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Thread: What Residents look for when grading Interviewees

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    stateofequilibrium's Avatar
    stateofequilibrium is offline Super Moderator 6105 points
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    What Residents look for when grading Interviewees

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    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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    RussianJoo's Avatar
    RussianJoo is offline Ultimate Member
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    thanks for the post
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    Lucy May is offline Member 537 points
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    Thanks for the information!

    I actually believed all the residents when they said "trust me, my input doesn't matter so you can be yourself and ask me anything...."

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    little_indian_boy is offline Member 510 points
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    thanks!

    props to the OP

    Appreciate the tips! Hope we don't annoy you too much during the interview trail and process - ahahaha!

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    FAIZA H. is offline Member 510 points
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    thanx for the insider perspective!

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    citizenimg is offline Senior Member 662 points
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    Great post! Thanks!
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    wckedjkster is offline Junior Member 511 points
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    that's very informative, i could've used that when i was going through the process.
    Try to make it to the pre-interview dinner, where things will be very casual, no-pressure. I found that i learned so much more "insider's" secrets to the program that I can bring up on the interview day.
    it's also OK to order alcoholic beverages during the outings and many residents will take the opportunity to hang out and get loose.
    Although I'm not in a position to have any voice in the voting, i can definitely notify my seniors of possible red flags.
    LilyAsh likes this.

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    SMUGrinch is offline Senior Member 514 points
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    tack it up!
    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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    OK lets make this a good old Sticky.
    If other nice residents or attending want to pinch in, the better.
    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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    teratos's Avatar
    teratos is offline Jedi Moderator 658 points
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    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.
    LilyAsh likes this.
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