The benefits of mock interviews for your residency application process
After all the hard work of medical school, you want to get into a great residency program. You do plenty of research to help you make your top choices, and you put a lot of time and effort into preparing and polishing your application and personal statement until they shine—but how much work have you done to prep for the actual interviews? If the answer is little to none, you’re overlooking a critical step toward success.
When it comes to residency programs, the interview is arguably the most essential part of the application process. You may look great on paper, but if you can’t impress the interviewer and make a connection, you won’t get in.
Mock interviews—practice sessions where a professional pretends to interview you for a residency program—are an excellent way to prepare for this all-important step.
Facing challenges: What mock interviews help you handle
Residency interviews are about more than just your skills. Your resume has already summed up what you can do. An interviewer is looking to find out more about you as a person, and whether you’re a good fit for the program.
During a practice interview, you can find out whether your answers are enhancing your personal image, or if they’re just rehashing the information on your resume. You’ll have the opportunity to uncover and expand on details that will help you stand out from the other applicants, increasing your chances of acceptance.
Some of the benefits of mock interviews include:
- Reduced anxiety through greater familiarity with the interview process
- Enhanced confidence that allows you to focus on your strengths
- The ability to pinpoint weaknesses in your interviewing strategy and address them prior to the real interview
- An opportunity to take advantage of professional, constructive feedback
Making the most of a mock interview
While mock interviews have tremendous potential to boost your success with residency programs, you won’t get much out of the process if you don’t take it seriously.
Treat a practice interview as if you were showing up for the real thing. This not only helps you improve your interviewing skills, but also lets the mock interviewer offer more constructive feedback on every aspect of the process.
Here are some tips on making mock interviews work for you:
- Dress for success. Make sure your choice of attire projects a professional image.
- Arrive on time. If you can’t be prompt for a practice session, chances are you’ll have the same problem when it really counts.
- Be prepared. Do the same groundwork for a mock interview as you would for an actual interview. Prepare answers to some common questions, and think of your own intelligent questions to ask the interviewer.
Finally, make sure you schedule your mock interview with a professional who understands the residency application process. Rehearsing interviews with friends or fellow students may help with your confidence, but aren’t likely to assist you in finding your weak spots.
A good mock interview will help you conquer the crucial residency interview and increase the odds of landing a spot in the program you want. Don’t miss out on this priceless opportunity to prepare!
I also understand what Program Directors want to see in 2013. I’m here to help you get the residency you want. How? Through one-on-one mentoring and editing services, mock interviews and strategic planning.
Want to match for 2013? Get advice from a board certified practicing physician with extensive residency program experience and Program Director schooling.
How will you stand out in 2013? Call (888) 549-8111.
Donald T. Morrish, MD
Phone: (888) 549-8111