So you’ve submitted your application already! And now, you have an interview coming up, and you have NO IDEA how to prepare for it.
What do you do? Well, there are a few things you CAN DO…, and then there are things you SHOULD DO. YOU CAN:
- Give off the impression of the perfect candidate – well-rehearsed and composed.
- Be true to who you are, with the added piece of self-control, tact, and a hint of preparation.
- Practice commonly asked questions, but not in a way that will lead you to answer robotically. Be natural.
HOW DO YOU DO THAT?
- By being honest! If you genuinely believe in what you are saying, regardless of the way you are saying it, it will come out naturally. When I say practice the questions, it doesn’t mean MEMORIZE an answer. It means to write down what you would like to say to ORGANIZE your thoughts into a cohesive message AND THEN… say it in different ways out loud.
- I do NOT recommend that you sound like a robot and well-rehearsed. WHY NOT? It won’t show off your personality. You’ve been offered an interview.. It means they like you on paper. But the interview is for you to show them who you are as a person, that you will integrate into their community, mesh well with the current residents and share in their values and future aspirations.
- Be very assertive by asking a lot of questions and taking out a list of 50 to show how well prepared and interested you are.
- Have about ten questions that you genuinely NEED to know the answer to, to help you decide ranking when it comes to that time. I call these:
The 10 Y’s
- The ten reasons why you should choose them as your top choice. It can be just 5.the number is up to you. But make sure they are things that will TRULY help you decide how to rank a program.
- These MUST BE make or break questions for you, so that if their answer is unsatisfying… you will likely not rank them very high on your list.
What should they NOT be? Don’t ask questions that are already answered on their website. BUT… use what they write on their website to ask to follow up or more detailed questions. Questions that are important SPECIFICALLY TO YOU.
- Ask the same question in multiple different ways to the same person so that you have more to ask.
- Ask the same questions in the same way or different ways to multiple people, and admit you have asked others the same question. Ask the program director, ask the supporting faculty, ask each of the residents, the interns, the second years, the third years, etc.
- It is okay NOT to have a million questions.
- This way, you will have an answer to the same question by many different people.
- It gives you the FULL PICTURE ANSWER. If the director and all the residents and the faculty all answer in similar ways or ways that support each other, then you know its real!
- Be very quiet and observant and answer in short yes and no answers, especially if you tend to be a shy person.
- Stay true to yourself and not pretend to be outgoing, obviously, BUT you should make an effort to GET TO KNOW the people you may one day work with. Imagine you are interviewing, and one of the current residents there doesn’t say a word to you (likely because they’re shy too). Would you think they’re just shy? Would you believe they don’t like you? Would you believe you won’t get along?…. you get the idea. Imagine yourself on the other side of the table and then try to show who you indeed are. Chances are you’re shy because it’s a stressful situation and you’re nervous. DON’T LET THE NERVES GET IN THE WAY OF LANDING YOUR DREAM JOB.
- Be VERY assertive… answer questions before they’re fully asked.
- Stay true to who you are…with some slow-motion action.
- If you know what they’re about to ask you, that’s great! You’ve anticipated a question, and it will work in your favor. BUT, you NEED TO LET THEM ASK IT.
- Talk a lot and fast and not let anyone else put a word in.
- Be true to who you are. Are you sensing a pattern here? Lo BUT make sure you also show interest in the people around you. They might one day be people you will spend more time with than with your own family. Getting to know their hobbies, what they like, where they’re from is just as important as showing them all those things about you. This is like a date! How long will you date someone who only talks about themselves? Communication is a 2-way street.
I am very happy for all of you! Proud of all of you! If you still have not received an interview, I’ve been there! So I understand the stress and fear. Start sending emails to the programs you’ve submitted applications to.
Express interest in interviewing there, even if you’ve already racked up a bunch of interviews. If the programs you truly want have not offered you one yet, email them!
It is the time, so be diligent! Put in as much effort. The season is not over until it’s over, and you can still get interviews as late as January and maybe early February.
ESPECIALLY IF THERE ARE CANCELLATIONS!
Some people cancel! Spots become available! So if a program says, You already sent out all the interview invitations we have available, Do not be afraid to ask for consideration if they have any cancellations.