Interviewing and Beyond
Medical, dental, and most other professional schools require a personal interview. The interview process is designed to provide the admissions committee with an opportunity to assess your motivation, intellectual ability, interpersonal skills, and leadership in order to determine if there is a fit with the profession and with their school.
Interviews typically start in September and can continue through the fall and early winter. Well before you have even been invited for an interview, you should begin to prepare for it. To prepare it is important to:
- Engage in ongoing conversations with advisors and other professionals to help you reflect on and better articulate the reasons for your decision to pursue this career, the pros and cons of that decision, and what you might do if you don’t get accepted.
- Read about current issues in health.
- Pick up materials from Career Services on interviewing, including the pamphlet called “Interviewing for Health Profession Schools.”
- Be prepared to “tell your story.” Identify 3 to 5 main points you want to get across in the interview and at least two examples/experiences that support each point.
- Research the schools. Be prepared to state reasons why you want to attend a particular school. Try to determine if any Wooster alumni are current attending the school and possibly speak to them. Utilize student feedback on specific medical schools interviews.
- Conduct at least one mock interview with the Pre-Health Advising Coordinator or with a staff member of Career Services.
- Make sure you have an appropriately professional outfit to wear. A neutral colored suit is always good. For women, that could be a pantsuit, skirt suit or a dress with a jacket.
- Respond quickly and politely to the invitation to interview.
Some typical questions:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Where do you see yourself in ten years?
- Why have your chosen this career?
- Why did you choose to major in…?
- Why do you want to go to this school?
- What could you contribute to this school?
- Why do you think you would make a good...?
- What do you consider your greatest weakness?
- What do you see as the greatest problem facing our health care system today?
- What do you like to do in your spare time?
- Tell me about your research.
- What exposure have you had to this field?
- What things have you done that convince you that you will enjoy being a…?
- What extracurricular experience has been most rewarding?
In addition, be prepared to talk about current issues such as the state of healthcare and reform, stem cell research, abortion, and euthanasia and other ethical issues such as working with animals in scientific research.
After the Interview:
When accepted: When you know where you will attend, let the Pre-Health Advising Coordinator know and send a letter or email to all the schools you know you will not attend. It lessens paperwork and could free up a space for someone who is waitlisted.
If not accepted: Early in this process, you should give some thought to what you might do if you are not accepted. Consider alternatives as other options, not as second choices. You may be asked questions about this during the interview. If you choose to reapply, contact a medical school admissions office and a pre-health advisor at Wooster and find out what you specifically need to do to improve your chances. It is wise to stay in touch with the Pre-Health Advising Coordinator at the College of Wooster following graduation so that your committee letter can be appropriately updated for your re-application.