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Is 3 weeks enough to prepare for an interview? Feeling overwhelmed and stressed...


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First of all, congratulations to those who received an interview from Dal yesterday. For applicants who did not get invited, keep working hard, continue things that you enjoy doing and keep your head up!

I am not sure if the interview for Dal is taking place on the same day for everyone, but mine is scheduled in 3 weeks. This is my first medical school interview ever and I have no clue what to expect. I've taken a look at all these sample questions and there are literally hundreds of them! I don't think I have time to go over all of them for sure... Plus, the fact that interview format changed for this cycle does not help at all.

Is 3 weeks enough to prepare for a medical school interview? I should have started  a bit earlier to prepare since interviews are my weakness!

Also, how do people give an answer that is 5 to 8 minutes long per each station? I am feeling a bit uncomfortable having to speak non-stop for 5 to 8 minutes :wacko:

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Congrats on your Interview invite! Best advice is to practice as much as possible. By yourself, to friends/ family, recording yourself, with other applicants online. Practice incorporating multiple perspectives into your answers (do some reading in CBC health news section, read CMAJ articles, write down your own opinions to get them straight in your mind). It becomes easy to fill up 5-8 minutes. Sometimes it can be helpful to practice structuring your answer: 1-Summarize your understanding of the prompt (30 sec); 2- give a brief layout of what you're going to talk about/ how your going to answer the prompt (maybe outlining 2-3 topics/ideas/points you're going to touch on? 30 sec-1 min); talk about your points/ the meat of the answer (3-4 min); Summarize what you spoke about and reiterate/ provide any final opinions (30 sec-1 min).

Not everyone does this, and sometimes it's more appropriate for certain questions and not others. It can be a helpful habit to fall back on when you're stressed about coming up with an answer in a short amount of time. I definitely found that getting comfortable in my own thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics, as well as getting comfortable bringing up the personal life experiences that have shaped these opinions, was helpful because your own personal experiences can be applied across many stations and scenarios.

Feel free to pm with any Qs!

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Congrats to those who received interviews!

For those who did not, don’t give up!! If medicine is your calling you will get here (some of my smartest classmates took the “scenic route” to med school and their background as paramedics, nurses, physios really help them!) :)

 

Just to add onto the great advise mentioned above here are some things I did that worked for me! (Disclaimer it may not work for everyone so do what’s best for you!)

1. Record yourself answering questions and watch them back. I wasn’t really focusing on what I was saying but rather looking for any weird hand movementsI/ tone of voice/ speed/ lengths of pauses. 
 

2. 3 weeks is enough time. Don’t worry about remembering all the news articles you read on various topics but as mentioned above talk about both sides of the story. I went about almost every question as follows: summarize the question, talk about my perspective, talk about other perspectives, pick a side, and summarize. 
 

3. Practice talking~lots and lots of it!! I think I focused more on how I was communicating than actually researching topics. I practiced interviewing with friends, family, recording myself as mentioned above. If I were you, I would try to do as much of this online (like through FaceTime or zoom) because the real interview will be virtual. 
 

4. As for prep material I watched the news nightly, did some reading on hot topics/ current events, and got my ideas for personal questions out on paper (ie. tell us about a time of conflict, what is your greatest strengths/weaknesse)...I find these some of the hardest questions because it forces me to look in but if you can get a few points out on paper you have a good foundation :)

 

Hope this helps and good luck!!

 

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Definitely practice through Zoom or something like that. I practiced via Skype with people in the past and never really paid attention to looking into the camera etc because I knew I would make eye contact with the interviewer during the real thing, but little things like that are going to be important for you this year. Good luck!

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