Answering Common EM Interview Questions as Your Most Authentic Self

Make a list of your top strengths, goals, values, accomplishments and abilities to use as a general reference for all interview questions. Develop your TOP 5 list. Go into every interview with 5 key things you want a program to know about you. What makes you a good candidate? What makes you unique? Know your weaknesses. If you encountered academic difficulty you will probably be asked about it at least once during your interviews. Know what you will say ahead of time and reframe it in a positive light. (Example: My father became very sick a few weeks before I took step 1 and I did not pass on my first attempt. I learned from this experience how manage my education even in the face of personal difficulty. Though he was still sick when it came time for step 2, I passed the first time I took it.)

How to Ace Your Emergency Medicine Residency Interview

Answering Common EM Interview Questions as Your Most Authentic Self

Shelby Wood gives advice for interviewing on the virtual interview trail and her approach to answering these commonly-asked residency interview questions as your most authentic self!

Mock interviewsMany students feel that they benefit from a mock interview. A mock interview can be arranged by your faculty advisor.Plan to treat every interview as though it counts and do not use your first interview as a “practice” because you may findthat you really like the program. Prepare as if it were a real interview: review your answers to specific questions, have alist of question you plan to ask and If possible, dress as if it were a real interview.

  • Be prepared to address any potential red flags in your application including extension of training, USMLE failure or course failure. Programs are checking to see if you have insight and have taken action to correct the problem. Honesty is much preferred over defensiveness or excuses.
  • Practice the length of your responses.
  • Prepare a Two‐Minute DrillThis is a great response to open ended questions like “tell me about yourself?”

  • First fifteen seconds is a brief review of who you are. My name is Medical Student, I’m originally from Someplace in the WWAMI Region, and I’m attending the UWSOM.
  • Next thirty seconds is a review of your educational background, undergraduate degree, work experience, and life experience.
  • Next thirty seconds is a review of special attributes from medical school, such as leadership positions, family medicine experience, or other experiences that lead to the decision for this specialty.
  • Final fifteen seconds is a review of why you’re interested in this residency specifically what attracted you to this place here and now.
  • Optional closing if this question does not occur during the interview: “Tell me more about the residency or about your position with the residency?” This leads the way for the interviewer to introduce him/her self and the residency.
  • This is intended as an icebreaker that gives the interviewer enough information about you and your background and interests to start a longer conversation. Make this two‐minute drill personal; you don’t need to follow the suggestions above exactly. In practicality, you may have 10 minutes of material that you have memorized and rehearsed that will allow you to mold the two‐minute drill to any situation. The two minute drill doesn’t have to be done in order from top to bottom, for instance you may be introduced by another, then you can start the two minute drill and skip the first fifteen seconds.

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