I was playing around with the idea of doing a series of posts on interviewing for med school, but it feels a little overkill to me. The reality is, the obvious things are obvious, and the non-obvious subtleties depend a lot on your personality. During my interview season I really figured out how to play to my strong suits, but I’d bet most people figure out the best strategies on their own.
Finally, there’s one more thing smart people forget to do in an interview: Close. Salespeople are always focused on the close. When you are interviewing, you’re selling yourself, so you need to close. This means, first, asking for what you want. And second, looking for any barriers to getting what you want. Here’s the script: “Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I want this job very much. Do you have any reservations about hiring me?”
At this point, you will have a chance to allay any fears the hiring manager has about you. It’s a tough moment to put yourself into, but it’s better to have a chance to do it than to give up now, when you are so close.
I’m a huge fan of approaching medical school like it’s the business world, because – well, it is. It’s more specialized, and there’s a different balance between goals, but one thing business people are great at is figuring out how to make relationships work for them, and part of that is making sure people are on the same page.
I don’t think casually saying, “One more question – are there any reservations you have about me as a candidate for admission here?” is always appropriate, but like anything else, the situation can be felt out. I asked something similar at an interview where the interviewer was working very hard to set a tone of absolute openness (one of those “Interviews are so artificial, I don’t want this to be like an interview” interviewers) – and he actually said “No one’s ever actually asked me that. Interesting! You know, I don’t think I do.” So I didn’t get a helpful discussion out of it, but then again, I also got accepted, so who knows.
Any thoughts on how effective or appropriate this tactic might be?