Successfully completing your residency interview is an important step in getting matched as a resident. What can you do to put the odds more in your favor? Running through a rehearsal interview is an excellent way to prepare for the real deal. In fact, one study published in WMJ, a journal from the Wisconsin Medical Society, found that mock interviews helped improve student match success compared to students who did not participate in a mock interview.
Here’s how a mock interview can improve your chance for residency.
Mock Interviews Allow You to Prepare for Common Questions
There are a few common residency interview questions you should prepare answers for ahead of time, such as:
- What do you have that other applicants don’t?
- What’s a weakness you need to work on?
- What are your plans if you don’t match?
- Why do you want to be a doctor?
Knowing your responses to these questions and also rehearsing them out loud will make your interview day feel less intimidating.
They Teach You How to Tailor Your Answers to the Program You’re Interviewing For
Your interviewer doesn’t simply want to know that you’ll make a great resident. They want to know you’ll make a great resident for their specific program. It’s important that the responses you prepare aren’t generic and applicable for every interview you might potentially take part in. You’ll need to know how to personalize your answers for every program.
Mock Interviews Help Acquaint You With an Interview Setting
This isn’t unlike a job interview, so prepare to impress. This includes:
- Dress appropriately in business formal attire. For men, this means a nice suit and tie. Arrive cleanshaven with hair and nails tidy. For women, opt for a pantsuit or skirt suit, close-toed shoes, and natural makeup. Keep jewelry to a minimum.
- Arrive on time, which means early. Show up 10 to 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time.
- Be friendly and professional with everyone you meet. If you interact with coordinators or assistants, remember that these people are the gatekeepers. You want to make a good impression on them, as well as your interviewer.
- Body language matters. Make eye contact, smile, and shake hands when appropriate.
Rehearsing Interviews Can Teach You How to Think on Your Toes
You can’t prepare for everything, so you must learn to expect the unexpected. Your interviewer might ask you a question you’ve never even thought of. Instead of stuttering and tripping on your words, learn to remain calm and composed while your sort through your thoughts. Running through a mock interview with a pretend interviewer is a chance to practice this.
If you need help preparing for your residency interview or any aspect of the clinical experience, contact C.H.H.A. today to learn more.Back to All Articles