Tag Archives: interview

Interviewing Tips for Medical School

It is another Interview Day here at MSU CHM, which means dozens of anxious, suited up pre-meds wandering our halls, filling our elevators, and occupying our coveted study rooms for their student interview sessions.


Michigan State University College of Human Medicine – Secchia campus in Grand Rapids

Having been a student-interviewer with our admissions department in the past, I have a few tips to offer interviewees, outside of all the usual advice.

  • Do some research.  SDN (the Student Doctor Network forums) has a great index of reviews posted by interviewees for most U.S. medical schools.  This is a valuable resource for finding out the types of questions that may be asked, or at least to get a general feel for the atmosphere and structure of that school’s admissions process.
  • Know your application.  This may seem obvious, but have some unique things to add about each portion of your application – don’t just rehash what is there, as we have (probably) already read it in advance.
  • Review your online presence.  Mostly, that means Facebook.  Many student interviewers are not above a bit of investigative work / creeping your profile.  Remember, that unlike the admissions staff, we may only have one or two interviews to conduct, meaning we can spend a bit more time being thorough.   Do a web search on yourself.  If you have public information, make sure it reflects well upon you.
  • Show interest in our state.  For state schools, there is often preference given to those who express intentions to remain here to practice.  Not to say you can’t change your mind down the road, of course…cough.
  • Have some questions for us.  While most interviews require that we ask a number of pre-decided questions (that we may be allowed to tweak or tailor to our own design), they often don’t consume the entirety of the interview.  Rather than allow for the dreaded awkward silence, ask us about our curriculum, what an average day is like etc…  If you’re really sly, ask about something like community service or research opportunities – and use the conversation as an excuse to tell us what an amazing, compassionate and intellectually curious / driven person you are.


In the case of most schools, the fact that you’ve been invited to interview means you’ve already made it through the more objective (grades, test scores, documented experiences) screening.  You’ve distinguished yourself enough from the roughly 6000 applicants reviewed each year to warrant an interview (roughly 1:12 odds), and now you just have to be one of those 200 that are accepted out of the 500 interviewed.  While your stats still matter, your ability to demonstrate a “good fit” during the interview  is probably the best determining factor of being accepted.  Good luck!