You’ve spent months preparing paperwork, doing research, taking your board exams, and submitting your applications—and it’s finally time for your residency interviews. These interviews give you the chance to find out more about the programs you’re interested in, as well as giving those programs a chance to really learn more about you.
Knowing how to prepare and what to anticipate during these interviews will only give you more confidence during these meetings.
So in this blog post, we want to talk about what to expect during your interview day and give you 5 tips to help you prepare…
What you can expect
Residency programs try to choose candidates that share similar goals. They want to gauge compatibility and get a sense of who you are while assessing your strengths and weaknesses. Just like you, your interviewers are shaping a rank list for the Match in the spring.
Residency interviews in the past have included an informal time for you to interact with other residents, faculty, or staff, and include a time set aside for individual questions and answers. They typically host a group dinner the night before so you can do this in a casual, laid-back manner.
However, the Association of American Medical Colleges recommends that programs conduct virtual interviews for the 2022-2023 application cycle.
With this in mind, on your interview day, you’ll most likely meet with several residency faculty, staff, and the program director for 20-30 minutes each virtually.
During this time you’ll want to ensure you get a clear sense of the training facilities, and work hour requirements and get a feel for the work environment. Be sure you connect with some of the residents and/or staff and that you can see yourself fitting in with them. Because you’ll be spending a LOT of time over the next several years training there.
5 tips to help you prepare for your interview
Before your actual interview(s), review these tips to help you prepare…
- Review your application and personal statement. Before your interview, review these and think about how to answer questions specific to your personal statement.
- Be familiar with common questions. Familiarize yourself with common interview questions, but don’t memorize a speech for each. You want to sound authentic during your interviews. Review our blog post about How to Tell a Compelling Life Story Through Interviews for more ideas.
- Do mock interviews. Practice interviewing before you go. We can help you do this, or if you have another student you can prepare and practice with, that can help as well!
- Research each program. Take the time to learn about each program prior to your interview. Develop a way to keep this information organized so you can take notes and think through questions you would like to ask during your interview.
- Prepare for your virtual interviews.
- Carefully consider the location of your interview. It should be free from distractions, comfortable, and have a good internet connection.
- Keep a glass or water and notebook close by, but out of the view of the camera.
- Test your equipment each time before the interview begins.
- Even though you are not meeting in person, remember that manners are important! Be polite, make eye contact, and dress appropriately.
After your interview, you’ll want to follow up with a thank you note and any other questions you might have. Some programs may be cautious about following the rules defined by the National Resident Matching Program and may request that you do not follow up at all. Remember, you can always ask a program representative about post-interview communication protocols if you are hesitant or curious about what they prefer.