Here’s How to Prepare Yourself
Admissions Advice from Regional Director of Admissions, Lisa Miller
The entire medical school admissions process can be cumbersome, challenging, and at times, stressful; this is a critical and crucial part of the admissions process. Depending on the school, some of the admissions steps will vary, so make sure you follow each medical school’s instructions. Generally speaking, each school will want you to upload your entire application packet, this too can be done several ways, all depending upon the school. Knowing how to make a lasting impression during your medical school admissions interview can make a significant difference in being put through to the next round, ultimately playing a critical part in determining who gets an invitation, and who does not. Directors of Admissions have an abundant amount of insight, knowledge, and drive, to peel back the layers of academic success, giving you invaluable experience through the admissions interview.
The Top 10 Tips to Take With You into the Interview
Lisa Miller, a Regional Director of Admissions for Trinity, says, “I am often asked questions about the application and interview process, and I’m always willing to share best practices. For some students, their medical school interview is their first interview ever. Each school’s process is done differently, and at Trinity, we place our applicant interviews at the beginning of the admissions process. Our rationale; it allows our applicants to demonstrate their strengths, which will enable them to tell us their story, aside from just focusing on their grades and scores. We take a holistic approach, which means we look at each student individually, and that starts with the interview. Here are some of Lisa’s tips and recommendations for any medical student gearing up for an applicant interview.
Research, the medical school you are applying to and know as much about the school(s) as possible. Identifying information about the school will demonstrate to the admissions advisor that you’re serious about the process, which is paramount.
Be prepared to answer not only why you want to go to medical school but also why you’d be an asset to the program. Examples include; describing how you can see yourself representing the school beyond the classroom. This question allows you to demonstrate you’ve done your research on the school, by incorporating how you envision yourself participating in student-run organizations that extend well beyond the lecture halls, and into the community.
Prepare a list of questions you’d like to ask the admissions advisor at the end of the interview. Any admissions advisor who’s serious about the process will be thrilled to know that you have a list of questions, and genuinely happy to answer any questions.
Do mock interviews with family and friends. Lisa says this is important because, “it will help you better answer questions in a concise, articulate way. You will have the opportunity to polish your interviewing skills and, in turn, feel more comfortable and interview better.”
Be prepared to talk about your clinical experience clearly and concisely, in addition to your academic background. Secondly, we want to know what you learned about the field that perhaps you didn’t expect, some experiences that you have had that have been particularly impactful and why.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have migrated to holding all virtual interview sessions. Because you’re more than likely having a virtual interview, you don’t get a pass to dress-down. Treat this as a meeting. Dress professionally.
Arrive on time. On-time is early. Make sure you know the steps involved in the virtual interview. You’re going to need a quiet space, a high-speed internet connection, working audio and mic. Make sure your computer, laptop, or whatever electronic device you’ll be using, meets the specifications to connect to your virtual meeting.
Due to the COVID-19 global health crisis, any admissions advisor may ask you how you’ve navigated around any obstacles due to the pandemic. Make sure you have a positive outlook on this, do not bring up what you think is wrong with the system, or what you would have done differently (remember, you’re trying to become a medical doctor, and aren’t one yet). Instead, you can elaborate on ways you’ve helped your family or your local community. Showing your strengths during a crisis can be endearing, meaningful, and, most importantly, memorable. You want to leave a “wow-factor” with your admissions advisor.
Relax, take a deep breath, and go into the interview confident, but not arrogant. You will likely start to feel more at ease within a few minutes of talking with your academic advisor. Remember, you are showing up to this interview to be one thing, and that is your authentic self. It would be best if you don’t memorize anything; after all, your mission is to showcase yourself, your strengths, and even your struggles. In addition, we want to know if you were working while in school? Were you a full-time athlete, were you a caretaker or the like? We want to know what else you had going on during school. An excellent academic advisor wants to know more than what he or she can glean by looking at your transcripts and submission packet alone.
Once you’ve completed the interview process, don’t be shy to ask when you should expect to hear back, one way or the other. Sending a thank-you note is also appropriate.
Trinity’s continued success is multifaceted, with a continued emphasis on maintaining small class sizes, and has one of the lowest students to faculties ratios designed for student success. Trinity School of Medicine offers three points of entry each year; January, May, and September.
Our investment in students is not only providing an exceptional learning experience, but in fostering an environment of care, trust, and commitment to ensure our students ultimate success.
Trinity is the one school that will invest personally and professionally in you with your success as its core mission.