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Treating interview more conversationally?


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As I progress more in my interview prep, I find myself sometimes getting detached, robotic, and weary in my answers when I try to adopt the cliche standard structures that med student friends encourage me to do. It just doesn't feel like I'm being myself when I try to do this. I consider myself a decent conversationalist IRL.

Anyone else get in and just approach the interview very conversationally without the conventional intro, points, and conclusion structure? I interviewed last year and approached it very conversationally. I think I could've definitely done more to develop more fleshed out discussion points and I got an average interview in the end. I don't want to necessarily overstructure my responses and go the other way in coming off as too performative and not myself.

Thanks for the insights! :)

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1 hour ago, microwaveoven said:

As I progress more in my interview prep, I find myself sometimes getting detached, robotic, and weary in my answers when I try to adopt the cliche standard structures that med student friends encourage me to do. It just doesn't feel like I'm being myself when I try to do this. I consider myself a decent conversationalist IRL.

Anyone else get in and just approach the interview very conversationally without the conventional intro, points, and conclusion structure? I interviewed last year and approached it very conversationally. I think I could've definitely done more to develop more fleshed out discussion points and I got an average interview in the end. I don't want to necessarily overstructure my responses and go the other way in coming off as too performative and not myself.

Thanks for the insights! :)

Yes. I found it helpful to try to summarize a bit as I went, and to take a few seconds to think before I just started talking blindly.  But I found it much easier to approach things like a bit of a conversation and not to worry too much about planning or structuring what I was saying. You just have to remember that it’s still going to be kind of a one sided conversation, as there are limited prompts that they can give you. 

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  • 1 month later...

Me! I practiced for a solid 4 hours running over a couple questions with a friend. I had 0 predefined structure going in. I got accepted first interview.

The key for me was that I'm excellent at critical thinking and engaging personally with people, but mediocre at best at following structured presentation formats. Rather than being a poor version of everyone else, I just decided to be me. I figured if sincerely answering everything to the best of my ability and acting normally didn't work, I definitely wouldn't be able to do it robotically.

To each their own, but I had a great experience at my interview, and got in. It all comes down to playing to your strengths - if you're the type of person who's great with extremely structured approaches, use them! If you're not, you 100% do not have to.

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