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virtual MMI curly/wavy hair concern


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Hi all,

I know this question has been asked in the past but I was looking to have perspective from people who have done the MMIs online.

This may seem like a trivial issue but I really want to have the best chances of getting in. I have curly/wavy hair and I was wondering if I should straighten it for my virtual interview. Usually, in my personal life, I never straighten my hair even for important/formal events like graduations, birthdays, in-person interviews, etc. I find I look professional with curly hair. However, I find that my hair looks messy through the quality of my laptop camera lens on zoom/other video conferencing platforms. Therefore, I wouldn't want the interviewers to think I didn't take the time to get ready and dress neatly. I know that making a positive first impression is really important. As much as the interviewers try not to judge you on how/what you look like, they will inevitably have subconscious bias towards what they deem to be a "neat presentation" or "clean". I think that video conferencing platforms don't do my hair justice lol as cringe as that sounds. I feel like I have to straighten my hair to give myself the best chance but at the same time I feel like I lose some of my uniqueness and just fall into a mold... I'm not sure what to do.

Any input would be appreciated. 

I would love to hear from those with curly/wavy hair who have done the virtual MMIs: how did you decide to present yourself for your online interview and were you accepted ?

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@imz

Previous interviewer here, I can't speak to all medical schools but I want to say that you should never feel that your natural hair which represents you and your identity needs to be assimilated and changed to be professional. In order for us to be interviewers, we have to take the Harvard Implicit Bias Training Module and sign an agreement stating we will no discriminate applicants based on race, appearance, ethnicity gender etc. Of course biases still exist, but I personally would not want to attend a medical school where the interviewers are racist or discriminatory.

That being said, I was in a similar situation for my medical school and residency interviews (I have 3a curly hair). these were all pre-pandemic and in person interviews.  I have a habit of touching/playing with my hair when I am nervous, so i decided to have it tied up and out of my face for all of my interviews. I would also recommend investing in a webcam for your interviews (and med school which will likely have a large Zoom/online component) if you are concerned about your video quality. I had a friend who had her natural hair in box braids for her interview and matched to her top choice of residency.

Ultimately there is no perfect answer, wear your hair in the way that makes you feel comfortable and confident for your interview!

 

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@MDInterviewPrep   thanks so much for replying! I also have the habit of playing around with my hair when I'm nervous, so I think tying it up is actually a great idea!!
congrats to your friend (+ box braids are beautiful)!!! :) 

11 hours ago, MDInterviewPrep said:

In order for us to be interviewers, we have to take the Harvard Implicit Bias Training Module and sign an agreement stating we will no discriminate applicants based on race, appearance, ethnicity gender etc

Okay I didn't know that existed, but it's really great they've implemented this kind of training for interviewers.
 

11 hours ago, MDInterviewPrep said:

you should never feel that your natural hair which represents you and your identity needs to be assimilated and changed to be professional.

thank you!!!

11 hours ago, MDInterviewPrep said:

Ultimately there is no perfect answer, wear your hair in the way that makes you feel comfortable and confident for your interview!

 

Thanks for that, what you said makes a lot of sense & it's really reassuring .


I feel like I have one less thing to worry about now so thanks so much for this !

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