Interviewing (Applying to Health Profession Schools)

The interview invitation has arrived! Time to celebrate and prepare. Use your notes to firm up reasons that you are a good fit for the school, to match who you are with the program, and to highlight to yourself reasons that you want to attend. 

  1. Review the Health Professions Video on interview preparation.
  2. Sign up for a mock multi-mini interview in Career Education
  3. Complete a second mock interview with Career Education.
  4. Check with Health Professions Advising to see if there is a Wellesley Woman currently attending the school where you will interview so you can connect with a current student.

After the interview, write notes about what you liked and any concerns that you had. Remember, you may interview in September and make a final decision in April. This information will help you make an informed decision.

Traditional Interviews

Prepare for traditional interviews by doing the following:

  1. Review everything on your application, you could be asked about any part of it. Print out a copy to see what admissions will see.
  2. Review the school's website and be familiar with the program.
  3. Be able to identify 4-5 reasons why you want to attend this specific program.
  4. Practice - do mock interviews with Health Professions, you MPAC advisor, mentors, family and friends. Prepare but don't over-rehearse so that you have memorized answers.
  5. Put together a list of questions for your interviewers with separate questions for faculty, admissions and students. Remember, you are interviewing the school!
  6. Be friendly and gracious to everyone you meet. Your fellow interviewees may be your classmates next year.
  7. Dress conservatively in a dark blue, gray or black suit or dress with blazer. Wear minimal jewelry and makeup and no perfume. 
  8. Pack your suit in your carry-on if possible in case of lost luggage.   
  9. Remember to send a thank you note!

Traditional Interview Preparation Resources:

  1. AAMC How to Maximize Your Interview Research
  2. Possible questions to ask at an interview
  3. 50 Common Interview Questions
  4. AAMC Ask the Experts
  5. All Access Admissions Podcast for school specific information directly from the Dean of Admissions

Multi-Mini Interviews (MMI's)

The MMI is a series of short, timed interview stations. Participants rotate through a series of rooms, each with a single question. A typical MMI may consist of:

  1. Minutes 1-2: Read question posted outside door, develop response. Bell rings.
  2. Minutes 3-(8-12): Enter room, respond to question with interviewer. Bell rings.
  3. Move to the next room and return to step 1. Rotate through all stations. 

Interviews typically consist of 6-10 stations, each lasting 6-10 minutes. The entire interview is typically about 2 hours.

Interviews do not test academic or clinical knowledge. There are typically no right answers. Applicants are asked to adopt a position and defend ideas they put forward, act out a scenario, or discuss or discuss issues raised. Stations may include a standardized patient or a partner/group challenge. Questions are deliberately vague so that the candidate can approach them from a variety of angles. Interviewers may challenge the applicant's perspective.

Why MMIs?

Research studies find the MMI to be a more statistically valid selection method for medical school admission than traditional one-on-one interviewing:

  1. The MMI is fairer than traditional interviews: all participants answer the same questions with the same raters. Participants meet more than just 2 interviewers!
  2. If a participant has one bad station, it doesn't prevent acceptance; MMI's give an opportunity to recover from nerves or a poor answer.
  3. Questions can be vetted to ensure that they assess the criteria that the school seeks.
  4. Data shows that the interviewers make up their mind about a candidate within the first three minutes; thus the quick format avoids wasting time.
  5. MMI's are more interesting than narrative based interviews!

MMI Preparation Resources:

  1. University of Alabama 7 Facts to Help Guide You Through the Multiple Mini-Interview
  2. New York Times Article on MMI's New for Aspiring Doctors, the People Skills Test
  3. McMaster Multiple Mini Interview How We Select and Additional Details Book
  4. Virginia Tech Medical School Interview Day website
  5. 100 Sample MMI Questions
  6. Columbia Bioethics for Premeds Faculty Presentation
  7. Check the Wellesley College Interview Feedback Sheet for travel and hotel information from previous interviewees. (Note: after your interviews, leave feedback for your peers!)

Tips for MMI Day:

  1. Read each question carefully and ask yourself what they are trying to learn about you. What's the question behind the question?
  2. Take a deep breath and think about answers. If there could be more than one side to the answer, be prepared to discuss both perspectives before giving your opinion. Talk through your thought process.
  3. Enter the room with confidence. Smile, introduce yourself, shake hands.
  4. Begin by restating the questions so the interviewer is clear on your perception of what you are answering.
  5. Pay attention to cues from the interviewer.
  6. Don't consistently look at your watch.
  7. If you run out of things to say, it's OK to ask if the interviewer had follow-up questions, or to sit quietly.
  8. Whatever happens in one room, leave it behind as you move to the next!