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McMaster MMI: Speaking for the *whole* 8 minutes?


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Hi everyone!

For those who are interviewing/have interviewed at Mac, should we be timing our answers to take up the whole 8 minutes? I've really tried, but find myself rambling/repeating information if I'm speaking for more than 5-5.5 minutes at a time. I don't want to be sitting in awkward silence with my interviewer for the remaining 2-3 minutes (lol), but feel that my answers diminish in value if I'm speaking for the sake of taking up time. One interview coach I've talked to told me that they will just sit in silence, but I'm seeing conflicting information online.

What have your experiences been?

How discussion-based is it? Can I expect to have a conversation (or even a pseudo-conversation) with my interviewer after my initial answer?

I know they have the option to ask follow-up questions and challenge certain points I make at their discretion, but has this been your experience? Thanks so much!

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If there is no designated follow up questions for that station they will indeed sit in silence. That being said a lot of the questions are complex, so if you finish your thought with lots of time left, just say something like "Allow me a moment to consider the prompt further". And usually there will be a copy in there with you, so you can have a few seconds to think and if there's another angle or something else you want to bring up you can.

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I was one of the interviewers for Mac back in 2017, my advice may be a little dated now so take with a grain of salt. 

My station was one that came frontloaded with a long answer. The best applicants I found spoke for about 4mins or so, gave me their opening argument, reasons why they supported that, reasons why they don't support the other side of the argument, then conclusion. I had prompting questions that I could ask if they didn't already cover it in their answer. 

To be honest, people who gave me everything including answers to the prompting questions up front was difficult to follow. When someone talks straight for 8 mins I tended to lose their main argument. So answer the question as asked, support your answer. We will give you the prompting questions with the remaining time. 

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