Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone, not sure if it is appropriate to start a new thread here. 

I'm currently a 3rd time re-applicant and received my first interview this year. I was really excited and practiced a lot from December-February by going over many topics, listening to the White Coat, Black Art, reading many books for interview tips (all that I can find in my school's career center), and practicing 1-2 times a week with other interviewees in my school. However, the real interview didn't go really well and I resulted in a "below average" interview mark (also a rejection). I was nervous in the first station just because the anxiety was high but later on I was more comfortable. My reflections of the interview were that I bombed one station where I was really off-topic and talking in circles, was okay in most other stations, and had 1-2 stations where I felt connection with the interviewer. 

I want to hear if anyone has any tips regarding the interview.

  • Do you think we should use a formulated approach (by discussing impacts of an issue on a personal, community, and institutional levels) or a more conversational approach?
  • How do you handle the ACTING station where the actor really do not cooperate? Do you have to always reach an agreeable solution in the end for acting stations?
  • How much you've written for the writing station?
  • Should you always try to relate topics back to medicine? (eg. you've discussed a time you had a fight. Then should you say, from this event, I've learned how to handle similar type of situation. Especially as a doctor, I can handle the relationships with co-workers, patients, and families better.) 
  • Should you always try to bring up personal anecdotes in the responses? (This is more towards the discussion questions not the personal-reflection questions. Some of the discussions really don't fit events in my life)

Again, any tips would help me greatly! Please DO NOT discuss any interview question you have encountered as it's against the confidentially form we've signed. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Only interviewed once and it was meh. Nevertheless, I wrote my thoughts below. These are just my opinions and could very well be wrong. Happy to discuss !!
 

  • Do you think we should use a formulated approach (by discussing impacts of an issue on a personal, community, and institutional levels) or a more conversational approach?

For most stations, conversational. Sometimes the interviewer won’t really engage in a discussion, at which point you can continue to monologue it. By making it conversational, you allow them to make inputs that you can quickly pick up on and elaborate. Don’t have to think of everything at once.

  • How do you handle the ACTING station where the actor really do not cooperate? Do you have to always reach an agreeable solution in the end for acting stations?

I sucked at the acting ones, never reached a conclusion and awkwardly exited when time was up.

  • How much you've written for the writing station?

I wrote 2 full pages single spaced (5 paragraphs I think) and was really happy with it. Lucky to get a question that applied to my personal experience.

  • Should you always try to relate topics back to medicine? (eg. you've discussed a time you had a fight. Then should you say, from this event, I've learned how to handle similar type of situation. Especially as a doctor, I can handle the relationships with co-workers, patients, and families better.) 

No, don’t force medicine into each question. 

  • Should you always try to bring up personal anecdotes in the responses? (This is more towards the discussion questions not the personal-reflection questions. Some of the discussions really don't fit events in my life)

Yes - if I was an interviewer, I’d want to see your reasoning and people’s experiences are what make them interesting and unique. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, pyridoxal-phosphate said:

Hey, really sorry to hear that you didn't get the news you wanted. Realize that it's subjective and hard to say what below average means. I'm by no means an interview expert (they have always been a huge hurdle for me when applying to jobs etc), and I thought the actual UBC one went TERRIBLY so i'm not too qualified to help here and hopefully someone better replies. But here are my thoughts

- No right answer here and I think everyone will approach it differently. I don't think structure is inherently bad and you can be structured while still coming across personable/relaxed (smile when you speak/greet, eye contact, not using heavy jargon, other non verbal stuff etc). I personally feel more comfortable and myself if i'm using a structure, but some people probably hate using one and do fine. 

- The year I interviewed the acting station was sort of odd and I don't think this really applied. 

- I thought my writing was terrible, and I basically wrote 4 very short paragraphs and had like 10 minutes to spare because I didn't know what to write lol (intro, couple body paragraphs (pros/cons sort of thing), conclusion) 

- I think it's a good idea to talk about your reflection or what you learned and how you can transfer that or use it in the future, but I personally never connected it to medicine (at least at UBC, I might have at panel schools? but not even sure there). I know this is something commonly recommended but when I tried doing it while practicing I just felt really awkward and cocky, and I didn't feel like myself so I decided to scrap it. Do what makes you comfortable and what makes you you :). I don't know what schools are looking for, but if I was an interviewer I PERSONALLY wouldn't penalize someone for not connecting it to medicine, provided they still go into details about what they learned/reflected/transferred from the experience. 

- I sometimes injected small anecdotes when supporting or introducing certain points of my discussion, but they weren't long stories or anything. There were definitely a good number of stations where I didn't add anything personal. Sometimes I even stated that or admitted it to the interviewer and they seemed to appreciate that, but that doesn't mean anything score wise (someone could be stone faced and love you, or seem to like you but give you a bad score). 

 

Thank you for the fast reply. I just got a chance to fully read it. I really appreciate your thoughts on the questions. 

I definitely agree with the subjectivity of the interviews and I myself have interviewed others in the past for club and other scholar events. 

I tried to put structures in my answers this year but for some stations, I was cut half-way through my structure as the interviewer responded to one of my earlier points. Maybe because I did not fully elaborate on it that they wanted to hear more? What ended up happening is that I answered their follow-up and we continued discussion but the timer ran so quickly I never got a chance to go back to say my other points. I was like shaking their hands on the exit and saying "BTW, I wanted to say also this and this". I think this made me look very one-dimensional and thus if I ever practice again, I'd try to get my points out in the first two sentences and then say, I will elaborate on point A, and point B and so on. However, it is definitely nerve-racking to come up with at least two good solid points on the spot. 

I struggled with the legibility and speed of my writing as they have a negative correlation with each other. I wasn't ready for the topic I had so I sat for 3-4 minutes before putting a word on the page. I got 4 paragraphs done with an intro, two points, and conclusion. But I definitely think I need to write more on paper in my practice. (very different from typing as you cannot go back and correct stuff). 

For a lot of the discussion questions, I did try to bring back to medicine. But they are very loosely connected and I think I was kind of stretching the connection. I'd think again if I ever get a next time. 

I'm not really good at coming up with personal anecdotes on the spot and I guess I need to do more personal reflections before the interview so I can draw them out of my bag quickly.

The interviewers are indeed very hard to predict. Generally I think myself as an out-going and approachable person in real life, but I guess my nervousness got in the way. 

 

A follow-up question:
- Is there anything you'd recommend for me or others to prepare for the interviews? Or anything you find helpful to make a good first impression?

 

Thank you again for your response. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, UbcSci said:

Only interviewed once and it was meh. Nevertheless, I wrote my thoughts below. These are just my opinions and could very well be wrong. Happy to discuss !!
 

  • Do you think we should use a formulated approach (by discussing impacts of an issue on a personal, community, and institutional levels) or a more conversational approach?

For most stations, conversational. Sometimes the interviewer won’t really engage in a discussion, at which point you can continue to monologue it. By making it conversational, you allow them to make inputs that you can quickly pick up on and elaborate. Don’t have to think of everything at once.

  • How do you handle the ACTING station where the actor really do not cooperate? Do you have to always reach an agreeable solution in the end for acting stations?

I sucked at the acting ones, never reached a conclusion and awkwardly exited when time was up.

  • How much you've written for the writing station?

I wrote 2 full pages single spaced (5 paragraphs I think) and was really happy with it. Lucky to get a question that applied to my personal experience.

  • Should you always try to relate topics back to medicine? (eg. you've discussed a time you had a fight. Then should you say, from this event, I've learned how to handle similar type of situation. Especially as a doctor, I can handle the relationships with co-workers, patients, and families better.) 

No, don’t force medicine into each question. 

  • Should you always try to bring up personal anecdotes in the responses? (This is more towards the discussion questions not the personal-reflection questions. Some of the discussions really don't fit events in my life)

Yes - if I was an interviewer, I’d want to see your reasoning and people’s experiences are what make them interesting and unique. 

Thank you UbcSci. 

I tried to make a formulated approach with like 2-3 points I was to discuss. It's very hard to do on the spot with only 2 minutes and also the nervousness. Also, in my interview, some interviewers were very responsive and started to elaborate on the point A so quickly that I did not at all have time to talk about point B, thus making my responses very one-dimensional. I guess something I would do differently will be have a good introduction sentence in the very beginning laying out Point A, B, and C to them. Then at least they'll recognize that I've got things to say but just need more time. 

The ACTING was really tough. In real life, I've not seen many like that. Well I guess they are trying to get you used to the stressfulness in clinical settings. Coming up with resolutions is tough in my stations. 

I've written 4 paragraphs with 1.75 pages single spaced. My writing becomes not legible after a while so I needed to slow down. Also, I wasn't really ready for the topic and took 3-4 minutes of thinking before putting down my first word. 

The "reasoning" and "people's experiences" are definitely good things to have in responses. I'll try to be better at talking about them concisely and precisely. I had some trouble describing life events so I took so much time describing them. I guess I need to be a better story-teller than I am now. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/19/2020 at 8:26 PM, 24KaratPureAu said:

Thank you for the fast reply. I just got a chance to fully read it. I really appreciate your thoughts on the questions. 

I definitely agree with the subjectivity of the interviews and I myself have interviewed others in the past for club and other scholar events. 

I tried to put structures in my answers this year but for some stations, I was cut half-way through my structure as the interviewer responded to one of my earlier points. Maybe because I did not fully elaborate on it that they wanted to hear more? What ended up happening is that I answered their follow-up and we continued discussion but the timer ran so quickly I never got a chance to go back to say my other points. I was like shaking their hands on the exit and saying "BTW, I wanted to say also this and this". I think this made me look very one-dimensional and thus if I ever practice again, I'd try to get my points out in the first two sentences and then say, I will elaborate on point A, and point B and so on. However, it is definitely nerve-racking to come up with at least two good solid points on the spot. 

I struggled with the legibility and speed of my writing as they have a negative correlation with each other. I wasn't ready for the topic I had so I sat for 3-4 minutes before putting a word on the page. I got 4 paragraphs done with an intro, two points, and conclusion. But I definitely think I need to write more on paper in my practice. (very different from typing as you cannot go back and correct stuff). 

For a lot of the discussion questions, I did try to bring back to medicine. But they are very loosely connected and I think I was kind of stretching the connection. I'd think again if I ever get a next time. 

I'm not really good at coming up with personal anecdotes on the spot and I guess I need to do more personal reflections before the interview so I can draw them out of my bag quickly.

The interviewers are indeed very hard to predict. Generally I think myself as an out-going and approachable person in real life, but I guess my nervousness got in the way. 

 

A follow-up question:
- Is there anything you'd recommend for me or others to prepare for the interviews? Or anything you find helpful to make a good first impression?

 

Thank you again for your response. 

edit

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/20/2020 at 5:17 AM, HopefulMD786 said:

Is the writing station difficult? And if the writing station is your poorest station do they still drop it?

I know that some people think UBC drops the lowest station, but there's no evidence they do. I think it's better to practice with the mindset that no station will be dropped.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/21/2020 at 10:54 PM, matchalatte said:

I know that some people think UBC drops the lowest station, but there's no evidence they do. I think it's better to practice with the mindset that no station will be dropped.

I agree. I've not heard anyone official say it will be dropped. The most I heard is that one bad station can be averaged out by the good performances in other stations. So I would practice with the exact mindset matchalatte had (nice username btw).

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Pterygoid said:

Before you interview, the dean of admissions says something along the lines of "don't worry, performing bad on one station doesn't sink the boat". Apparently he says that to every cohort who interviews...

Did he say that for us? I don't remember lol. But that might just mean one bad station won't destroy your overall interview score (which is the average of 11 stations), not that your lowest station will be dropped. I feel like he said that to remind everyone to not get so caught up with one poor station that it negatively affects all your remaining stations.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, matchalatte said:

Did he say that for us? I don't remember lol. But that might just mean one bad station won't destroy your overall interview score (which is the average of 11 stations), not that your lowest station will be dropped. I feel like he said that to remind everyone to not get so caught up with one poor station that it negatively affects all your remaining stations.

Yes I remember him saying that too!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, matchalatte said:

Did he say that for us? I don't remember lol. But that might just mean one bad station won't destroy your overall interview score (which is the average of 11 stations), not that your lowest station will be dropped. I feel like he said that to remind everyone to not get so caught up with one poor station that it negatively affects all your remaining stations.

 

1 hour ago, Giant_Anteaters said:

Yes I remember him saying that too!!

 

9 hours ago, Pterygoid said:

Before you interview, the dean of admissions says something along the lines of "don't worry, performing bad on one station doesn't sink the boat". Apparently he says that to every cohort who interviews...

I remember that speech too. But there wasn't any indication that any station will be dropped. It was more like, don't worry if you sink one station, you get the other 10 to average it out. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
On 5/20/2020 at 5:17 AM, HopefulMD786 said:

And if the writing station is your poorest station do they still drop it?

 

On 5/21/2020 at 7:54 PM, vms said:

I know that some people think UBC drops the lowest station, but there's no evidence they do. I think it's better to practice with the mindset that no station will be dropped.

 

On 5/23/2020 at 9:55 AM, 24KaratPureAu said:

I agree. I've not heard anyone official say it will be dropped. The most I heard is that one bad station can be averaged out by the good performances in other stations. So I would practice with the exact mindset matchalatte had (nice username btw).

 

On 5/23/2020 at 8:19 PM, 24KaratPureAu said:

I remember that speech too. But there wasn't any indication that any station will be dropped. It was more like, don't worry if you sink one station, you get the other 10 to average it out. 

I was reading through the UBC MD admissions blog, and according to this post from 2015, none of the stations are dropped!

Screen Shot 2020-07-16 at 1.17.50 PM.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...