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Pre-Health Students Put in the Hot Seat During Mock Interviews

By Colby Gallagher

Published on December 13, 2019

For students who want to want to attend medical school or a professional program after obtaining a bachelor’s degree, there’s one big component to getting accepted aside from good grades and on-campus involvement: the interview. To help make it less elusive and ensure readiness, Grace Farber, PhD, pre-health director and Judy Chen, MEd, coordinator of pre-health advising recruited the help of faculty and staff for the program's first mock interview day. This year’s cohort got to test out the experience on September 19, 2019. 

“We want students to feel prepared going into their interviews, so it’s a simulation of what they could be like the day of” said Chen. “Not only with the traditional one-on-one interviews or small group interviews, but also if you had a scenario and you’re supposed to role play or persuade somebody, were you able to do that?”

In the first round, all students were given a prompt where they were either the interviewee or the interviewer. From there, they had a certain amount of time to respond to the situation and provide feedback depending on their role. The next step for some students looking to attend specific programs was to be separated into one-on-one interviews.

Hayden Sando Neuro’20 and Jacky Reny BMS’20 were two of the students who went through the process and said it helped them to be ready for the real deal.

Jacky Reny BMS'20 goes through a mock interview process to prepare for medical school“You’re put in a position that you’re not necessarily comfortable with,” said Reny. “That’s going to be the reality, and simulating that is probably the hardest thing to do and mock interviews is the best way we can get over that.”

“Many schools don’t offer this,” said Sando. “It’s not only necessary for pre-health students, it puts us at an advantage.”

Getting offered an interview is a good sign and an acknowledgment that a school likes you on paper, according to Chen. With strong competition to get into medical programs, your interview answers could make the difference.

“You really want to think about what your brand is, who you are, and you don’t want your brand to be pre-med because the thing is, there’s so many other pre-med students on this campus,” said Chen. “Differentiating yourself comes down to your experiences, passions, and values.”

Keeping those key things in mind and using them to drive your answers will not only be genuine, said Chen, but it will help you find the school that’s the most natural fit.

Each student received specific feedback and continued meeting with their advisor to make progress as they approach real interview dates. As of December, both Sando and Reny were accepted to medical school.

Categories: News, Misher College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience, Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences