Advice for Premeds

A blog about the medical school admissions process

Extend Your Warmth to Your Interviewer

by Janet Snoyer in Interviews No Comments
A photo of a confident young woman.

Did you know that the ultimate goal of your interview may be to show you can build a warm connection with your interviewer? Everyone wants to be accepted by the people around them. When you walk into an interview you are acting friendly, but you may be feeling more nervous and defensive than friendly. You might be feeling and thinking: “I am being judged by this person. I want to be accepted by this interviewer and this medical school and it’s out of my control.” Your mindset toward the interviewer is: “I want you to like me. How can I please you? How can I win you over?” All this self-revolving brain noise obscures the possibility that all the interviewer needs and wants, on the most essential human-to-human level, is to feel accepted by you. We are conditioned to hold back our acceptance until we feel accepted by others, which means that you may walk into a trap of your own making wherein you and your interviewer are both holding back acceptance of each other. This creates a pernicious and sometimes downward cycle, and can cause each of you to retreat from your natural warmth. When this happens, you have created a lose-lose situation until someone makes the first move. To overcome this conditioning, which is often unconscious, think about how you would walk into the room of one of your sick patients to administer treatment. You would walk in with this mindset: “You are in good hands. My training allows me to be a good doctor for you. I really care about you and the outcome of this treatment.” This is how you should walk into your interview room. You must show that you have faith in yourself in a way that will encourage your patient or interviewer to have faith in you.

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