Hey premeds, long time no talk! If you're wondering what I’ve been up to, it's pretty simple...I've been traveling up and down the east coast for medical school interviews. While on the plane home from my latest one, I came up with this list of things I feel like any premed should know before tackling the most exciting part of the application process. This is the time where you can really let your personality shine through and show the medical school how bomb you really are! Oh, and scroll to the bottom to see what a very special guest says about interview DONTS.
As soon as you get the glorious email that you have received an interiew, make arrangements. Don’t wait. The longer you wait, the more expensive flights get. I do not always do this I have to admit. Im more of a “push my luck until the week before and see what I get” type of girl. I’m actively working on it though… Waze will be your best friend. Pick a hotel that is close to the school. No need in staying 45 minutes away. Find a hotel within 15 minutes away and you’re golden! Waze allows you to gage the ETA based on what time you want to arrive.
Get a suit! A former dean of admissions told me “a suit exudes professionalism and confidence! Get a suit!” I have two suits..a navy blue and a plaid one for when I’m feeling like being a little extra. I tend to stray away from anything normal and expected. Don’t be afraid to put a little of your style into what you wear. Now, this doesn’t mean wear a bodysuit with dress pants and stilletos. Oh! Speaking of shoes… (guys, obviously you only have one option) If you’re like me and you’re more comfortable in sneakers than heels, do yourself a HUGE favor and wear flats. Interview day is NOT the day to test out your new heels. You will have blisters, you will be uncomfortable, and when asked the question “what was your biggest disappointment in life?" by an interviewer, you’ll feel the urge to say “WEARING THESE HEELS!”
the week before
Research the school. Look up their mission statement. 10 times out of 10 this will be incorporated into your interview at some point. It is important to know the schools goals and mission statement to not only show the interviewers you’ve done your research, but its important to know for yourself what the insitutition puts at the top of their priority list.
For example: Interviewer: “How do you feel like you fulfill our mission statement through your past experiences?”
Now how are you going to answer this to the best of your ability if the only information you know about the school is the average MCAT and GPA that matriculants have? Go over your personal statement, resume, and mini essays you wrote for your experiences. This was important for me because I was involved in a lot! Not that I forget my experiences, but sometimes when nerves kick in, important things can be forgotten. It's important to highlight (literally take out a highlighter) certain volunteer work or research that you want to talk about in your interviews.
the night before
Get in bed early and relax! I usually do a mini spa routine the night before to calm the nerves. I'll take a hot shower..unless you have a blow out then girl settle for a lukewarm one. After the shower, Ill do a facemask, make a couple facetime calls to loved ones and listen to music till I fall asleep. Do anything that you like to relax and feel confident.
the day of
Show up (early) to that interview and kill it! Period! Try not to let the nerves get the best of you. Yes, I know easier said than done. But think of it this way…by getting an interview, the admissions committee already believe you are qualified. While there, kept your phone away, be interactive and polite because you’re being watched at all times. Make sure to remember your interviewers name so that you can write a ‘Thank You’ card. Eventhough you may not think so, your grades are competitive, your MCAT is good enough…YOU LOOK GOOD ON PAPER! The interview is where they just want to see if you will be a good fit for their program.
This is Savannah from @premed_studentlife and I wanted to share with you all some advice about what you shouldn’t do for professional interviews! Ghazal and I applied to dental/medical school this last summer and we were fortunate enough to get interviews! Here’s some insight into our biggest donts!
1. Do not wait to get an outfit. Shop for a suit early and watch for sales at the store you know you want to buy your suit from! I knew I wanted to buy a suit at Ann Taylor because their pants always fit me pretty well, but I did not buy my suit until the weekend before my interview and I really regret it
2. Don’t eat a heavy meal the night before! You want to feel your best on interview day and it is one of the worst feelings in the world to feel bloated. Don’t forget to drink a bunch of water the day before your interview so you are hydrated the next day!
3. Do not act like you are too good for any job or any school. You should walk into the room like this is your first choice school because it will reflect in your answers!
4. Do not be afraid to be yourself! Please don’t look up answers to common interview questions because your answers will seem rehearsed. The interviewers want to see you answer these questions naturally, and sometimes you will just have normal conversations with the interviewers.
5. Don't exaggerate your makeup, perfume, or hairstyle! Wear natural make up and possibly a little bit of perfume. Your hair should be out of your face so you don’t play with it during your interview. Play with hair styles a week before your interview and know what look is the best for you. If you dye your hair, make sure it is a natural color and it looks professional for your outfit!
As always, you were meant for this! Research, prepare, shop, but most importantly enjoy the process. You have made it this far..dont stop now! DM, comment below or email me with any questions you may have.
Special Shoutout to @surviving.medicine for teaching me everything I need to know about the application process!