During the autumn quarter of the senior year the formal interview takes place. The Loma Linda University School of Medicine associate dean for admissions visits the PUC campus during the autumn quarter and expects to interview every pre-medical student who is applying for admission the next summer. The interview is an important part of the profile which is developed on the applicant, but it should not be a time for excess anxiety, since the student will have had contact with the representative during the previous three years.
The applicant should be prepared to ask and answer questions during the interview. Although the interviewer may ask a wide variety of questions, there are some obvious ones which the applicant should be prepared to answer. It is reasonable to expect that you have thought about why you want to study medicine and that your are aware of the demands of the profession. What have you done that shows that you have a genuine interest in medicine (besides taking the pre-med requirements)? What attributes do you have that qualify you for this demanding profession? Why are you applying to Loma Linda (or other school)? What makes the medical school appealing to you? Have you discussed the medical program with any graduates or current medical students? Are you aware of any special accomplishments for which the school is noted? What about specific personalities at the medical school who have gained recognition nationally or internationally? Does the school have a combined degree program (M.D./Ph.D. or M.D./M.S.)? You can ask questions about the medical school, but ask intelligent ones. Don't just make up questions to fill dead space.
Be on time for your interview! A late applicant starts off on the wrong foot. The interviewer typically makes a note of your being late.
Wear clothing that is reasonably conservative. Women should wear a dress or a skirt and blouse that is a bit more formal than that worn every day to school. Men should wear a sport coat, slacks, and tie, or a suit. Wear clothing in which you will be comfortable. Appearance also includes neatness, cleanliness, posture, and composure. You have only one time to make a first impression. You are applying for a profession; look professional. Notice how medical doctors dress and keep themselves, and do likewise.
Greet the interviewer in a friendly manner. Don't slouch, tap your feet or nervously play with objects during the interview. Do not chew gum! When conversing, show yourself to be a good listener. Listen intently and allow the interviewer to finish the question. Answer specifically and concisely; do not ramble. If you don't know something, admit it. Don't try to give an answer regarding an issue about which you are ignorant. The interviewer understands that you are in a somewhat stressful situation and expects you to display some nervousness, so don't worry about it. The Counseling Center has several videos on how to have a successful interview.
Medical schools other than LLU will notify each student if he/she is to be granted an interview. If the student's application gets past the first "cut," and the MCAT score is good, the interview may be granted. Typically, the applicant must travel to the medical school for the interview.
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