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Interview Tips

Interview Tips
  1. Listen carefully to the questions. It is important to fully understand the question before you answer so you answer the right question. If you don’t understand, remember, or hear the questions, take a moment to ask the interviewer to repeat it. It is better to have a question repeated then to answer the wrong question.
  2. Be friendly and confident and always professional. Take your time and think about answers as the interviewer is often trying to determine how you approach challenges and work through issues. Faculty are interested in your problem-solving abilities as well as your educational background.
  3. Be prepared for team-based questions. Many residency programs are moving toward interview techniques that allow them to determine your ability to work as a team member. Performance-based interviewing focuses on the candidate’s ability to deal with real-life situations related to their relationships with supervisors, coworkers, and/or subordinates. These questions ask the candidate to answer questions about relationships based on how they may have dealt with similar circumstances in the past.
  4. Practice. Practice. Practice. Check to see if your university has practice interview resources, especially videotaping. If not, practice with other students and use your phone to videotape yourself so you can pick up any nervous habits as well as evaluate how you answer questions. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be at the actual interview.
  5. Don’t fudge it. Stick to what you know, do not try to impress anyone when you don’t know the answer. It is often very transparent, and you don’t want to come off as embellishing or lying to the interviewer.
  6. Keep it positive. Never speak negatively about your current program, professor, or experiences.
  7. Come with questions. Do your homework and have questions about the residency program prepared in advance. Be careful not to ask the interviewers questions which could be found easily on the web. Coming in with thoughtful questions will help convince the interviewers you took the time to do research and are really interested in their program.
  8. Showing confidence is important. Be sure to look the interviewer in the eye, and if there is more than one interviewer, practice looking back and forth and engaging all the interviewers. When you walk in the room, shake everyone’s hand and have a positive and confident attitude that shows you are happy to be there.
  9. Turn negatives into positives. If you are asked to name a weakness, find a way to turn it into a positive one. For example, if you are asked to describe your weaknesses, you can say, “I have some issues with time management, but I’ve been working hard on this problem with the advice of my mentor and I can see improvement.”
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