Every Residency Interview Ever

Interviewer: Shallow pleasentries! Joke about the weather!

You: Clever response building on your weather joke as proof that I can make witty conversation! Haha, hire me!

Interviewer: Haha, so true! Well, how’s your visit going so far?

You: Oh, wonderful. Had dinner with the residents last night at [Place You Would Normally Never Eat] and they were all just so friendly.

Interviewer: Wonderful! I’ve heard great things about [Place You Would Normally Never Eat]! So – is this your first time in [City]?

You: A) “Oh no, I’ve been here forever! How could I leave, when [insert implication you would love to live here]

B) “Oh no, I’ve [insert slightly-to-moderately exaggerated story about the one time you were here years ago, implying you would love to live here]

C) “Yes – it is, and [insert second, less funny, joke about weather, implying you would love to live here]”

Interviewer: That’s great! Well, let me begin by telling you a little bit about myself –

You: *hastily plastering on an enraptured gaze* Mm-hmm. Oh, I see. Yes. Wow.

*spend 5 minutes wondering when you’ll have time to dry-clean your suit before Thursday’s interview*

Interviewer: —and I’ve been here ever since! But enough about me! Tell me about yourself.

You: *forcing yourself not to cast a suspicious eye on the large folder on Interviewer’s desk which should have served to answer this question*

“Well, I grew up in [State] and always thought I wanted to be a [Doctor / Actress / Journalist], haha – but then I spent a year [volunteering  / traveling / researching] and realized that [Being a doctor is my true passion / acting doesn’t pay shit / I suck at pretty much everything], so I applied to med school. In my free time, I like to [quick, make up something besides “procrastinate by wasting time on the internet”]

Interviewer: Fascinating! Well, I’ve obviously read over your file – *picking up folder on desk, FINALLY*

You: *craning neck ever-so-slightly in a totally obvious move, confirming that the file is pristine and untouched*

Interviewer:  — and you are obviously a wonderful candidate. We would love to have you here. So! What questions can I answer for you?

You: [eager recitation of “Bullshit Question #1]

Interviewer: What a great question! Why yes, there are many opportunities for research. For example –

You: *spend 5 minutes coming to terms with the fact that there is no way you will have time to dry-clean said suit before Thursday’s interview*

Interviewer: — and TGF-beta interactions! What other questions do you have for me?

You: *remind yourself to avoid glancing meaningfully at your file, as a hint that you paid $700 to get here and would like a chance to sell yourself* [eager recitation of Bullshit Question #2]

Interviewer: A fantastic question! I think one of the strongest aspects of our program is the excellent patient mix we have here. You see – we aren’t just a tertiary care hospital and referral center – we also function as the community referral center! So you get to see exotic, once-in-a-lifetime cases, AND bread and butter cases!

It’s almost like we’re – I don’t know – some sort of teaching hospital or something! You won’t find that kind of diverse patient population anywhere else.

You: Oh my goodness, that’s fantastic. So wonderful to hear.

Interviewer: So… *opening your file * Tell me a bit about… *scans page urgently for familiar proper nouns* about – um,  your [Recent marathon / experimental art-installation / research with Dr. Prestigious]

You: Oh, that was a fantastic experience. I started by [running triathalons / realizing I needed at least one hobby for ERAS / studying TGF-beta ] and transitioned into [training for a half-marathon / throwing a bunch of origami around in a shuttered ware-house and posting a notice in Craigslist / networking with PIs like a thirsty stripper whose rent is due].

It was such a learning opportunity. It really taught me a lot about [carbo-loading / the human connection between art and healing / how research is basically just random crap thrown together with a deadline].

Interviewer: *has passed the time of your lame anecdotes  sneaking a peak at your USMLE scores* “Uh-huh. Wow. Fantastic.”

Door: *impatient knocking*

Interviewer: Whoa, I guess [Interview Coordinator / admin assistant / the unlucky Chief Resident who pulled the short straw today] is hinting we should wrap things up! Has it been 20 minutes already…?

You: Haha, time flies when you’re having fun!

Interviewer: Haha, it seems so! Well, what OTHER questions do you have for me?

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20 thoughts on “Every Residency Interview Ever

  1. I have a friend who works in research for a drug company, and she’s recently been interviewing MD’s and PhD’s for a new project they’re starting. She says it’s still the same shit as above.

  2. Hi, I know this is random–stumbled onto your blog through KevinMD about your prior post regarding anxiety/depression in medical school. I am currently struggling with similar issues in medical school and was wondering if I could talk to you more about your journey with it.

    • I’m also a med student (MS2) and you pretty much stole the words out of my mouth. I’m too afraid to talk to anyone in my class about it for fear of my reputation so let me know if you want to discuss things anonymously. I know I’m not the only one!

  3. so, how’d it go? the world of post-match commentary via GIF is eagerly awaiting your input! (also, trying to make sure you’re still alive…)

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  8. Hi! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate!

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