Welcome to my five-part blog series on my tips and tricks for the residency interview season!
Interview season is in full swing, and these are the 3-4 months that I have been looking forward to since I applied for residency. It is an exciting and fun process, but also exhausting and repetitive. Along the way, I have made plenty of mistakes and collected many tips for surviving this unique time in med school.
I have divided this blog into several sections:
Part I – for days before and between interviews
Part II – for traveling by air
Part III – for traveling by car
Part IV – for things to bring/wear on interview day
Part V – for things to do/avoid on interview day
So without further ado – here are some of my tips for things to bring/wear on interview day:
- Bring a folder, but only because everyone else will
I’ve been told by many advisors to bring a folder with copies of my resume, research articles, and other important documents to the interview. I have never had to use it and no one has ever asked me for any papers. Normally, I am all for the sentiment that “just because everyone else is doing something, doesn’t mean you should.” However, in this case, I say bring one anyway. It doesn’t hurt to have it just in case. Plus it can double as a purse – I bought a folder that zips all the way around, which has been helpful to carry around my cell phone, pen, and capstick (my suit doesn’t have pockets and carrying a purse from room to room can quickly become cumbersome).
- If you have to, bring your suitcase
While traveling, it’s often difficult to coordinate hotel check out times and traveling with the interview end time. So if you have to, bring your suitcases with you. The residency coordinator is usually awesome about helping you find a place to store it for the day.
- Wear your hair however is most comfortable
Before my first interview, I agonized over what to do with my unruly hair – do I wear it up? Down? Straight? Curly? I now realize that it really does not matter as long as you look well kempt. I prefer to wear to up because that is what I am used to, and because it prevents me from indulging in any nervous habits (like touching my hair during the interviews).
- Wear comfortable shoes
During each interview, your will be given a tour of the hospital by the residents. I find these very useful because you will get many questions answered and see what kind of environment you will be working in in the future. However, depending on the size of the hospital, this usually means a LOT of walking. So wear a pair of comfortable shoes – you’ll thank yourself when you don’t have to limp home.