Medical School Interview

by Kevin Ahern, PhD

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    00:01 Well this point you've been working on getting into medical school for years, You've prepared yourself.

    00:07 You've been thinking of diversity and you've been creative in both your activities and the way that you describe them in your personal statement.

    00:15 You've been working with a physician.

    00:17 You have great letters of reference.

    00:19 And at this point you likely will have a committee of medical schools that is interested in talking to you.

    00:23 This is the interview.

    00:25 So the interview is really where you nail that last aspect of getting into medical school.

    00:31 And it is important to understand that the dynamics of the interview.

    00:36 So I want to spend some time taking you through that.

    00:39 The committee has read about you from the perspective of others in terms of letters of reference.

    00:44 And from the perspective of you in terms of your personal statement.

    00:47 They think they know you.

    00:48 And they like what they see.

    00:51 That's why they are interviewing you.

    00:52 And that's why they are bringing you in.

    00:55 They don't interview if they have big questions about you at this point.

    00:58 And that includes your grades.

    00:59 You don't have to go to an interview and to convince them that I can do this.

    01:02 So don't focus on that.

    01:03 Go in and convince them that you are a strong and individual person.

    01:11 Now the interview you can set this up very easily.

    01:14 I tell students that the first thing they should think about with an interview is to take charge of the interview.

    01:19 Now that's an important thing to think about.

    01:22 Most students go into interviews because...let's face it, most students don't have much experience with interviews.

    01:27 They go into the interview seeing the person interviewing them or the people interviewing them, as up here and themselves is down here.

    01:36 And that is the wrong way of approaching an interview.

    01:38 Yes there's a difference between the perspectives that you have and the experiences that they have.

    01:44 But if you act like you see yourself in that way, what you're doing is you are showing, "I don't have that core," that I just described as being essential for leadership.

    01:55 Well, how do you establish this in the first place.

    01:59 Well, you establish it from the second that you meet the first person interviewing you.

    02:04 When you see them, you don't wait for them to come to you.

    02:06 You stand up and you go to them.

    02:08 You don't wait for them to stick out their hand to shake your hand.

    02:12 You stick out your hand and shake it first.

    02:14 You take the action necesary first and those actions say, this is the person that I am.

    02:20 I'm a confident person and I'm not afraid of you.

    02:24 You might be terrified.

    02:25 But what matters here is perception not what the way you actually feel.

    02:29 You shake the hand, you give them the firm handshake.

    02:32 You're not trying to bust their knuckles but you're giving them the firm handshake, to let them know I'm an equal to you.

    02:38 Because the more you act like an equal, the people interviewing you, the more they will see you that way.

    02:44 And remember they're looking for strength.

    02:47 They're looking for strong core or strong character.

    02:49 This is the first thing that you want to communicate to them.

    02:53 The second thing you want to communicate is something that students forget.

    02:57 When they get in an interview, let's face it, the first time you interview, you're going to be nervous.

    03:01 And what happen when people get nervous.

    03:05 They get a deer in the headlights look.

    03:07 You're communicating with your face.

    03:09 I'm nervous, I'm scared of this.

    03:11 Well, everybody knows that you're nervous with that.

    03:14 And it's actually okay to be nervous with that.

    03:17 It's not okay to show that.

    03:19 Those doctors that are interviewing you, have been through this process before.

    03:24 And they've have enough experience, that they know, that yes, the interview maybe intimidating.

    03:29 There's much bigger things along the way.

    03:31 So the more you communicate that this is, "Wow a really big thing." And they know that, "Wow there's really bigger things down the line." The less interested they're going to be.

    03:42 So the way that you get over that, is a very simple thing.

    03:46 You smile.

    03:47 You smile your face off.

    03:49 And when you smile your face off, what you're communicating is I'm comfortable inside.

    03:54 Because that's what a smile says.

    03:56 Second thing about the interview is when you talk and you answer the questions, a) Honesty is absolutely essential.

    04:02 b) You need to come across as a communicator.

    04:06 Now how do you come across as a communincator.

    04:09 Well, remember that you have to be able to show those people on the committee that I have what it takes.

    04:16 I'm like you.

    04:17 And you are somebody who is going to have to talk to people.

    04:21 How do you communicate? Well, of course you will think about your answers and you'll work very hard on things like defining yourself and why you want to go into medical school.

    04:31 Those are the things that you'll think about.

    04:33 But if you sit through like this, and you talk the whole time, what does say about your ability to communicate.

    04:39 As compared to you if you are out here and you're open, notice my hands.

    04:42 Hands do a lot with communication.

    04:45 One of the things that I tell students in an interview.

    04:47 Never let the hands touch each other.

    04:49 Because if they touch each other here's what happens.

    04:52 They clutch each other.

    04:53 Not a good message.

    04:54 And not a good visual message.

    04:56 If the hands don't touch each other, they have to work.

    04:58 And believe me this looks like much more communicative style than this does.

    05:03 Very important to remember.

    05:05 There are questions that you think about in an interview that are important.

    05:10 They'll always going to ask this question, such as, "Why do you want to be a doctor?" Everybody's answer for that should be unique.

    05:17 Remember that.

    05:18 I can't tell you that one answer that's going to work.

    05:20 Because there's not one answer that's going to work.

    05:22 But I tell students to think about the messages that they communicate.

    05:27 And here's one I give to students, they trip on all the time.

    05:30 And I'm going to pass it on to you so you have a chance to think about this.

    05:34 It's a very innocent question.

    05:36 But I think it reveals to a committee a lot about how old a student thinks they are.

    05:43 Now before I give you a question, I want to say why that's important.

    05:47 You are applying to a profession.

    05:50 You're going to be dealing with life and death matters.

    05:53 You're going to be young compared to the people interviewing you.

    05:56 Now, they are worried about your maturity and your ability as one of the reasons they are interviewing you.

    06:04 They want to know that you have what it takes and the maturity necessary to be successful.

    06:09 Let's imagine they ask you the following question.

    06:13 Tell me about your family.

    06:16 Very common question.

    06:17 And it's one when I give it to my students, they almost invariably trip up on it.

    06:22 Because they start telling me about their family.

    06:24 And the family they tell me about are their brothers and sisters, and mommies and daddies, and grandmas and grandpas.

    06:30 And what they've done in the process is that they've defined themselves as a child.

    06:35 A family is something you make.

    06:38 Remember that.

    06:40 You don't have a family at this point.

    06:42 You're part of your parent's family.

    06:44 And if you define yourself in that way, they will see you as a child.

    06:48 Don't make that mistake.

    06:50 Start thinking about yourself and what it means to be an adult.

    06:54 And what it means that when you define yourself in a younger way, how that's going to look to a committee.

    07:00 That means the last part of what I'll advise you here is to think about what it means to be an adult and how your adult experiences have defined you.

    07:10 I started the beginning by saying, "Who are you?" And I start the beginning by saying, "What makes you unique?" What's really going to make you unique are your adult experiences and your adult perspectives.

    07:24 That I will conclude with.

    07:26 I hope that's very helpful to you.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Medical School Interview by Kevin Ahern, PhD is from the course How to Get into Medical School.

    Author of lecture Medical School Interview

     Kevin Ahern, PhD

    Kevin Ahern, PhD

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    effective creative connections
    By Jocelyn G. on 26. March 2019 for Medical School Interview

    These lectures are excellent, simply put and provide effective keys towards getting message across to sell self through the power of creative communication. Enhanced ability to connect to audience panel /interviewer is much the same as a captivating or standout written cover letter of application live in action. It can actually apply to all fields of learning. The key is willingness to establish meaningful relationships that is worthy of consideration and attention. Like what a former mentor/superior explained to me before why I got offered a position ahead of the others despite being not among the cream of the crop in terms of grade point average: "its not about the grade anymore, its if we want to work with you."

    beginner in Lecturio exploration
    By Murtaz M. on 16. March 2019 for Medical School Interview

    this is a friendly and very clarifying review that helps me to believe, that easiness is the criteria of the highest level of knowing, like Mr. Ahern shows it in these videos

    Great Lecture
    By Ilay B. on 06. August 2018 for Medical School Interview

    It was a unique lecture for me. I learned different information about the medical school interviews. I also get what they test during the interviews. It was interesting. I recommend this lecture to every pre-med student.

    By neeraj p. on 15. April 2018 for Medical School Interview