Here is Part 2 of 3 of my series on Interview Tips.
So now let’s talk about the day before interview day. These are helpful tips for the day before because a lot will be about preparing yourself mentally.
- Be yourself. The first tip and probably the most important and cliché, be yourself. Don’t try to be anyone else because everybody else is already taken. You’re cheating yourself and the program by not being yourself because you want to make sure the program is the right fit for you and that you are the right fit for the program.
- Be kind to yourself. I think this is so important. It’s very easy to start talking negatively about ourselves to ourselves. Take the pressure off. You are an awesome person, and you deserve to match at a program that’s right for you. Don’t let anyone else tell you differently. This experience will allow for growth, and I hope for many of you, it will only build on your confidence.
- Know your application like the back of your hand. If you’ve written it down, you better know it and be able to talk about it. You never know what someone will pick out to talk to you about. It would be humiliating to not remember. My advice—review your application on the flight or evening before interview day if you have trouble remembering everything. Sometimes, it also helps ease anxiety as it’s a reminder you get to talk about what makes you happy.
- Social Activities with Residents (Pre-Interview Dinner). This should probably a post in itself, and maybe I’ll consider writing one in the future.
- Number one tip: DO NOT consume more than two alcoholic beverages. Seriously, you will thank me later. If you can avoid drinking adult beverages altogether, then DO IT. Fortunately, I do not drink alcohol, so this is not really an issue for me. But remember, residents are watching. You are being interviewed even if it’s much less formal. It gives you a chance to interact with residents and see if you fit in, but let me tell you, these dinners matter. First impressions matter. Do not think this is the time to sit back and chug a few free drinks.
- This is the time for you to ask residents questions about what you really want to know about the program, but please do so strategically and respectfully.
Check out Part 3 in the series where I provide tips for actual interview day!