissions
If the interviewer continues to repeat the same question despite the
fact that you have answered it, he or she likes you but did not like
your answer, and is giving you the opportunity to modify it.
Example:
Interviewer: “So, why do you want to be a physician?”
Candidate: “Because medicine is such a challenging field, and I have
always loved challenges.” Interviewer: “OK. But what really attracted you to
a career in medicine?”
Candidate: “I am very curious about how things work, and I really love
science!”
The Interview
From:
Quinn Capers IV, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Peripheral Vascular
Associate Dean for Admissions
If the interviewer continues to repeat the same question despite the
fact that you have answered it, he or she likes you but did not like
your answer, and is giving you the opportunity to modify it.
Interviewer: “So why not become a research scientist? Why medicine?”
Candidate: “Medicine is dynamic, and more suited to my personality”
Interviewer: “OK, thank you for clarifying that. Now, on to something else.
So...why do you want to be a physician?”
In this example, the interviewer does not like the answer and is giving the
candidate a chance to give the “correct” answer. If the interviewer did not
like the candidate, he or she would have simply noted the answer and
moved on. So, if you have the impression that the interviewer keeps
repeating the question, unless it is your life’s mantra, I suggest you modify
your answer.
The Interview
From:
Quinn Capers IV, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Peripheral Vascular
Interventions Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Associate Dean for Admissions
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Your “Why Do You Want to be a Doctor?” answer should include
something about your desire to help your fellow man.
Most medical school admissions committees feel that the most important
reason for practicing medicine is to serve mankind. So, while it is OK to
mention your love of science and technology, and the fact that you love
challenges, and the fact you have never really wanted to do anything else,
it is a mortal sin of omission to not state your desire to help your fellow
man as the main reason that you want to be a doctor. We regularly reject
students with perfect GPAs and near perfect MCAT scores if we are not
convinced that they have a serving heart.
The Interview
From:
Quinn Capers IV, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Peripheral Vascular
It is better to take a brief pause before answering a question to gather
your thoughts than to dive right in and “find the answer” in your
ramblings.
Some candidates begin answering the question the instant the last word
rolls off of the interviewer’s tongue. Some of these same students have not
clearly thought out their answers, and ramble while they are getting their
thoughts together. Finally, they decide how they feel about it, and answer
the question directly after many unrelated sentences. I think this is
because candidates feel that an awkward silence is uncomfortable and to
be avoided at all cost. But a brief pause before answering a question is
perfectly acceptable, and makes you appear thoughtful. It is much better to
pause for a second or two and gather your thoughts than to blurt out a
stream-of-consciousness response that takes a circuitous route to the
answer.
The Interview
From:
Quinn Capers IV, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Peripheral Vascular
Arrogance is a mortal sin
I like confidence; I think most people do. A candidate who has put in many
long hours and has learned that hard work results in success is refreshing.
Medical schools want to admit students who believe in themselves and
who think they can do the work. However, avoid sounding arrogant, which
is how the candidate can sound if they stress their personal successes too
much. Example: if you started a new pre-med club at your college, that
shows exemplary leadership, and the admissions committee will see that
as valuable.
The Interview
From:
Quinn Capers IV, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Peripheral Vascular
Arrogance is a mortal sin
When describing it, it would be better to be humble, acknowledging the
role that others played (“...my fellow biology majors were very helpful in
this endeavor.” ) rather than making it sound like you did it completely by
yourself. Another example: If you are complimented on the fact that you
got straight As in your honors humanities courses, don’t respond, “Piece of
cake!” In particular, medical student interviewers (some medical schools
have medical students serve as interviewers and members of the
admissions committee) are quick to detect arrogance in a candidate, and
tend to be very harsh judges when they perceive this trait. Feel good about
yourself; you’ve earned the right to feel confident. Just remember, there is
a thin line between a hard-earned swagger and arrogance.
The Interview
From:
Quinn Capers IV, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Peripheral Vascular
The best answers to “What if You Don’t Get in to Medical School this
year?” always include some variation on this theme: “I will find out
why I did not, address the shortfall, and then reapply.”
Persistence can be admirable. Many medical school admissions officers
look favorably upon the re-applicant who applies himself and specifically
addresses his shortcomings. For this reason, when the interviewer asks
what you would do if you were rejected, he is trying to ascertain how
committed and passionate you are about being a physician.
The Interview
From:
Quinn Capers IV, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Peripheral Vascular
Even though it is wise to have a backup plan, if you answer the “What will
you do if you do not get into medical school?” question with “Well, I've
always liked kids and teaching. I would probably get my teaching certificate
and become a high school science teacher,” you may be perceived as
lacking a commitment to pursue a career in medicine. When there are
many other candidates who will let nothing stop them from realizing their
dream of becoming a doctor, you don’t want to come off as though you will
happily move on to plan B if medical school doesn’t work out. Those who
truly hear the high calling of medicine will find a way. This means finding
out why you were not accepted, correcting this shortcoming, and applying
again. This is the kind of passion that admissions officers want to hear.
The Interview
From:
Quinn Capers IV, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Peripheral Vascular
Ask informed questions about the medical school at which you are
interviewing.
Approach your medical school interview the same way you would prepare
for an organic chemistry quiz: study for it. Prior to visiting the medical
school, you should, at a minimum, be familiar with the segment describing
that school in the annual AAMC Medical School Admissions Requirements
publication. Additionally, you should do some online research, to find out
what is new at the school – perhaps new expansions, new initiatives, etc.
Asking informed questions will leave the impression that you are truly
interested in attending the school, and therefore likely to come if you are
accepted. Admissions officers tend to look more favorably upon students
who they think will accept an offer of admission than those who they think
will not.
The Interview
From:
Quinn Capers IV, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Peripheral Vascular
The “ethical question” should always be answered with the following
bent: “I will put the patient’s best interests first, and do whatever is
best for the patient.”
Though falling out of favor, many interviewers will still ask a question or
two meant to evaluate your ethical decision making. Questions in this
variety include queries about how you, as a physician, would respond if
you encountered a drunk surgeon prior to his performing an operation.
Another favorite is the question that asks what you would do if you
witnessed a medical school classmate cheating on an examination. The
golden rule in medical ethics is to always put the patient’s best interests
first. Thus, the “correct” answer to any ethical dilemma posed is the one
that places the patient’s welfare above all else.
Masters/Ph.D Programs
How hard is graduate school?




Attrition rate of some Ph.D programs is as high at
75%
By comparison more than 90% of medical school
students receive degrees.
Very few jobs in biology for B.S. degree students.
You usually must do a graduate level program to get
a good job.
A Look at the Other
Side
The Art and Science of Interviewing
(or tricks to the ERAS application)
Sheilah Bernard, MD
Associate Program Director, Medicine Residency
Chair, Internship Recruitment and Clinical Competence
Committee
Objectives
• Understand the role of the interview
• Reflect on how to determine if you would like
to work with that candidate (or just socialize)
e.g can this candidate care for my loved one?
• Familiarize yourself with interview Do’s and
Don’ts
• Review for the experienced and stimulate the
novice
The process….
• Candidates apply to many schools 12-50
• Many ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service)
applications are received
• All are screened
– MSPE (Medical Student Performance Evaluation) or Dean’s
letter –where do they rank in the class?
– DOM letter: where do they rank amongst IM applicants
from that school?
– IM Clerkship/IM SubIntern grades
– USMLE scores: are they coachable?
– Extracurriculars: what could they contribute to program?
• Only 10% are selected to interview; 10% of these
match
Know who “we” are (High Value Care)
• Come to Infosession, email to follow if you can’t
• Socially responsible, academic municipal hospital in
Boston serving diverse patient population (98% insured
state-wide) with a VA experience
– Triad of education, research and patient care
– Exceptional Care Without Exception, or The Right Care, no
more, no less
•
•
•
•
Block schedule (ambulatory distinct from inpt)
Entirely electronic (Epic experience appreciated!)
Opt into tracks as PGY2
Successful matches into subspecialties
The “pre-interview”
• Frequent complaint is “the interviewer did not
read my application”
– Program will try to match interviewee with both a
faculty/junior faculty sharing similar birthplace,
college, med school, fields of interest (in and out of
medicine)
– Last minute changes occur, we try for Friday
distribution prior to interview week (M/W)
– Look for an underlying theme linking personal
statement, work experience, research, or
extracurriculars; ask open-ended questions to explain
The interviewer should…
• Maintain professional atmosphere in a quiet
room, avoid interruptions; turn beeper over
• Limit discussion to issues related to candidacy for
residency position
• Ask only for information necessary to make a
sound decision
• Use proper terminology: we interview residency
“candidates” for further training, in business we
interview “applicants” for variable skill sets
Identify Red Flags
• Misdemeanors
• Typographical errors
• Gaps in education (buried in transcript or Dean’s
MSPE)
• “Nice, punctual” are not flattering adjectives
– “Will develop”, “Made strides”, “gaining confidence”
• Special considerations
– Needs to be in Boston
– Couples matching, Visa are a tick box
• Information provided on application is subject to
questions
Identifying Key Words
• Every school is different, interpret in quartiles
or quintiles or sextuples
• MSPE: Outstanding > Superior > Excellent >
Very good > Good > Capable
• DOM: “We will be recruiting him/her to stay at
our institution”
• Integrity of LOR: From researchers, mentors
or family acquaintances; “in my 30 (vs 2)
years’ experience”
Guiding Principles for Interview
• Be time sensitive
– 2 interviews plus tour: 30 minutes limit/interview
• Introductions
– The applicant may have Google’d you (do they know
you more than you know them?)
• Be aware that online Residency Interview Tips on
YouTube are popular this time of year
• Always observe
– Composure, fluidity of thoughts/language
– Motivation, “fit” at BMC, Talk the talk or walk the
walk?
The interviewer should…
• Approach the interview as s/he would a
patient encounter
• Ask open-ended questions
• Avoid interrupting the candidate
• Use silence or pauses to encourage the
candidate to speak candidly
• Ask the same questions of all candidates
regardless of gender or ethnicity
The interviewer should…
• Focus the interview on the candidate’s expressed
capabilities and attitudes in relationship to the
residency or fellowship appointment
• Avoid stereotyping candidates; use gender
neutral terms
• Try to get feel for candidate’s humility, intellectual
integrity and willingness to work
• Use nondiscriminatory language to identify
special needs (are there any reasons you would
not be able to perform expected duties?)
Areas to avoid
• Although questions about social, personal or
family issues may put a candidate at ease, one
should not ask about age, marital status,
pregnancy, family planning, number of
children and childcare issues, religion, physical
disabilities or race
• Ask questions that the Selection Committee
would need to know
Recommended questions
• “Are there any current or foreseeable family
obligations or health considerations that
might make it difficult to work as a resident at
BMC?” Open ended, can be asked of all
candidates
• “Are there any questions I can answer about
community life outside the medical center?”
Allows candidates to ask about childcare, etc.
Types of interviews
• Structured
– Standard panel of questions each candidate must
answer
– Allows us to train and standardize interaction
– Less spontaneous and more formal
– May put off candidates
Types of interviews
• Structured
• Semi-structured or unstructured
– Allows the interviewer to individualize the contact
– Allows more critical evaluation of weaker
candidate; allows more inviting format for
stronger candidates
– Interviewer evaluates interviewee while
interviewee is evaluating interviewer
– Allows the flexibility to scrutinize or recruit the
candidate
Types of Interviews
• Individual (standard)
• Panel
– A panel of interviewers evaluates a single candidate
• Group
–
–
–
–
Interactions with program coordinators
Watching interactions during Meet & Greet
Feedback from tours
Board games for down time
• IPSC, leadership, assertiveness/passiveness
Establish rapport
•
•
•
•
•
What would you do if not medicine?
What do you think makes a good resident?
What do you do to relax (in application)?
What motivates you?
What are you looking for in a training
program?
• What is important to you?
Ask about past performances
• Tell me about your research project. Why did
you choose that hypothesis?
• What areas do you think you can improve on?
How have you worked on them in the past?
• Tell me about an interesting or inspirational
patient (personal statement) and why.
• Tell me about a challenging patient. What did
you learn from it?
Ask about past performance
• At the end of a “good day”, what makes it
good?
• How would you like to be remembered by
your medical school?
• What was your most challenging goal and how
did you achieve it?
• What was your most difficult decision in
medical school and what influenced that
decision?
Assess interpersonal skills/stress
management
• What kind of person has been difficult to work
with, and how did you deal with it?
• What do you think constitutes teamwork?
• Describe an unpleasant or stressful situation in
medical school and how you dealt with it.
• What gets you going, what keeps you going?
• What will be your biggest challenge as resident?
• What barriers would keep you from coming to
our program?
Assess character and personality
• What single quality distinguishes you from other
candidates? What should I know about you to
help us decide if you were a good candidate for
our program?
• How have you changed over the past 4 years?
• What in your life are you most proud of?
• What do you like to read?
• Describe your weaknesses
• What are your goals during residency?
Clarify understanding
• What are your 10 year goals? Your 3-5 year
goals?
• How would you describe the ideal physician?
• Who is your role model? Whom do you emulate
inside or outside of medicine?
• What 4th year electives are you taking and why?
• What will you like most/least during residency?
• How would you change your medical school
curriculum? What are its strengths?
Clarify understanding
• What are your reservations about IM
residency or our program specifically?
• Tell me what interested you about our
program today.
• Can I clarify anything you heard or saw today?
Challenging questions
• Ask candidates to tell you how they do
something at which they are adept (e.g.
cooking a dish, golf swing, jigsaw puzzle). See
how well they convey information
• (Ask riddles/brain teasers)
• (Present challenging clinical cases)
Review notes and finalize impressions
• Standard interview sheet
– Objective grades/scores
– Letters of references (MSPE, DOM, others)
– Extracurriculars and level achieved
• Volunteerism
• School activism/civic duties
• Research
– Interview x 2
– Exit interview
Review notes and finalize impressions
• Quickly jot down feelings and impressions
• Document concerns (Red Flags)
• Document the context and who initiated if
sensitive topics discussed
• Document items for discussion by Selection
Committee
– VIP candidates, current residents’ friends/opinions
– Need to be in Boston, Visa issues if not already
documented
Post-Interview Communications
• A national headache
• Communication with candidates after the
interview regarding their competitiveness
should be forwarded to the Program Office.
• Thank you’s are being discouraged; you can
respond to the interviewee that you enjoyed
talking to them and you wish them
professional success; bcc program office.
Why review interview process?
• Helps add your voice to our candidates’
application
• Struggling residents had evidence of struggles
recognized in the application process
• We will endorse a candidate’s application if we
feel we can support him/her
• Your interviewees are seeing all these
questions on the internet, YouTube so be
prepared!
Present concepts
• The Behavioral Interview
– Behavioral interviews are based on the premise
that a person's past performance at “work” is the
best predictor of future performance
– Interviewer asks how candidate acts and reacts in
certain circumstances; how one handles a
situation rather than just gathering information
• Give specific "real life" examples of how candidates
behaved in situations relating to the questions
• Give an example of a goal you achieved and tell me
how you achieved it
Future directions
• Multiple Mini-Interviews
– Started at McMaster University with 6-10 timed stations
through which applicants rotate
– Each station has a scenario, task or question
– Medical schools seek to admit individuals who will make
not only excellent students, but ultimately become
outstanding physicians. The best physicians are those who
are not simply repositories of information; they are ethical,
caring professionals and excellent communicators.
– The MMI was created as a potentially more effective
means of assessing qualities that lie outside the realm of
grades and test scores
MMI
• Standard interview questions may not reveal an
individual’s communication skills, problemsolving abilities, level of professionalism or other
skills important for the practice of medicine.
• The MMI approach uses a series of stations to
assess specific skills and qualities and assigns the
same interviewer to rate all applicants at a station
in order to address some of the weaknesses of
the standard interview format
• Used at the medical school level, technique is
filtering into residency programs
MMI stations
• Ethical dilemmas or questions about policy or
social issues.
– The instructions describe a situation and then ask
the candidate to discuss the ethical or other issues
involved.
– The interviewer may follow up with questions
designed to probe the applicant’s response
– Obamacare supports care for all over care for the
individual. Discuss.
MMI stations
• Standard interview questions.
– An MMI may include one or more stations with
traditional interview questions such as “Why did
you apply to this school?” or “Describe an
obstacle that you have overcome.”
• A task requiring teamwork.
– Since the ability to work as part of a team is
essential to medicine, some stations involve two
applicants working together to complete a task.
MMI stations
• Essay writing.
– Some schools include an essay component as part of
the interview process so a station may involve
responding to a prompt in writing.
– This station may be longer than the others to allow for
the applicant to formulate and write the response
• A rest station.
– An interview takes a lot of energy, since the applicant
is “on” the whole time and being presented with
challenging tasks at every station.
– Many MMIs include a rest station. The applicant can
clear their mind and get ready for the next station.
MMI stations
• Interactions with an actor.
– At these stations, the applicant is provided with a
scenario involving an individual who is played by
an actor.
– The applicant may need to give the individual bad
news, confront the person about a problem or
gather information e.g. catching a friend cheating
– An observer present in the room will rate the
applicant based on his or her interaction with the
actor
Does applicant personality influence multiple miniinterview performance and medical school acceptance
offers? (UC Davis)
• Looked at 5 traits in 444 applicants in 2010-11
(agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion,
neuroticism, openness) undergoing MMI
• Extraversion was associated with MMI
performance, whereas both extraversion and
agreeableness were associated with acceptance
offers.
• Adoption of the MMI may affect diversity in
medical student personalities, with potential
implications for students' professional growth,
specialty distribution, and patient care.
Acad Med. 2012 Sep;87(9):1250-9
Objectives
• Understand the role of the interview
• Reflect on how to determine if you would like
to work with that applicant (or just socialize)
e.g can this applicant care for my loved one?
• Familiarize yourself with interview Do’s and
Don’ts
• Review for the experienced and stimulate the
novice
Motivational Interviewing
• “...a collaborative, person-centered form of guiding to
elicit and strengthen motivation for change.”
• MI is a particular kind of conversation about change
(counseling, therapy, consultation, method of
communication)
• The style of MI is calm and focuses on drawing out
motivation to change from the interviewee rather than
trying to force the interviewee to make positive
changes
• Used in addiction patient encounters
• Used in mentoring/coaching to change behaviors

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