Posts Tagged ‘preparation’

Interview Preparation

In applying to med school, interviews on September 2, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Perhaps it’s just me kickin’ it into full anal-retentive pre-med gear, but between having a full-time job and trying to adequately prep for upcoming interviews, I am at a complete loss for free time.  To be fair, I don’t think it helps that I telecommute.  You see, when you work in a typical office, you know that your work day will start around 9am and end around 5pm.  Pretty straightforward.  Telecommuting is the complete opposite for me.  First, I am not a morning person unless I have to be.  Since I must get 8 hours of work in each day, it doesn’t matter if those 8 are from 9am-5pm, noon – 8pm, or from 11am – 10pm stretched out with little breaks strewn all throughout my day.  Give you one guess which of those three examples best describes my typical workday.  If you guessed the latter, give yourself a treat.

Many of those mini-breaks consist of me checking twitter, facebook, SDN, and my email (I’ve taken a step back from MDapplicants for a while!).  I use Barnes & Noble as my virtual office, just leading to even more distractions (ranging from the cute baby across from me, to the repulsive man roaming through the aisles, to the numerous books I can delve into when the words on my screen start swimming together in a sea of blur).  I try to stop work and switch to interview prep around 7pm-ish, which leaves me ~ 3 hours per evening to research and prep.  Except when mom calls and needs something picked up from Whole Foods (which closes at 10pm), thus cutting my time short – oh, this happens daily.

So, what am I studying?  I’ve read through all the typical books already: Barron’s, the US News and World Report’s, The Princeton Review’s, and Kaplan’s, as well as MD Rx and MD Confidential.  From these, I’ve generated a list of about 100 different questions that could possibly be asked ranging from personal questions, to academic questions, to questions in medical ethics, and current event topics. [In addition to these questions, I’ve found that the SDN site with interview feedback by school is very helpful in anticipating which schools as which questions]  Creating this list has been sobering.  I thought I knew myself and my intentions well, and I also felt I was pretty up-to-date with current events.  This list, however, has shown me just how little I know, or if I do know it, how poorly I am right now at effectively and efficiently wording my thoughts on such matters.  Subsequently, I’m giving myself crash courses in topics such as the history of the US health care system, managed care, and health care reform.

Some may think I’m overdoing it – and perhaps I am.  But, I would much rather be over-prepared and think the interview was a breeze, than to be under-prepared and receive a prompt dismissal via a rejection letter/email.

Everyone encourages me to just be yourself.  That’s obvious.  Who else am I going to be?  While I don’t want any rejections, if a school rejects me, I’d much rather them reject me than a false representation of me.  At least that way I know that I just wasn’t a good match for the school, not that I could have been a great match for the school, but since I was trying to “put on airs” and impress them the facade was rejected.

Alright, this has been a good study break.  Back to the books!