Interview Success Strategies

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1 Interview Success Strategies Brittany M. Wampler Coordinator, Pre-Professional Health Programs 218 Main Classroom Building

2 Introduction & Expectations Welcome! Interview Experience Expectations for time together No Cell Phones Actively Listen & Engage Ask questions where appropriate!

3 What to Expect Interview Process/Timeline How to prepare for interviews What to expect in an interview Interview Styles Interview Questions What happens after the interview General advice/tips

4 So how important is the interview? It depends on the school, their class composition targets, special programs and the applicant pool during any given year TWO PERSPECTIVES FROM ADMISSIONS OFFICERS

5 For the applicant, the interview is an opportunity to cement the impression he or she hopes to create. It is a chance to breathe life into the cold statistics about academics and activities, giving the school a glimpse of the person behind the statistics. For the school, the interview is generally not a tool to determine if the candidate is qualified to attend medical school, but rather is an opportunity to get a sense of whether or not the institution and the person are right for one another. It is also a moment for the school to distinguish itself from the others by showing its institutional personality, through the vehicle of the interviewer. ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, ADMISSIONS AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

6 Basically, the interview completes the picture for us. We have already learned about academic background, experiences and goals, but the interview adds a personal perspective that allows us to make a better decision about whether the candidate is a good fit for our school. DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS AT TUFTS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF VETERINARY MEDICINE

7 Invitations and Preparation

8 Before Invitations Arrive Relax! You ve submitted the application and this is the waiting game. You ve already somehow answered these questions in your application to the school: Am I making an informed choice of a career? What do you still need to explore to know that this is the career path for you?

9 When the Invitations Arrive Respond quickly and politely within the school s specific guidelines Make travel and lodging arrangements, keep it organized Make work and school arrangements Make sure you have an appropriate outfit to wear Prepare for the actual interview

10 The Outfit (Men) Suit Typically a traditional color (black, navy, grey) The Shirt Long sleeve button down Shoes, Belt, Accessories Everything needs to match! (No brown shoes and black belt) Tie Traditional, not too flashy

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12 The Outfit (Women) Suit Pants or skirt is acceptable Color Traditional color like men, but can be a little more colorful depending on the prospective job Accessories Two accessories MAXIMUM! A purse and portfolio OR one briefcase is enough! Makeup and Perfume Light on the makeup, little to no perfume

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14 Preparing for the Interview Research the Institution Mission Curriculum Clinical Site(s) Research Agenda Elective time away Student Body Class size Atmosphere Tuition Calendar Questions about the school should reveal the fact that you ve done your research and you are excited about what you have learned. Think about how your values align with the institution Resources to consider: MSAR/ADEA Websites Contacts at the institution

15 Preparing for the Interview Finding a method for answering questions Introduction, Body, Conclusion Examine how your values align with the profession Figure out the Why? Why do you want to attend this institution? Practice!

16 Preparing for the First Question Tell me about yourself. Have a second response prepared. Practice! Where are you from? Educational Background Why you want to be a Pertinent Experience Highlights

17 Practice Find a partner and practice the first question. Start with a handshake. Introduce yourself and your experiences. Smile!

18 Interview Types and Structure

19 Interview Types Blind The interviewer knows nothing or very little about you Open File The interviewer has been given all of your information before the interview (most common type of interview) Partial Blind The interviewer has been given some of your information, usually a composite

20 Interview Structures Multiple Mini-Interview One-on-One Panel Group

21 Panel Interview Panel you and more than one of them It s usually more difficult to gauge your impression on individuals. Be aware of names and relationships Keep eye contact with ALL throughout your answers Stay focused on their questions and not the dynamics of the group

22 Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) MMI (multiple mini interview) /stations think doctor walking into exam room and not knowing what s/he will encounter One question with some follow-up questions by one interviewer at a station Developed by McMaster Medical University (who also developed problem-based learning) Designed to eliminate interviewer bias Mimics USMLE Clinical Skills test

23 Group Interview Group- you and at least one other interviewee evaluated by one or more interviewers or observers Sometimes used to process a lot of applicants at once. Often used to observe your interpersonal skills, including teamwork, listening and leadership skills in a role-play or solving a group problem Example: Group will be asked to build/design something

24 Meal/Tour/Day-Long Interview Seems casual and benign, but you may be evaluated; usually by a current student Everyone you encounter throughout the day could have a say in your admission It is likely that other applicants will be with you for a portion of the day. Be friendly Engage in conversation Do NOT discuss other interviews/other schools

25 Day of Interview & After

26 Day Of Interview Get plenty of sleep the night before. Positive self-talk. Gather the materials you organized the night before Do not bring a large backpack. Do bring a portfolio with your questions inside and a smaller bag or briefcase. Plan to arrive 30 minutes early to account for traffic and parking issues, etc. Remember to smile! Have a small amount of cash on-hand just in case.

27 After the Interview Reflect on the experience. Make notes (journal) of your experience Keep log of expenses Review and organize documents they gave you THANK EVERYONE you saw that day within two days; otherwise USPS letter or professional handwritten card

28 Your Questions Bring a list of questions for your interviewers! Topics to Consider General Information about the interviewer and their perceptions about the school/program/area. Curriculum Questions (shows you ve done research) Mentoring Rotations Research Student Life

29 CSU Pre-Professional Health Programs Mock Interview Program Students must call office to schedule. Call as soon as you find out about the interview. Mock Interviews should ideally be within 7-10 days of actual interview. 90 minutes in length: 60 with a blind interviewer and 30 with Brittany

30 The number one element I see lacking in an applicant is substantiation. Pretend an interviewer asked you Prove to me WHY you will be a good doctor. Help them see the M.D. (dentist, etc.) inside of you. JEREMIAH FLEENOR, M.D. University of Colorado THE MEDICAL SCHOOL INTERVIEW

31 General Advice Prepare, research, practice! Practice a professional handshake. Be yourself and express yourself through the questions. Be professional, all day long. Picture yourself at that institution. Remember that this is the next step in the process and you are not admitted until you receive the acceptance.

32 "Any person who has charm and some confidence can move in and through societies ranging from the most privileged to the most needy. Style allows the person to appear neither inferior in one location nor superior in the other." --Maya Angelou

33 From CSU Students Be calm. Don't be afraid to relate questions directly to yourself and the skills that you bring to the table. Be humble, while still pointing out your attributes.

34 Be prepared for both open and closed file interview formats. I had two interviewers that used each of the interview styles. Be calm, rehearse at home the basic questions such as: tell me a little bit about yourself. Elaborate if asked to do so, but do not repeat what is on your application and personal statement. Dress neutral and formal, the attention must be on the conversation. Relax and speak clearly, they understand the process has not been easy and you are already vey lucky to have been given the opportunity to interview. An interview is your opportunity to sell yourself! Best of luck.

35 Practice by doing mock interviews with Brittany Garner! Interviews are stressful, but practice can make you feel a little bit more comfortable. You have to overcome the stress and just be yourself in the interviews. Know yourself and your answers to their questions will be more genuine than trying to remember answers to specific questions. It is important to talk about some unique things about yourself that will make you stand out. A lot of schools will ask what you like to do outside of school or how you relieve stress. Be expected to answer who you are, why you want to become a PA, what you think PAs do, and how you plan to get through PA school.

36 THANK YOU! Brittany M. Wampler Coordinator, Pre-Professional Health Programs 218 Main Classroom Building

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