Tips for Interview Day

If you go to an interview and when asked, you have NO questions…you did not prepare enough. There is no way that you know everything about the school. You must prepare and have questions.

  1. Review your personal statement and know it backwards, forwards, upwards, downward, you get the idea.

  2. Look at the website of the school and jot down some notes. When asking your questions, reference something you learned about the school. Do this especially if you took a tour of the school with a student before your interview.

  3. The only way you should not take the tour is if you have a plane to catch. Otherwise, this is your chance to get good information from current students. They are expecting you to ask anything. Remember, you are also interviewing the school to make sure that this is where you want to be.

  4. You are ON from the moment you step out of your car and onto the parking lot until the time your car leave the grounds. You do not know who is interviewing you but everyone is watching you. From the custodian to the students to the Deans. Always say Please, Thank you, Have a Nice Day, etc.

  5. If you are going to eat lunch before your interview, stay away from Onions, Garlic, any sodas that are not clear (imagine you spill soda on your shirt, Sprite and water do not show), avoid greasy foods (don’t want to have gas while you are interviewing). The last thing you should worry about it eating, rather talk with the students and other people who are with you at lunch, you can always eat later. But if the lunch is after your interview, eat but stay away from those mentioned above.

  6. Be confident. Firm handshake (from both men and women), always have eye contact when answering a question. If there are 2 people in the room, do not just talk to one of them. Change the focus every few words to each person so that each of them knows that you are addressing everyone.

  7. When asked a question, is it alright to think for a few seconds (not minutes). Shows people that you are choosing what you say carefully and have put thought into the question.


  9. This is not the time to bring the kids to the school.

  10. It is alright to talk about your family, it is who you are. But be prepared to answer the question of how you plan on succeeding in medical school with a family (heck, I think there is a presentation around here with that information.hmmmmmmmm)

  11. Be prepared to answer the question “why now”

  12. Have a back up plan. It may come up in conversation with the adcomes (it did for me during my interview).

  13. Did I mention, have questions to ask?

  14. Ladies: Tasteful makeup. Gentlemen: Do not bathe in cologne.

  15. Conservative dress. Women, try to keep the skirt at knee length, conservative up top too. Take it easy on the jewelery (not too many earrings. Try just 1 in each ear), a plain necklace, maybe a bracelet. Nothing jingly. Gentlemen: Navy Blue suits are the way to go. A conservative tie either solid or stripes; not the funny tie that you got for father’s day (if you need to, switch it a block from home). Men, make sure you are either clean shaven or your facial hair is neatly trimmed. Men, maybe a good idea to lose the earring if you have one (not the time nor the place).

    Good luck and have fun.

I got my first interview invite and I’m super excited. Which means I’m also super nervous. Thanks gabelerman for your tips. Does anyone else have anything else to add? I really don’t want to screw up the interview.

Have some good tips here:

Medical School Interview Tips

Congrats syr

where is the interview? Good luck and hopefully more to come…

  1. If you are in a small town, you are ‘on’ the moment you get on the prop-plane. When I picked up my rental car the guy at Hertz was a former admissions office secretary, and still had friends at WVSOM. If you are always polite and kind it will serve you well.

  2. If your flight time permits, spend any time post-interview exploring the area around the school. This is where you will be moving your family (if applicable) and it’s best to get an idea of what they’ll be moving TO.

  3. Writing the content of your thank you notes the night after the interview, while everything is fresh in your mind, makes for a better result than if you wait until you get home. Besides, it’s a much better use of your time than over-analyzing everything you said.
  1. Save your cross examination for revisit day. Even when students say nothing discussed will go back to the admissions committee - some things will still go back to the admissions committee. Asking agressive, argumentative, pointed questions can make you seem disinterested in a school.

  2. Wear comfortable shoes! There will be a fair amount of walking. I have seen applicants in heels get stuck in grassy areas and on grates. It’s super embarrassing.

  3. Be prepared to answer “why this school?”

  4. Take some tissues with you. If you are carrying a bag a water could also be helpful.

I’ve been away for a while :slight_smile: Just got invited for my first interview. I am happy and anxious. I already have a suit and comfortable shoes, but will be working days and school at night until the night before! Anyways, this community has always been so great!

How do I know who to send a thank you note after my interview? Do I address it to the school?

If you have interviews with several individuals, get a card from each (or their name and look them up on the school web site) and send them individually.

If you get the “speed dating” version, I’m not sure what the usual protocol is.


Have breakfast and coffee options with you in your hotel room just in case. You don’t know what will be in the a.m.! Late start, nearby deli not open…Eat something even if you don’t like breakfast. Similarly, watch the coffee, even if you’re a coffee drinker. Even with weak institutional coffee, I was a little hopped up by the time this one post-lunch interview happened.

Spend the extra $50 on the hotel in walking distance. Not because you really have the money, but because cabs outside large cities cost a ton and will eat up the “savings.”

Ladies: don’t forget that some motel room doors open to the outside! Don’t book online and ask to see the room before paying. See above re: false economy.

Longhairs: Bring your hair dryer even if staying at the Ritz. Believe me when I tell you.

Rite Aid and CVS have food enough for dinner if you can’t find a real store.

If you can, use your age and job interview experience to chat with the youths and help them loosen up. You think you’re nervous?

Get on the right sleep/wake schedule at least a few days before.

what do u wear?

As far as what to wear, GabeLerman addressed this. For ladies as well as gents, a suit. Most people seem to go for a black suit - that is not necessary but it should be a definate suit. Can be trousers or skirt.

Personally, I think having some color in the blouse may make you more visually memorable. Jewelry - not lots. A pearl necklace for ladies is almost equivalent to a tie for gents.

I pack at least an extra pair of hose for last minute.

Bear in mind that you will probably be walking all over the school. So dress shoes that are flats and if possible comfortable, as long as they look nice, are ideal. Not as hard to find as you might think - dress flats seem to be coming back in.

Thats my 2 cents!


For women–I noticed, which is a plus for me, that the amount of makeup and hairdo has gone way, way down since I graduated college in 1999. I am not the full makeup type, but if I had made myself come in with full makeup, that would have stood out. I would go so far as to say it would look dated. FYI.