Success in the Medical Residency Interview

Since 2007, AmeriClerkships Medical Society has helped international medical graduates and students find residency placements in the United States. AmeriClerkships offers mock interviews and other support to help students succeed in the interview process.

According to the US National Resident Match Program, the residency interview stands out as the most influential factor in determining a student’s success. A good interview can mean ultimate success for a student whose paper record is borderline, while a poor interview may result in a student’s diminished likelihood of earning a ranking. To finish on the more desirable side of this divide, a student must be prepared and professional, yet also unique enough to stand out among the crowd.

A student can distinguish himself or herself through in-depth knowledge of the site and its program. Following a thorough Internet search, an applicant can typically turn up enough information to craft detailed questions and reference program accomplishments. Targeted research can also allow an applicant to know what type of resident the program might be seeking, and thus which of his or her own successes are most relevant.

Applicants must also remember that the residency interview is ultimately an application for employment, thus it requires both poise and professionalism. Aspiring residents should dress neatly, present a decisive handshake, exude confidence, and maintain good eye contact. The applicant should maintain this level of confidence throughout the interview.

Articulate answers to questions are key, and it is for this reason that many applicants prepare answers to standard questions in advance. This means having an informed response to inquiries about the appeal of a specific specialty, future goals, and any aspects of medicine that the student finds challenging.


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