Residency Interview Preparation Tips and Mock Interview Service

February 14, 2018

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How To Get Ready for an Interview, Top Residency Interview Prep Tips.

There are residency interview prep tips you must keep in mind while preparing for a medical residency interview.  All of these steps will be revisited and reinforced during the IMGPrep Mock Residency Interview, where our professional interviewers will give you advises and will challenge you on your preparation.

Step 1. Do Your Research.

Knowledge is power — and a key to your success. What should you research?

  1. Research the Residency Program: Learn as much as possible about the program, including what opportunities the program offers.
  2. Research the Residency Position: Learn everything there is to know about the qualifications and qualities that the program is looking for in a resident. Look at their current class of residents to see if you can understand the program’s priorities.
  3. Research the interviewer(s). Learn about who will be interviewing you — and then use the Residency Program’s website, Google, LinkedIn and other social media to learn about each person.
  4. Research the type of interview. Will it be in a group setting? Do you expect to meet with the Program Director? Are current residents going to ask you to join them for lunch following the interview?

IMGPrep’s customized residency program lists make this research easier. Not only can the lists help you choose which programs to apply to, they are a good tool in preparing for the interview itself.

2. Prepare Prepare Prepare

The more you prepare for your interview the more you’re likely to succeed.

Prepare by reviewing a list of common residency interview questions, and develop responses that highlight your abilities and accomplishments. Do not memorize your responses but develop a narrative to help you remember the key points you want to express. Tailor your narrative to what you learned during your research. Then, do a residency mock interview prep with the coach. After each Mock Interview, you will discuss with your interviewer what you did right, and what you can improve on. You will come to understand the weaknesses in your answer, and learn the strengths. Then, you will do the interview again. Subsequent mock interviews will help you practice those questions you need to improve on and give you a chance to answer new questions you haven’t yet faced. The more you prepare the more confident you’ll become.

3. Impress.

Do whatever it takes to be mentally and physically ready to be brilliant, confident and engaging in the interview.

Some key factors to remember:

  1. Dress to impress; your clothes should be clean, pressed and match what is expected of a resident.
  2. Arrive on time; ideally arrive about 10-15 minutes early to allow time to compose yourself.
  3. Greet the residency program coordinator and assistants warmly; these gatekeepers play a significant role.
  4. Be confident with each interviewer. Stand when someone new walks in. Smile. Make eye contact. Shake hands firmly (but not too hard!).
  5. Showcase your knowledge and preparation.
  6. Express yourself with good body language (non-verbal) techniques.
  7. Be personable, real and yourself.

4. Ask All the Right Questions.

You will be asked, “Do you have any questions?”

This is a key component of the interview you must prepare for. Asking a few well thought out and considered questions will show your interviewer that you care, your genuinely curious, and you have put some thought into the program and how you might be a good fit. Provoke discussion and insight. Furthermore, be careful with your questions. Do NOT ask questions you can easily obtain by conducting basic research on the program. Most of all, do NOT raise any controversial topics, such as politics or religion. Remember that in many respects, the program is not only interviewing you – you are interviewing the program!

5. Follow Up.

Finally, following your interview day, it is important that you thank the program, and the individuals that interviewed you or helped set up the interview for their time. Send a handwritten note of thanks to each person who interviewed you. Send a note thanking the residency program coordinator. Let them know that you enjoyed the interview, appreciated meeting them, and are available to answer any follow-up questions or to return for a second meeting. In addition, be sure to ask any questions you may have thought of following the interview. (Whatever you do, do NOT send presents, flowers or chocolates!)

 

Why does IMGPrep recommend mock interview prep before real interview?

Being asked to interview with a US medical residency program is one of the key milestones an applicant must reach to successfully match as a resident. Especially relevant is the data showing that except for a match violation, the single most important factor influencing a US medical residency program’s decision on how to rank an applicant is how the applicant performed during the interview.

How various factors* are rated:

  • Interview: 4.7
  • Interaction with House Staff during Interview Day: 4.6
  • Interpersonal Skills: 4.6
  • Feedback from Current Residents: 4.5
  • Evidence of Professionalism and Ethics: 4.5
  • Perceived Commitment to the Specialty: 4.2
  • Letters of Reference within the Specialty: 4.2
  • Clerkship Grades: 4.2

Not only is the actual residency interview the single most important factor, interaction with an applicant during interview day is a close runner up! It is clear that your medical residency interview, and more broadly the interview day, can make or break your application.

So what sets those applicants who have successful, positive experiences during a residency interview apart from those who don’t? Preparation. Those applicants that do residency interview prep are far more likely to have a positive interview experience and leave a good impression. Leaving a good impression may be the single most important factor influencing whether the applicant is offered a position during the Match.

About Residency Interview Service.

IMGPrep’s Residency Interview Prep Service includes individualized homework for your residency interview as well as mock interviews. A Mock Interview is far more than just rehearsing answers. A well-executed residency interview prep with mock interviews will help an applicant to feel comfortable in an interview setting. It will help an applicant think through their responses to the questions they are most likely to be asked. It will help an applicant understand how to tailor their answers to the specific residency program they are preparing for. Applicants will become familiar with understanding the intent of a question, so that when they are asked something they hadn’t prepared for, they will have a good answer. Perhaps most importantly, a mock residency interview sets the right conditions for an applicant’s successful performance, not only for the interview, but for the interview day as a whole.

Taking the time to prepare for interviews while seeking postdoctoral training will make it significantly more likely the applicant will obtain a residency position during the Match.

 

* According to the AAFP

IMGprep is not associated with the NRMP® or the MATCH®