Mock Interview Night Presentation "What am I supposed to do again?"

Interviewing for Residency
Advice from residents
This will be you….
Preparing for the interview
Research the program before you go so that you will be able to target your
questions for that program and have something to talk about
They might send you a list of your interviewers before hand so you can
research their area of interest or expertise which may help you decide how
to direct your questions
You might check to see if any graduates of your medical school are there,
and if so, consider getting in touch with them beforehand
Prepare a list of questions you have about the program or that are vital
towards your career goals
Also try to group interviews by geographical location so you do not have to
visit the same city or area of the country twice
Don’t cancel your interview the day before the interview, try to give one
weeks notice
Use a professional email address, instead of [email protected] and
carry pens
Read your CV and personal statement the night before
What to pack/wear
Conservative in dress….do not be memorable because of
what you wore
Plan to pack an extra dress top/shirt in case you spill
something before the interview, I also brought a tide pen
Try to use carry-on baggage only….I have seen someone
interview in plain clothes whose luggage was lost…awkward
Pack something for the dinner the night before, if there is
one….do not recommend jeans but dress pants/slacks and a
nice sweater or top/shirt
Be prepared for bad weather - always have an umbrella and
overcoat with you.
Anatomy of dress
Interview Day
Do not be late!!!! Plan transportation to the interview the night
before and request a wake up call
No chewing gum the entire day of interview, use mints instead
Do not use the cell phone unless it is absolutely required, includes
Avoid a lot of jewelry, keep it simple and professional
Cover up tattoos, body art and remove piercings that are obvious
Put the cell phone on vibrate, you don’t want your phone going off
when the chairman or director of program is in morning report and
your interrupt the session by your phone going off!
Value the impressions the program makes on you and the people, and
keep track of those feelings to assess how suitable the fit is between
you and the program.
Questions you may be
asked…have answers prepared
Why did you choose this specialty?
Why are you interested in this program?
What are your goals? In life and in medicine
Tell me about yourself?
What did you do before medicine? (To an older student)
Why should we pick you?
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
Where else have you applied?
Are you interested in academic medicine?
Do you want to do research?
Where will you rank us?
What was the most interesting case that you have been
involved in?
Present a case that you handled during medical school.
Do you plan to do a fellowship/subspecialize?
What could you offer this program?
Do you see any problems managing a professional and a
personal life? They do notice wedding rings
Anything you put on your CV is fair game so know it well
Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
What questions do you have?
What are your hobbies?
Why did you get (a certain) low grade?
Answering questions
Be consistent and honest in you answers, do not tell
one interviewer that you want to be an academic,
research only clinician and the next that you only want
to do global health with the WHO in indigent
areas….they do talk after the interview, as do residents
Answer questions clearly; communicate well
Do not get flustered if you get a curveball question or a
critical thinking question, just take a minute and
answer the best you can, they may be trying to assess
how you answer questions under pressure when you are
nervous…applies to intern year
Questions you should not be
What are your plans for a family?
Are you married? Do you have any children?
How old are you?
If we offered you a position today, would you accept?
Questions you may want to
ask them… prepared with at
least 2-3
What do you believe is the greatest strength and weakness of
this program?
What kind of curriculum/tracks are offered?
How many hospitals participate in the program?
Is a publication required during training?
Is there time and funding for conferences and meetings?
To what extent do residents manage patients?
What is the patient mix and what are the community
Do residents perform surgery?
Is the program changing in the next 5 years, and why?
What do residents here like most and least?
What are the research, clinical, teaching opportunities?
What is the scope of experience I can expect?
What is the program like (in the sub-specialty I’m interested
Where are the graduates of the program now?
How much elective time is there and how is it usually used?
How available are the attendings (including nights and weekends)?
What were the results of the last accreditation visit?
Are there any joint residency activities?
Ask program director about board pass rate, it is important to know
that the program trains people to pass their boards
Ask the residents what they do for fun, what they like about the
city, how they feel about the program and if they would pick it
again and what the call schedule is like
What percentage of graduates enter fellowships? Has anyone
left/dropped out and why?
How is the training divided? How are lectures given?
If surgical specialty, what there volume is like and the faculty:
resident ratio?
General Advice
Be polite to absolutely everyone, even if you do not think they are
related to the program…you never know
Do not bad mouth other programs including your home program
even if asked…it is a small world
Stay energetic the whole day and do not look bored even if you are!!
Expect that after a dozen interviews you will be tired. Therefore,
scheduling your most important interviews in the middle might be
Thank you cards unless asked not to send them, with something
specific that you liked about the interview day
Know the competiveness of your specialty and your strengths for
matching, make sure you have a good mix of highly competitive and
safety programs if you are applying for a competitive specialty
Do not be discouraged with one bad interviewer
during the day, some people are just odd and make
interviews awkward, It only takes one person on the
panel to really like you
Advise going to the dinner the night before. Be
yourself to make sure the other residents would be a
good fit for you, just the best version of yourself
Remember even when staff/faculty are not around
people are listening and will relay information you say
Closing thoughts
Remember you will spend the next 3-7 years, or
more, in the same place……pick a place that is a
good fit for you in regards to the people,
opportunities, location, and your specific
They want you if you are interviewing there, so
relax and enjoy
If you have specific specialty related questions
ask a resident in the specialty

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