Once you reach the interview stage of medical school admissions, you can concentrate your efforts on making sure you nail them. After all, you’ve completed your MCAT, essays, and volunteering. You’re well on your way to finishing your senior year pre-med. Now, the only thing standing between you and that acceptance letter is your interview
Your medical school interviews determine what the rest of your life looks like, and preparation is everything. Even though interviews don’t start until later this fall and go into the winter, beginning your preparations months in advance can make the difference between being offered placement on a waitlist or on an incoming class roster.
Code Blue Essays has coached hundreds of students in your position, and interview preparation is one of our primary services. Below, you’ll find some ways to mentally prepare for your interviews that we have found helpful for past students.
- Know the questions they’ll ask and practice answering them
Literal interview preparation. Do your research and know which questions to expect during an interview. Code Blue Essays has you covered in this blog about interview questions you should expect. The intimidation level during an interview is exacerbated by the unknown. If you know what to expect, and practice, you will succeed, and you will be less stressed doing so.
- Write things down!
Just like you did with your Code Blue Essays Clinical Experiences Journal, keep a journal that you can use to jot down ideas you may come up with as you approach your interviews. Writing things down is one more way to meditate over ideas. It allows you to think critically about your experiences and thoughts. Embrace this critical thinking, because it will prove helpful during your interviews! In an interview, you are showing your interviewer yourself. Sometimes, however, we struggle with knowing ourselves on a deep level. Journaling puts us in touch with the person we want an interviewer to see.
- Talk to people you don’t know
If you’re someone who feels uncomfortable speaking to people you don’t know very well, make it a point to talk to new people more often as your interviews approach. The art of conversation IS indeed an art. Hone your skills! As you do it more, any negative thoughts about talking to an interviewer for the first time are minimized.
- Connect with people you already know
If you haven’t already, ask your pre-med advisor if they can match you with a new medical student as a mentor. Meeting someone who has been through what you’re going through can help you clear through the disorganized anxiety and focus on what you can actually expect in an interview.
As a pre-med student, you likely know many others going through the same process you’re going through. Talk to your peers about your excitement and concerns surrounding the interview process. Ask them questions about their own experiences! Don’t rely on their advice or actions to mold your own, though, because everyone’s experience is different.
- Mine for conversation topics as you go about your day
Be aware and notice certain things about your OWN school’s campus and observe (as well as you can) what incoming medical school students look like they’re doing. If your undergraduate school has a medical school on campus, take an informal, self-guided tour (or a few) where you have access and observe day-to-day happenings with students. Think about questions you may have about what you see. Interviewers will always ask you for your questions – and the everyday life of a student is a perfect topic to focus on.
- Observe relevant experience you’re getting in real-time, and take notes.
Common interview questions focus on your attitude about the world around you. Be mindful about living in the moment. As you experience things, reflect upon them! Is this an experience that you might be able to apply to an interview question? If so, write about it in your journal!
- Reflect on how hard you’ve worked
One key component of interview prep can be to take the time to reflect on the growth you’ve seen in yourself as you have worked toward applying to medical school. As uncomfortable as you may feel doing it for the first time, positive affirmations are powerful and create a mindset that will help you put forth your best self in an interview. You can adapt these affirmations for job interviews to your medical school interviews:
- I am calm and confident because I have prepared for this.
- I am the ideal medical school candidate. I have worked hard and my application is awesome.
- I love interviewing! My energy is contagious and this is going to be a fun experience.
- My application is impressive; I stand out from the other candidates
- I am an excellent candidate. My interviewer can really tell I am a good fit.
- Prepare to interview prep with Code Blue Essays
In order to ensure that you are completely prepared for your interviews, you can go straight to the experts. At Code Blue Essays, we have helped countless medical school hopefuls ace their interviews for almost a decade, and we can help you too. Count on us for your interview prep or other pre-med coaching needs!