Did you know that most students who are accepted into medical school use some form of professional preparation such as medical school admissions consulting? Regardless of whether you have one interview or a few, you need to be 100% prepared, so yes, seeking professional help is very important to give you the best chance of acceptance.
In this blog we'll dive into your questions regarding medical school interview preparation including:
Would you like us to help you with your medical school interview?
This is hopefully a no-brainer, you should prepare for your interview because preparation is the key to success. Professional athletes prepare for games the same way a presenter prepares for a presentation. It makes sense that if you prepare, your performance will be better, and shouldn't you be doing everything possible to improve your performance? Review our blog to learn more about how to prepare for med school interview. Keep in mind that the success rate at most medical schools is below 10%, with many accepting less than 4% of all applications. If you've made it to the interview stage of the application process, you could be so close to acceptance, or so far away depending on your performance. Hundreds of other students have also made it to the interview stage, and the spots available are far less than the interviews offered. When determining the final ranking order of candidates, some schools weigh the interview as high as 100%, meaning all of the other factors such as your MCAT score, GPA, med school personal statement, secondary essays, extra-curricular activities, volunteer hours, shadowing, etc., won’t make up for a mediocre interview performance. The interview will certainly make or break your chance of acceptance and if you don't do well on your interview, at those odds, you won't be accepted. In fact, we had a student with near-perfect MCAT and GPA scores seek our help after being rejected during the previous admission cycle.
The answer to this question isn't as obvious as the first one. While many students understand the value and importance of preparing with a professional, some students believe that they can fully prepare for their medical school interview on their own or with the help of family and friends. While some practice is better than no practice, quality will always be better than quantity and the quality that a professional can bring is unmatchable. Practicing on your own is definitely a good step to take, but it's only one step of the process and it's the most beneficial once you already know exactly what you should be practicing. Students often target their studies and practice in the wrong areas, for example, learning everything they can about a school and who the evaluators may be. While this is an important aspect to consider, it's not the only aspect of the interview to prepare for. Unfortunately, due to the majority of time focussed on incorrect areas, students are often left with a false sense of preparedness when really, they're not prepared at all. The other flaw with practicing on your own is that there are no opportunities to receive feedback. It's not easy to learn your weaknesses or determine all areas you need to improve on without someone else pointing them out to you. You may think you've prepared a great answer for a question, and spent a lot of time practicing your response when really that response may be flawed and doesn't highlight your best self. Practicing with family and friends, on the other hand has its own shortcomings. There is no way around the fact that your family and friends are not objective evaluators. They know you and care about you which prevents them from providing you with unbiased feedback. In addition, your family and friends may not want to hurt your feelings if they feel there is something you should work on, so they may be inclined to without information, or to sugar-coat how they really feel. The other issue with practicing with family and friends is that in most cases, they are not qualified to give you feedback. What do I mean by qualified? A qualified person is one that has received extensive training, has in-depth knowledge and countless experiences with interview questions what the admissions committee is looking for, and how to answer questions in such a fashion to highlight an individual's skills, passions, and experiences. Now, that's not to say that everything your family and friends may tell you is invalid, but the bottom line is, their feedback has not been and cannot be verified or qualified. A solution to all of these problems is to use a professional medical school advisor or medical school admissions consultant for your medical school interview preparation. A professional advisor doesn't know you personally, and because of that, they are able to provide you with objective, unbiased feedback. A good advisor will be an expert in the medical school admissions process and because of that, will be well trained, possess tremendous experience working with students, and should boast a reliable, evidence-based success rate for helping students get accepted into medical school. In addition to helping you prepare for your medical school interview, in another blog, we discuss how a medical school advisor can also help you with your medical school application.
The short answer, everything. An excellent professional advisor will be able to help you with all aspects of your medical school interview prep. The old saying, there is no right or wrong answer, does not apply for almost all interview questions. If, for example, you're asked on your interview, “why do you want to be a doctor?”, and your answer is simply because you want to help people and make a difference, that would be considered a wrong answer, lacking reflection, depth, passion, and proof. Even worse, it would sound cliché. A professional advisor will work one-on-one with you to help expand your answers, highlight your strengths, strengthen your weaknesses, and cull off-topic responses. They know the most common medical school interview questions to expect during your interview so they will help you prepare accordingly. It's important to note that there is no way to determine every single interview question you can expect on your interview, therefore, most students who are not properly prepared are often caught off guard when asked a question they didn't predict. They draw a complete blank or may stumble through an answer that likely lacks the qualities the admissions committee is looking for. With a professional advisor, however, the most important thing you will learn is a technique to addressing and answering ANY TYPE of question, regardless of how strange or unusual it may seem. Here at BeMo, we teach our students how to identify and have a strategy for over 20 different TYPES of questions. For example, in a previous blog post we covered the 7 different types of MMI questions. Other than practicing and learning how to respond appropriately to questions, a professional advisor will teach you techniques for mitigating stress, both in the long-term and on your interview day, how to interact with the interviewees and even give you tips for appropriate medical school interview attire.
Most importantly, we also teach our students specific short-term vs. long-term stress management techniques. There’s nothing worse than a lack of confidence during the most important interview of your life. Most students are nervous, have a shaky voice and can’t think on the spot because they don’t know how to manage their stress levels.
The truth is, medical school interview preparation is an investment. Investment means you spend something now in order to gain something more later. This is the mindset of most successful medical school applicants because medicine requires lifelong learning and it’s not cheap to train to become a doctor. The tuition alone could easily cost over $50,000/year. In comparison, the cost of medical school interview preparation is insignificant with a huge upside. While the cost of medical school interview prep can vary, interview prep plans can start as low as $500, with most students spending at least $5,000. That may seem costly, but what about the cost to apply to medical school in general? This can cost upwards of $4000, and what if you didn't invest in medical school interview prep, and you didn't get in because of it? Are you prepared to spend $4000 all over again? What about losing an entire year? What about losing a full year of income which could be an average of $300,000/year depending on the specialty. It’s clear that a $5000 investment is a lot less than a $300,000 loss. Most students agree that the cost involved with medical school interview preparation is insignificant in the scheme of things, and the value it adds is priceless. Applying to medical school is exhausting, so doing it right the first time, and getting accepted the first time is much easier than the cost and time involved with re-applying. If you're interested in knowing how the cost breaks down further, refer to our medical school advisor blog.
An experienced, professional consultant or advisor will be able to help you with any interview style your school may be using, whether it's a panel, traditional or conversational med school interview, a group interview or an MMI. Your advisor will provide you with mock interviews, personalized feedback, sample questions along with the techniques to answering any type of interview question appropriately.
To select a professional advisor for your medical school interview prep, there are a variety of qualities and qualifications they should possess. It's crucial to do your research because not all advisors are created equally, and some of them do not possess the tools, experience, and qualifications necessary to help you get accepted into medical school. Firstly, you need to determine who the company is and whether or not they are qualified to be giving advice, recommendations, and feedback to help you prepare for your medical school interview. Dig into the company to look at their mission statement, core values, and their team members. Are they genuinely interested and passionate about helping students get into medical school? What about their team members? Do they have information on their website about the team members that you'll be working with? Do they put these individuals through rigorous standardized training to ensure they can provide you with the best, qualified feedback? Most of them don't, check out our blog to find out if BeMo Academic Consulting is worth it. Good advisors will be experts in the field of admissions, whether they were past evaluators, interviewers or have gone through the process themselves. Make sure you know who you'll be working with and their level of experience to ensure you'll be working with qualified individuals who know what they're talking about.
The next important aspect to look at is whether or not they believe in their work. Any advisor can say that they believe in the work they are doing, but how can you truly assess whether that's true or not? The best way is to check their brand promises. Firstly, they should guarantee that if you follow all of their instructions and recommendations, you will be accepted. Secondly, if you did everything right and you still were not accepted, they should offer to give you your money back. For example, BeMo proves that they believe in their product, it's the only company that offers both a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a Get In or Your Money Back® guarantee. Click here to learn more about our med school interview preparation programs.
Another great way to assess whether or not the service offered by a company is good, is to look at their reviews and success rate. It's important to consider reviews not only posted on their website, but those posted on an independent review website such as TrustPilot. It only makes sense that a good service will have many reviews from past students raving about the positive experience they had. Did you know that BeMo has hundreds of Trustpilot reviews and has a 4.8/5 rating? This is the highest rating of all medical school advisors combined. Click here to see our Trustpilot Reviews. Next, you need to look at the success rate of students they worked with that gained acceptance. Bear in mind that this success rate should be evidence-backed, as anyone can list a statistic but not everyone can prove it. For example, BeMo has a 93.5% for students working in our Platinum or Titanium programs!
Other than proven success rates and reviews, you'll want to consider whether or not you trust the company. You can determine this firstly by testing them out, a professional medical school interview prep company should offer the opportunity to see if they're a good fit for you by offering a free initial consultation.
Would you like us to help you with your medical school interview?
This will give you a chance to have an honest one-on-one conversation with an advisor about what you're looking for and what result you're hoping to achieve, in this case, acing your medical school interview. The advisor will be able to talk to you about their process and how they believe they can help you achieve your goal. In this initial conversation, you'll be able to get a good sense of how genuine the advisor seems and whether or not you feel they are invested in helping you showcase the best version of yourself. If any red flags come up in this initial conversation, such as the advisor seeming to solely be invested in money and not your best interests, you can safely determine that they are not to be trusted.
During the consultation, you can also find out what sort of service you can expect. Will you be practicing with real-life mock interviews and given additional questions, such as sample MMI questions to practice with? Will they provide you with feedback that is 100% personalized to your interview responses as opposed to generic feedback? Are they completely honest about the price to use their services or is this information unclear and seemingly hidden? In the end, you should feel confident and comfortable to work with the advisor. If something doesn't seem right or you feel like they avoided answering important questions, they may be hiding extra fees or may not be as experienced as they'd like you to think, so it's best to look for a different company.
Anyone who is willing to learn and improve can benefit from interview preparation. If you're someone who doesn't like constructive criticism, doesn't like being told what to do, or doesn't have any interest in changing their approach, style, language or behavior, then medical school interview preparation probably isn't for you. If on the other hand, you're truly interested in becoming better and want to increase your chances of acceptance and are willing to spend the time, money and effort it will take to get there, you should sign up right away!
Check out our video for a quick recap:
Would you like us to help you with your medical school interview?
About the Author:
BeMo’s founder and CEO, Dr. Behrouz Moemeni, is an internationally renowned admissions expert. His motivation-based admissions screening strategy has appeared in Diverse Issues in Higher Education, University World News, and Nature Jobs. He regularly presents thought-provoking presentations to an international audience including appearances at TEDx and Beyond Sciences Initiative. He is also the author of the book 14 Rules for Admissions Screening in Higher Ed: An Antidote to Bias. He is compelled by a vision to change the education system. He believes everyone deserves access to higher education. Specifically, he is determined to create and provide admissions and educational training programs that reduce the barriers to access in higher education.
To your success,
Your friends at BeMo