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THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador Blogs

Cracking the Interview Process and Securing Your Spot!

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For many students, interviewing is not their favorite thing to do. Interviewing comes with a lot of anxiety because of the nature of the beast. The key is to understand the purpose of the process and make yourself marketable to the stakeholders who are interviewing you. If you understand the way that they think and the culture of their organization, you can better tailor the way that you sell yourself! I have compiled a list of “Rules of Preparedness” to help you check the box in preparing for the interview. 


Research: This topic is extremely key! If there is a program or several programs that you would like consideration, site visits are very important. Organizations like to have individuals who are engaged and express particular interest in their program to come. Some key tips are to find out who the program directors are as well as other important people to know. Networking is paramount! Do you know any students who are currently at that program? When you make site visits, capture the contact information of the directors and the residents and keep in touch! This will go a long way.


Interview Questions: Are there blanket questions available to you? Look into that! If there is something out there that exists, make sure that you can deliver solid answers to each of those questions when you practice!


Interview Skills: Ask questions about the interview process. Is the interview process traditional or casual? Make sure that you have a clear understanding of what you are walking into that way you can prepare as well as possible.


Practice Makes Perfect: This may sound silly but practice truly does make perfect! I worked for a Fortune 50 company for years and called on some of the best and brightest physicians. Every day I practiced my presentations from cover to cover to include practicing how I would address objections. The term “objections” would be things in your application that may be weak, or may raise questions. Make sure that you can confidently address and/or defend those points. Link up with another student who is interviewing as well. Critique that individual and have them give you feedback as well. Also, set up a meeting with the Dean of Post Graduate Affairs at your school and ask if you can have a “mock interview” with them so that they can give you solid feedback to help strengthen your interview skills.


Be yourself: Many people have the tendency to become robotic and sound rehearsed during their interviews. DO NOT DO THAT! Allow your personality to shine through! Watch your posture. Sit up straight. Get comfortable and have a conversation! Understand that the person interviewing you may have once been in your shoes.


Good luck on all of your interviews! Sell your strengths, maximize your personality, and seal the deal before you leave that room.