Interview season is now upon us! If you have been lucky enough to receive one or multiple interview invites, congratulations! You have already impressed the Programs Directors on paper, now is the chance to seal the deal and impress them in person. Medical school graduates from all over the world are vying for these limited U.S residency positions so it is important to follow a few simple guidelines to ensure you make the best first impression.
The 2018 NRMP Program Director Survey provides valuable insight into the qualities Program Directors seek when interviewing candidates. According to the survey, the top three factors that Program Directors rank as the most important are:
- USMLE Step 1 score
- Letters of recommendation in the specialty
- Performance evaluation from the dean
Two out of these three factors rely on an applicant's direct experience working with others, so it is important to ensure you are forging strong relationships with those you are considering asking for a letter of recommendation and your medical school's Dean. On the day of the interview, Program Directors are also evaluating an applicant's interaction with them and other program officials. The top three factors PDs look for on the day of are as follows:
- Interactions with faculty
- Interactions with house staff
- Feedback from current residents
It is clear that a candidate's interaction with the members of the residency program plays an equal part in a Program Director's evaluation as the application itself. While you are there to see if the program is a good fit for you, your interviewers are also measuring whether you are a good fit for their program. If your interactions with faculty, staff, and current residents are effortless and smooth, this will indicate to both you and Program Directors that you are a natural fit.
Are You Next?™