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Hi, I wanted to get some opinions on the use of prompt questions in the interview.

I know at Calgary they explicitly say that using prompt questions are perfectly fine, and in fact if you were running out of things to say it would be completely reasonable to ask for one. There would be no effect to your score if you used all the prompt questions or none (i.e. talked all the way through), all that would matter was overall content and ability to communicate.

Is this similar at UBC? I find that I have much better interactions when talking about complex topics when I have a back and forth with someone, instead of talking straight for 4 - 5 min. I'm able to be more engaging, and I usually either disagree or add something meaningful when someone else brings up a point. Conversely, I sometimes struggle to be completely organized with all my thoughts on a topic, ready to go at the beginning - especially if I know a lot about the topic. I can do it, if need be, but I much prefer conversations.

Is it risky to rely too much on prompt questions though? I don't know if I've ever heard UBC say one way or the other. 

To be clear, I realize that for more personal questions (e.g. tell me about a time where you experienced adversity), you're expected to talk for some time and reflect. I recognize where there are some instances where you just need to talk a lot, but for some question types, I find that I'm really boring if I just go through a pros/cons list really quickly.

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36 minutes ago, jfdes said:

Hi, I wanted to get some opinions on the use of prompt questions in the interview.

I know at Calgary they explicitly say that using prompt questions are perfectly fine, and in fact if you were running out of things to say it would be completely reasonable to ask for one. There would be no effect to your score if you used all the prompt questions or none (i.e. talked all the way through), all that would matter was overall content and ability to communicate.

Is this similar at UBC? I find that I have much better interactions when talking about complex topics when I have a back and forth with someone, instead of talking straight for 4 - 5 min. I'm able to be more engaging, and I usually either disagree or add something meaningful when someone else brings up a point. Conversely, I sometimes struggle to be completely organized with all my thoughts on a topic, ready to go at the beginning - especially if I know a lot about the topic. I can do it, if need be, but I much prefer conversations.

Is it risky to rely too much on prompt questions though? I don't know if I've ever heard UBC say one way or the other. 

To be clear, I realize that for more personal questions (e.g. tell me about a time where you experienced adversity), you're expected to talk for some time and reflect. I recognize where there are some instances where you just need to talk a lot, but for some question types, I find that I'm really boring if I just go through a pros/cons list really quickly.

My experience was that the interviewers basically always had at least some prompting questions. I didn’t need to ask for a prompt, they just used them naturally when it was clear I had said what I had to say in the previous point. I think it would be risky to explicitly ask “can you prompt me now?” But if you go in trying to treat it like a conversation, I think that will work for you with a lot of the interviewers.

Edited by frenchpress
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On 2018-02-08 at 11:05 AM, frenchpress said:

My experience was that the interviewers basically always had at least some prompting questions. I didn’t need to ask for a prompt, they just used them naturally when it was clear I had said what I had to say in the previous point. I think it would be risky to explicitly ask “can you prompt me now?” But if you go in trying to treat it like a conversation, I think that will work for you with a lot of the interviewers.

It's my first ever med interview this weekend and I find this statement very reassuring...  :)    

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On 2/8/2018 at 11:05 AM, frenchpress said:

My experience was that the interviewers basically always had at least some prompting questions. I didn’t need to ask for a prompt, they just used them naturally when it was clear I had said what I had to say in the previous point. I think it would be risky to explicitly ask “can you prompt me now?” But if you go in trying to treat it like a conversation, I think that will work for you with a lot of the interviewers.

Does screwing up on follow-up questions equate to doing poorly on the whole station. I realized that towards the end of the interview I was answering the main questions well but got a brain fog on the follow up questions and didn't really answer or took too long to answer them? 

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2 hours ago, Chaplin said:

Does screwing up on follow-up questions equate to doing poorly on the whole station. I realized that towards the end of the interview I was answering the main questions well but got a brain fog on the follow up questions and didn't really answer or took too long to answer them? 

No one knows exactly how they score the interviews. I would guess that they aren’t scoring on a follow up question by question basis within a station — that would be really complicated. It’s much more likely that they’re giving you scores for the station given how they felt you did overall. And that’s also going to vary interviewer to interviewer, as its inherently a subjective process. But again, there’s no way to know, and so it’s probably best to try not to worry too much about it if you can!

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On 2018-02-11 at 9:21 AM, Chaplin said:

Does screwing up on follow-up questions equate to doing poorly on the whole station. I realized that towards the end of the interview I was answering the main questions well but got a brain fog on the follow up questions and didn't really answer or took too long to answer them? 

I can't imagine this to be the case. I think they try to take a "whole picture" of the station - including both things you did well and things you could improve on. Personally, I found some of the followup questions confusing, and asked for clarification a couple of times. I really have no idea how I did overall. 

I think it's best to try and put it out of our minds until May (easier said than done, I know). I know that at the end of the day, we should all be proud that we've made it this far, and remember that our self-worth isn't being evaluated; just how we acted during a couple hours of insane stress.

<3 Best of luck. 

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