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Thread: What Residents look for when grading Interviewees

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    stateofequilibrium's Avatar
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    What Residents look for when grading Interviewees

    So it's interview season, and I'm spending my night finishing off all these reports on the applicants I thought for those of you already on the trail or about to start would like a fresh-new inside perspective from a Residents point of view on what we look for :

    (1) Appearance : Are you appropriately dressed, groomed? If not, do you have a darn good reason? Ie airline lost your luggage.

    (2) Can you actually hold a conversation? What this means, are you just sitting there in the back not talking and just going through the routine. Or are you actively engaging in conversation with the rest of the applicants and the Residents. What are you discussing? And most importantly, what is this telling us about you? If you're not talking, we're not learning anything about you and therefore are not going to be enthusiastic about you.

    (3) Are you interested in our program? Ask questions! Even if they are mundane, let us sell you the program. It makes it look like you're interested enough in our program to ask about the details that you'll rank us favorably.

    (4) Do you seem like you're academically sound? Does this mean board scores, etc? No, I could care less unless there's some other red flag. What this means is your thought process. The way you speak, organize your thoughts and responses. Your pose, demeanor, maturity, etc.

    (5) Can I work with you? Do I think you're going to work well with others in the program. Do I think others in the program will work well with you? Can I live with you seeing your face every day for X number of years? So if you failed any of the above, probably not.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Those are the main criterias I look for as I'm with the applicants. Rest assured, I read through your application, and I spend a lot of time reading them.

    A little bit about essays. The flowery essays that try to read like poetry or the next great american novel, those give me a headache. If I have X amount of essays to read, I want something that is simple, well-written and will quickly grab my interest. If it's all over the place, or tries too hard to be something it's not, I'm already forming a negative impression.

    Personal interests. I ABSOLUTELY want to know what you love outside of medicine. What are your hobbies? Your passion? And I want to hear you TALK to me about them and profess your love for them.

    -------------

    So what are the Resident's input really worth? A lot. We're the ones who are going to have to live with you for X years. After interviews, we spend actually a good amount of time discussing the applications and going over them again with a fine tooth comb. If we find any irregularities, we red-flag the application for another look, further investigation, or just drop the app.

    Lesson learned here? When Residents jaunter in, and start talking to you guys and asking for questions, be an ACTIVE participant. The program coordinator is watching carefully to and seeing who is having a good time and who is just sitting in the back.
    Posterior Fornix.

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    SMUGrinch is offline Senior Member 514 points
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    now you tell us!

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    Quote Originally Posted by teratos View Post
    When asking question DO NOT ask things about how many hours you work, whether you get out early etc. Makes it sound like you just want to go home. Ask about the variety of cases you will see, research opportunity, how involved the attending staff is in the education of residents etc. Makes it sound like you are interested in learning.
    I guess I shouldn't have asked how many sick days we get and when we can start using them?
    Best rejection to date: "..our selection committee has concluded that an interview is not indicated."

    I have been officially upgraded to a malady
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    IMG SURVIVOR's Avatar
    IMG SURVIVOR is offline Moderator 536 points
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    Who else would like to share some more info.
    Moderator: USMLE AND Residency Forums.

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    why even bother with the obvious. Just know where you are need it and where you can help the most.

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    wckedjkster is offline Junior Member 511 points
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    interesting tid bits

    Some good probing, interesting questions that I had a tough time answering (mainly because I'm intern)

    1. What're somethings that surprised you (aka something you didn't know before matching) about the program?
    could be good or bad surprises.
    2. What're somethings you would change about this program if you were the PD for the day?
    3. if you were to go back, would you rank this place higher or lower on ur rank list? and why?
    4. if the applicant had a significant other who isn't matching, questions about living standards, jobs, housing, neighborhood always spark good conversations, especially if the SO is also present.
    5. this is a more PC way to address the sick leave situation, would i be looked down upon, incite a riot, if let's say i have family death/illness, sneak in maternity/paternity leave that i have to take temporary leave and would the residents in the program be willing to cover shifts during lost times?
    6. specific questions about the rotation on our curriculum also show interest and good research skills.
    "Do you have enough experience with ultrasound during ur month?"
    "I see the program has 3 months of electives, how flexible is the PD at granting/funding specific wishes? I had an applicant say they wanted to learn about surfing trauma/accidents(crazy waves, board vs. face) in Hawaii as part of their elective, which i thought was so awesome that i had to buy him some drinks."

    also etiquette, if ur a guy and u order a beer, please finish it, unless of course you can't handle it, and would prefer a different one.

    try to stay loose and not be so nervous, we(residents) know how tough of a time it is now.

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    stateofequilibrium's Avatar
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    Also, what we're looking for is someone who we think will be dependable. You might seem like the cool guy we like to hang out with for a drink and cruise for chicks on a Friday night, but we want to know you'll be in early and clock out late.
    Posterior Fornix.

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    rokshana is offline Member Guru 11644 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by stateofequilibrium View Post
    Also, what we're looking for is someone who we think will be dependable. You might seem like the cool guy we like to hang out with for a drink and cruise for chicks on a Friday night, but we want to know you'll be in early and clock out late.

    ...and not leave major crap to do on your sign out sheet.
    Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Attending
    ABIM certified IM
    ValueMD-the place "where nothing makes sense, but everything is related-fellow vmd'r gabon

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    leo72 is offline Member 520 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by rokshana View Post
    ...and not leave major crap to do on your sign out sheet.

    LOL! Night float is not for "f/u (daytime consult notes)....." , etc.
    8/16/2012 BC IM. 2nd year Cardiology Fellow.

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    Just read through this post, and after this most recent interview season wanted to reiterate some of the things originally said...
    See the bold sections for emphasis.

    This is such a great post by stateofequlibrium, and pretty much says it all. Forget about being asked hard clinical questions, or trying to impress with your vast medical knowledge, and focus on being yourself, being professional, getting to know us, and ascertaining if the program is right for you.


    Quote Originally Posted by stateofequilibrium View Post
    So it's interview season, and I'm spending my night finishing off all these reports on the applicants I thought for those of you already on the trail or about to start would like a fresh-new inside perspective from a Residents point of view on what we look for :

    (1) Appearance : Are you appropriately dressed, groomed? If not, do you have a darn good reason? Ie airline lost your luggage.

    (2) Can you actually hold a conversation? What this means, are you just sitting there in the back not talking and just going through the routine. Or are you actively engaging in conversation with the rest of the applicants and the Residents. What are you discussing? And most importantly, what is this telling us about you? If you're not talking, we're not learning anything about you and therefore are not going to be enthusiastic about you.

    (3) Are you interested in our program? Ask questions! Even if they are mundane, let us sell you the program. It makes it look like you're interested enough in our program to ask about the details that you'll rank us favorably.

    (4) Do you seem like you're academically sound? Does this mean board scores, etc? No, I could care less unless there's some other red flag. What this means is your thought process. The way you speak, organize your thoughts and responses. Your pose, demeanor, maturity, etc.

    (5) Can I work with you? Do I think you're going to work well with others in the program. Do I think others in the program will work well with you? Can I live with you seeing your face every day for X number of years? So if you failed any of the above, probably not.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Those are the main criterias I look for as I'm with the applicants. Rest assured, I read through your application, and I spend a lot of time reading them.

    A little bit about essays. The flowery essays that try to read like poetry or the next great american novel, those give me a headache. If I have X amount of essays to read, I want something that is simple, well-written and will quickly grab my interest. If it's all over the place, or tries too hard to be something it's not, I'm already forming a negative impression.

    Personal interests. I ABSOLUTELY want to know what you love outside of medicine. What are your hobbies? Your passion? And I want to hear you TALK to me about them and profess your love for them.

    -------------

    So what are the Resident's input really worth? A lot. We're the ones who are going to have to live with you for X years. After interviews, we spend actually a good amount of time discussing the applications and going over them again with a fine tooth comb. If we find any irregularities, we red-flag the application for another look, further investigation, or just drop the app.

    Lesson learned here? When Residents jaunter in, and start talking to you guys and asking for questions, be an ACTIVE participant. The program coordinator is watching carefully to and seeing who is having a good time and who is just sitting in the back.
    Naijaman24 likes this.
    PGY 2
    Step 1 - pass - 4th attempt Step 2 - pass - 1st attempt CS - pass - 2nd attempt,
    Step 3 - pass - 1st attempt
    MATCHED 2010. Psychiatry


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    citizenimg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rokshana View Post
    ...and not leave major crap to do on your sign out sheet.
    Ay frikken men!
    PGY 2
    Step 1 - pass - 4th attempt Step 2 - pass - 1st attempt CS - pass - 2nd attempt,
    Step 3 - pass - 1st attempt
    MATCHED 2010. Psychiatry


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    rokshana is offline Member Guru 11644 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenimg View Post
    Ay frikken men!
    THIS is all you post after being gone for a year and a half? Tell us how your intern year went! must have been pretty busy since you haven't been able to post here,
    Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Attending
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    citizenimg's Avatar
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    HAHAHA!
    What more can I say.... intern year... was great, learned a lot, worked my %ss off, had all kinds of internal political drama (as is to be expected I suppose). DIDN"T KILL ANYONE! Passed step 3, somehow.... and now i'm getting worked over as a second year due to the new duty hour rules for interns.... Can't believe they have no night call and have to have 10 hours off every 24!
    Seriously though, sounds like I'm complaining, but I'm really not. Two years ago this all seemed impossible, and now here I am, a senior... craziness.


    There Rok... You feel better now?
    And yes, I glanced at the forum every once in a while, but never really had a chance to get on topic, nor had the energy to post. Now that step 3 is done, I should be more "back in the game" so to say.
    I see you're still around, how much longer do you have?


    Quote Originally Posted by rokshana View Post
    THIS is all you post after being gone for a year and a half? Tell us how your intern year went! must have been pretty busy since you haven't been able to post here,
    PGY 2
    Step 1 - pass - 4th attempt Step 2 - pass - 1st attempt CS - pass - 2nd attempt,
    Step 3 - pass - 1st attempt
    MATCHED 2010. Psychiatry


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