What advice or tips do you have for applicants interviewing for residency?
This is a timely question as interview season is about to start. Also, I spoke about this at the ASA medical student residency panel in San Diego a few days ago.
The following are things you should do:
- Say or imply that you are interested in the residency program because it leads to outstanding training.
- Show positivity/excitement about the specific residency. That energy will fuel a better evaluation.
- State exactly how the faculty and experience at that program and that might only be available at that program will help you meet your long term career goals.
- Arrive early and stay late. This will let you get a feel for the culture and atmosphere in the department before and after the formalities of the interview day.
- Study the faculty in the residency program and see who matches with your interests and ahead of the interview day ask to meet with them.
- Wear conservative clothing (you don’t want the interviewers discussing your attire when they should be focused on your potential as a physician in their residency).
- Even though you may be fatigued because you are on your twelfth interview please look alive and interested during the presentation by the chair or program director or others.
- Send a thank you note by email. There is a movement nationwide to reduce the after interview day communication to a minimum but one thank you email is fine.
Please avoid these mistakes:
- Be really nice and communicative to the faculty interviewers and then when they are not around be rude and short with administrative assistants or other people you run into.
- Be late (may require checking out how to get there the night before).
- Not talk with other applicants while waiting around for your interview time.
- Say negative things about your med school, college, or past employers.
- Have your eyes on floor or ceiling when speaking.