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Residents Medical Presents: Acing an Interview

Residents Medical Presents: Acing an Interview

One of the issues that arises in the journey of those applying to a residency is preparing for an interview. It is important that you make a good impression, and showcase your best qualities. The most important component is to have it less like an interview and more like a conversation.

First you should research the program, and the whole staff of the GME department including administrators. This will allow you to prepare questions and feel comfortable with the people. You may also find a common area of interest that will help you connect. Be sure to listen, answer the questions, and do not recite.

Next, It is important that you review the information that you are providing to your interviewer. Your application, Your Personal statement, and your Curriculum Vitae. This is where you interviewer will look to ask personal questions. Take at least two copies of your CV with you. You may need to give it to additional interviewers. Memorize your date and your publications. Never look at your CV when a question is asked about your past experiences. Prepare to talk about anything that on these documents.

Follow these steps to insure the process runs smoothly;

  • Do not be on time, be early! This will give you time to adjust and get rid of your pre-interview nervousness.
  • Greet your interviewers with a firm handshake and be sure to make eye contact. (This applies to all professional situations)
  • Be pleasant, and do not forget to smile.
  • If you are nervous, breathe steadily. This will help you stay relaxed.
  • Preparation is key!

Here are some commonly asked questions;

  • Why did you choose this specialty?
  • Why are you interested in this program?
  • Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What did you do before medicine? (To an older student)
  • Why should we pick you?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Where else have you applied?
  • Are you interested in academic or in clinical medicine?
  • Do you want to do research?
  • Describe and conflict and how did you resolve it.
  • Do you plan to do a fellowship?
  • What could you offer this program?
  • Do you see any problems managing a professional and a personal life?
  • Are you prepared for the rigors of residency?
  • What questions do you have? (Have a list of at least three prepared)

Answer these questions confidently and calmly, and do not over-think. You have all of the answers already, the skill is in voicing them.


Document your experience. Write down the things you liked and the things you didn’t. Your level of comfort and your feeling on the reaction the interviewer had toward you. Send Thank you emails to each and every person you interviewed with. After a plethora of interviews, these experiences will start to blend together in your mind. It is imperative you have something to reference.

By Dr. Michael Everest and Joshua Kaplan

Kopriva, Phyllis. “The Residency Interview: Making the Most of It.” The Residency Interview: Making the Most of It. American Medical Association. Web. 20 May 201 Residents Medical assists in interview preparation by having current program directions prepare you in person or via Skype.

Residents Medical is the only organization that utilizes current program directions. For more info go to