Bombed an interview...

So I just got interview feedback from one of the schools I applied to last year (really should have asked for it much earlier, but it didn’t really occur to me). It pretty much eviscerates me, and I only barely have any idea where they’re coming from.

  • Quote:
1) The committee felt as though you were extremely nervous and that you talked very rapidly. So rapidly that they often could not understand what you were saying.

2) The committee felt as though you came across as close-minded and that you lack self-awareness. This was apparently due to a combination of the choice of words/phrases that you used during your interview and your inability to fully answer some questions. Some comments you made during your interview were not received favorably by the committee, were very off-putting to the committee, and were viewed as very disrespectful

I'm likely going to be interviewing there again in 2-3 months, and am mostly at a loss as to how to correct all of that.

Practice and video tape it. Then review it and ave someone else review it too and make comments

Is there any advising available where you completed your post-bacc or undergrad? They will usually offer practice interviews and can give feedback on your performance. It sounds like sheer nervousness may have been your main issue, so getting lots of practice can only help.

It might also be worth asking some of your friends or coworkers to give you some honest feedback about how your speaking style/etc comes across. Sometimes we can speak or engage with quirks we are completely unaware of (I remember the first time a family member commented on my slight overuse of ‘like’ in conversation - I felt mortified!)

What was your preparation process like for you interviews the first time around?

Every once in a while, SDN comes up with USEFUL information.

Kevin’s Guide…pt 1

Kevin’s Guide…pt2

Set up some mock interviews with people you know and have them bring someone else or two. Instruct them to ask you anything but most importantly followup ANYTHING you say with “And why is that?” The idea is to have people you don’t know ask you hard with the annoying “but why” retort to have you fully explain and also frustrate you. You’ll be amazed at how you’ll eventually get to the real reason. It’s annoying, embarassing, uncomfortable, and unnerving but 100% necessary. As already posted, it is a must to get it video recorded. Review the video after a beer or two with the group for a good laugh and initial impression. Then take it to others and have them review it with you there and ask them to be brutally honest.

My experience with this is I preach on occasion and thought I wasn’t half bad until I saw myself on video and realized there’s nothing half about it, I’m all bad. I thought speaking a bit faster, since I’m laid back was a sign of me being excited. Nope! It came off as nervous and my sermons were rushed. I didn’t believe it during my evals in seminary but low and behold once some jerk posted in on YouTube there it was for all the world to see. I was aghast because even when I slowed down I thought I had it licked but you couldn’t tell I slowed down. Our perceptions when nervous distort the space time continuum. They also distort our impressions of how well we did.

One of the things I have to do for a living is measure and describe a patient’s level of insight and judgement. Insight is being able to view your own behavior without occluding it with denial. Judgement is being able to adjust your behavior accordingly. Often, a pattern of thinking and behavior is rigidly fixed in place due to the patient’s inability to even see it, or develop a willingness to look at it. That pattern has usually evolved as some form of protection, or survival skill, consequently, there is a HIGH level of unwillingness to part with it, or even consider looking at it. People will say, “That’s the way I AM” and stubbornly cling to a “blankie” of an old, useless behavior pattern because in some way, it has served them in the past. Being open to considering that some things are worth letting go of is the beginning of developing insight. It requires some degree of stepping into the unknown and not being fearful of such. The beautiful thing, is once the light bulb comes on, and you see the reality - good, bad, and ugly, it makes it MUCH easier to change it. It is like discarding an old worn out sneaker, that although VERY COMFORTABLE, no longer serves a purpose. New shoes are sometimes tight and squeaky until you break them in, but are WELL worth the effort. YOU are not your performance at the interview. YOU are the amazing person you are!! Don’t confuse the two…Within each of us lies Hitler, and within each of us lies Gandhi. It all depends on the decisions we make and the behaviors we choose to embrace.

this is something I would have liked to have seen at the conference; videotaped mock interviews with people we don’t know, who are on the same level as the rest of us, and don’t mind giving it straight.

Would be even better when the conference has a few real adcoms giving a presentation if they would be ok with giving mock interviews. No way to deny “you suck” and “we wouldn’t even admit u to an imaginary med school” if the mock interview had REAL adcoms on it…

And despite the fact they thought u were being disrespectful, they gave u feedback when they could have just chucked your app in the trash, said you’re waitlisted, and then never called. I suspect they’re either very nice people or still liked u despite what they wrote about your performance.

I once had a declined applicant call me and tell me I broke her heart telling her that she didn’t have enough experience for the job, and around four or five other reasons I couldn’t hire her at the time.

My response was “damn, I must have liked you if I bothered saying all that; I usually don’t waste time with unqualified applicants and wrap it up fast.”