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Thread: Residency Interview Advice?

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    Biscuit25 is offline Member 511 points
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    Residency Interview Advice?

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    Hey all,

    This past week certainly has been exciting on VMD! So sorry to bore you all with such a mundane question, but do any interns/residents/fellows have any advice to offer on preparing for an interview? I am doing IM. I know programs can vary wildly in the way they conduct interviews so I was wondering if you could share your experiences? Did you get pimped? Thanks!

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    devildoc8404 is offline Ultimate Member 12699 points
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    Great question, and timely as well. First off, I would recommend a thorough VMD search, as there have been some excellent posts the past couple of years on interviewing from residents who are directly involved in the process at their programs.

    With that said, the basics should be pretty obvious... although you might be surprised how many people do not follow common sense. Be punctual. Be polite. Be professional. Be mature. Dress appropriately. Do not act like an arrogant dork. Have good questions about the program (preferably regarding things that are not clearly stated on the website, thereby show a lack of research). Be able to answer questions about any red flags without appearing defensive or groveling. Et cetera.

    That is just the tip of the iceberg, though. Good luck with your interviews!

    (Oh, and if a place decides to pimp at the interview, I would personally either remove them consideration, or move them to the very bottom of the list. That does not bode well for internship year... and the interview should be about seeing whether or not they would want to work with you. Your credentials should have already determined for them whether or not you have the raw intellectual/educational background for the job. Just my .02.)

    Disclaimer: I did not enter the US Match and have not personally interviewed for residency there. I did interview for my current residency position, however, and the above are interviewing basics that translate well across the professional spectrum.

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    rokshana is offline Member Guru 11644 points
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    i reiterate what devil as said...and i did interview in the US and have been involved with residency interview on the other side.

    all the rules you learned in kindergarten hold true...

    but on a serious note, most interview days are pretty similar...you will meet in a conference room which will be your home base of sorts for the day. The RC may or may not meet you at the front of the hospital or dept (depending on how complicated it is to get to said conference room). Usually there will be breakfast and coffee available, muffins, bagels, fruit, etc...and the PD will come in an do an introduction for 15-20 mins. Then (and the order of these may change) you will get a tour of the hospital given by the residents (sometimes the PD), and then interview with anywhere from 3-5 people-generally a PD of some sort, a chief of medicine of some sort, a faculty member, and at times the chief resident. They can last anywhere from 15-30 mins. Ususally you will wait at home base in between interviews. The program encourages the residents to come by and talk to the applicants about the program (remember this "down time" is still a part of the interview...they are evaluating you as well). Then there is lunch, usually catered in if there are things after lunch and the residents are again encouraged to come and have lunch with the applicants.

    usually at the beginning, the RC will give you a packet with general info about the program, contact names and email addresses, etc...sometimes its a simple folder, others a little folio or for the more tech savy program, a jump drive.

    some will have some different things...one place i interviewed at did group interviews...2-3 interviewers and 3-4 interviewees...that was a bit weird...couple of places arranged for a tour of the town (usually the smaller towns) so you could get a feel for the town (thought that was a nice touch)

    most places outside of the NE will have a dinner the night before some will have a get together after the interview, many will pay for the hotel room and and some offer breakfast at the hotel.

    some places had a goodie bag in the hotel room with program paraphernalia ...cups, pens, notepads, etc...you may get the packet then.

    use common sense...be on time (and that really means be 5-10 mins early) be polite, say please and thank you (thank you sir and ma'am if in the south) be conservational with everyone (applicants and interviewer alike), have some questions for everyone (they don't have to be different)that shows you have put some thought into things, and write thank you notes (at least to the PD and the RC, ideally to all the one that you interviewed with), esp in the South...and enjoy the season...it can be fun (exhausting but fun!).

    and i most definitely agree with DD, if you have been granted an interview, your credentials meet their standard, you should NOT be pimped...the interview process should be more conversational...heck you may not even talk about medicine! and if a program feels the need to pimp your medical knowledge...run away...i had only one place that did that and they did not make my ROL.
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    For most of my EM interviews it was meet up with a few residents the night before for dinner. As you probably know and has been said we do actually grade you guys. We recently started an official scoring system to be used after the dinner so we don't forget who's who at ROL time. Next day usually you meet up and start with a hospital tour or interviews. The PC is generally your point person or a resident, usually the PC. After that it's a quick lunch then out by 2-3pm. I would usually get hotel for one night and then check bags into the desk until after the interview. I packed so I could change in the hotel bathroom after and was much more comfortable on the way home. Never was pimped, almost everyone asks "Tell me about yourself?", "Why xyz specialty?", and "Tell me about a time you failed in medicine and what you learned from it?". The last is probably the hardest but my favorite question. Good luck!
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    How would would you go about expressing your interest in a program you really really really want to be into without looking desperate? Lol. There is this one program I got an interview from I would do anything to go to. How do I stick out??



    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit25 View Post
    Hey all,



    This past week certainly has been exciting on VMD! So sorry to bore you all with such a mundane question, but do any interns/residents/fellows have any advice to offer on preparing for an interview? I am doing IM. I know programs can vary wildly in the way they conduct interviews so I was wondering if you could share your experiences? Did you get pimped? Thanks!
    Binghamton University 2010
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    thxleave is offline Elite Member 7201 points
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    Yeahhhhh I hope you guys gonna be here in 2016 when I apply. I would want to do a skype practice interview or something.

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    Reign is offline Member 530 points
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    Wow, it's been a long time since I was here - slow night on call. Remember that med school interviews competitors and residency interviews colleagues. They want people who they can put up with at 3am. You need to convey that you will pull your weight, carry conversation, be responsible, take initiative, study on your own - essentially be a grown up. I cannot reiterate that enough - it always frightens me how many residents I meet who have no idea how to act like an adult with a job and then I realize - "oh yeah, you've never had a job before." If you want to convey that you will take your job seriously and be fun to be around I suggest the following:

    1) Be fun at the resident dinner, but not too fun - ie have a drink if everyone is having a drink, but don't have 5. I have seen interviewees get wasted and we definitely cross those people off immediately. Be social, ask questions, don't be annoying - don't only ask about the residency. Ask residents about themselves - their families . . .etc.

    2) Be early or at least on time for your interview - do not EVER complain about an early interview to anyone. This just bodes poorly for your work ethic to anyone who hears you. Remember, it's not just your time - it's our time too.

    3) Turn off your damn phones. You do yourself a disservice on so many levels when you sit there texting in between interviews. You are wasting opportunities to chat up the coordinator, residents and even other interviewees (believe me, we watch those interactions).

    4) This is not a fashion show

    5) Don't complain about other programs. Most places don't care about other programs and will just think that you will speak poorly of us when you go somewhere else.

    6) I don't care what anyone says, send thank you emails, cards . . . within a day or two. It just reinforces your name again with anyone who might be making a decision on you. Send it to the director, chair, coordinator, chiefs, anyone who interviewed you. Maybe it takes a little extra time, but it may be the one thing that makes you different from several other carribean grads.

    7) Bring copies of everything - resume, transcript, deans letter . . . anything you can get your hands on. And go over your application before each interview. You'll be surprised what an interviewer will decide to choose to talk to you about.

    8) This is probably the most important part - be extremely nice to the coordinator - he/she is the gatekeeper.

    Lastly - don't let people get you down about anything - people will tell you that as a Caribbean grad that you won't be able to get a particular spot or a residency, but work your rear off and go for it. Good luck in the match!
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    Biscuit25 is offline Member 511 points
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    Thanks for the tips. Any advice for "second looks?"

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