Virtual Interview Tips For Medical Students
For prospective medical students, applying to a quality medical school—such as the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC)—may be a difficult and sometimes intimidating process. You’ve collected your test scores, written your personal statements and other essays, requested letters of recommendation, and now you’ve been invited to a medical school interview. The interview is online, and you’ve never participated in a virtual interview before, so you’re a little nervous. Never fear! This article provides some helpful virtual interview tips for medical school that can help you ace your interview.
How Medical Students Can Be Successful In Virtual Interviews
You may have had interviews for schools and jobs before, but never one for medical school. What makes the experience unique? What do you need to know? What online interview tips for medical school can help you make the best impression? Here are a few things you need to know.
The medical school interview is an important factor in the admissions process. You may be interviewed by an individual or by a committee. Interviews typically last an hour and give the interviewer a chance to get to know you as a person and determine if you would be a good fit for their institution. Prior to your interview, the institution will send you information about the process. They may send you a list of competencies the interviewer will be evaluating—study this list and be prepared to talk about how your knowledge and skills address those competencies. The American Medical Association (AMA) has a list of skills medical schools expect from students that gives you an idea of what the interviewer may want from you.
An important online interview tip for medical school is to review your application materials prior to the interview. This can be beneficial because the interviewer will likely ask about the information you have provided. Be ready to talk about such experiences as clinical training, volunteering, or education, and how they have prepared you for medical school. Think of specific examples that demonstrate your skills. Be ready to express how your skills meet that particular school’s requirements and prepare you for their individual program.
You should also read information about the school to which you are applying. Knowing about the school, the structure of the program, and the opportunities available can help you express why you are drawn to a particular medical school. What about the program grabs you? Does the school have a particularly strong program in your area of interest? Will it offer clinical opportunities that meet your professional goals?
It is also a good idea to have a general understanding of current events in health care, as they are likely to be topics of discussion at the medical school interview. For example, how has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your desire to study medicine?
Another likely topic of discussion is medical ethics. Your interviewer may ask you how you would act in a hypothetical ethical situation. The AMA’s list of ethical issues medical students should be taught may give you some ideas.
As with any interview, practicing beforehand can help you feel more comfortable on the big day. Conduct mock interviews with a friend or mentor to help organize your thoughts and to get helpful feedback on your interview responses. The Princeton Review®’s list of 50 medical school interview questions provides many examples of the kinds of questions you are likely to hear.
Another important online interview tip for medical school to remember is to prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview. When the interviewer asks if you have any questions the answer should never be no! This is the time to ask specific questions about the school, the program, and the faculty. Show the interviewer that you are interested in their institution and that you know something about it, but also that you want to learn more. You will gain points with the interviewer, and you will also learn just a bit more about the medical school—enough perhaps to help you differentiate it from other programs. Keep in mind that the interview process is not just about the interviewer determining if you are a good fit for the school. It is also an opportunity for you to see if the school is a good fit for you.
Preparing For A Virtual Interview
Now that you have an idea of what the interview will be like and what the interviewer will be looking for, you still might have questions about the online aspect of the interview. These virtual medicine interview tips will give you some things to consider before you click into your online interview:
- If possible, use a laptop computer or tablet (not a phone). This will provide a more stable, robust connection that is less likely to have video or audio problems. It will also prevent interruptions by phone calls or message notifications.
- Set up for your interview in a quiet, uncluttered environment. You don’t want to distract your interviewers with colorful posters, blinking lights, or barking dogs. Also make sure the room is well lit so you don’t appear in shadow.
- Check your computer setup beforehand. A day or so before your interview, test the video conferencing platform on which the interview will be held. This will give you time to get used to the interface and address any technical problems. Try talking to a friend online to make sure everything can be seen and heard clearly. You don’t want to log in to your interview only to find that your camera isn’t working!
- Log in to your interview before the scheduled start time. You definitely don’t want to be late to your medical school interview! Logging in early will also give you time to fix any last-minute glitches or technical problems.
- You may be interviewing from the couch in your living room, but don’t act or look like it. You should treat a virtual interview as you would an in-person interview: dress professionally (a suit and tie for men, a business suit or other professional outfit for women), speak clearly, be polite, and give more than just “yes” or “no” answers.
- Turn off your phone. You don’t want any interruptions during your interview.
Other Med School Interview Help
Hopefully these online interview tips for medical school will help you feel more prepared for your virtual interview. But if you want still more tips, check out these useful references from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC): interview tips from actual medical students, and a virtual interview booklet.
Preparing for your virtual interview is a key component of your medical school application. Get your things together, check your computer equipment, and apply for admission to AUC today.