How to remain calm under pressure
If you stick to this rule, you will be able to answer any medical school interview questions. I’ll teach you how to do that. I know most of you either are taking your MCAT or like not thinking about taking your account until next year or something.
This is for any aspect of your premed or your medical career. You’re going to have interviews for research, and you’re going to have interviews for even jobs that you get, volunteer work, et cetera, etc. This goes for all of it.
When it comes to answering questions for these interviews, there’s only one rule that you need to follow. This will literally make you ACE every single interview that you do in your career.
Don’t panic (I know it’s not just simple)
When you go to a med school interview, and I’m telling you this from experience. They’re going to ask you tough questions. I mean, they’re going to ask you questions that are like completely backhanded to the point where they’re just like awkward and you’re not going to know what to do.
The thing is, you have to remember when you’re going to these med school interviews, and you’re sitting in the chair. If they give you your acceptance, I mean, you’re pretty much going to become a doctor at that point unless you slack off or like you drop out. This is the future generation of doctors.
So when they’re asking you these questions, they’re thinking in the future you’re going to be like working in hospitals. You’re going to have patients and they’re having like a STEMI and their vitals are everywhere.
They want to know in that situation, are you going to panic, or are you going to stay calm, think objectively, and solve the issue? So that’s why they asked you these questions.
They don’t really care about if the answer is correct or not. Cause like most of the time there’s not really a right answer.
They just want to see how you react in this situation, whether you stay calm and stay collected. You’re able to kind of reason through the answers that you’re thinking about and kind of give them a proper answer.
It’s backed up by how you think, how you’re feeling. So, when you’re answering the questions, you want to be calm. They still want to hear an answer. You don’t want to be in a situation where they ask you a question.
Their question is like some ethical questions about. Some patients are easily treated, but you know, their family saying kind of don’t be invasive.
What do you do in that kind of situation? You don’t want to be explicit about, okay, be calm. However, become implicitly. Okay. Not explicitly.
So when they ask you a question like that, you don’t just be like, okay, you know, I’m just chilled out a role like I’m just like, I’m just calm down. You don’t want to say it.
You want to give them a distinctive answer with distinct reasons why you’re giving that answer, but you want to be calm explicitly. Okay? I’m talking like your body language, your tone of voice, your own. You don’t want to be super anxious about it.
When they ask you a question, you’re not going to reply right away. You’re going to have to think about it.
How to change your attitude
When you’re thinking about it, what you want to do is, a lot of people think, they are doing this, and they start looking up. But you don’t want to do that because when you look up, it looks like you’re looking for answers. So look at the difference when they asked a hard quiz, start looking down and think not up.
It looks like I already know a few answers. I’m just siphoning through them, and I’m about to answer it for you. So look down. That’s something that I learned. stay calm. Don’t fill your thumbs too much when they ask you a question, even if you’re in your mind, and you’re panicking, and you’re like them.
“I don’t know how to answer this question” The answer is to stay calm. Literally, that’s the answer. Even if you don’t believe in the answer that you’re giving, and you’re like, I don’t know if I agree entirely with what I’m saying. Well, what you want to do is to convince them that this is how you think and you know,
you give them reasons and even if you’re not 100% in your mind. You must let them know that you’re 100% on that answer.
They’re trying to see how you react in a difficult situation, and if you stay calm and if you stay collected, they know that you’re ready to become a doctor.
General knowledge questions
These interviews, they’re not like testing your knowledge.
They’re asking you questions, but you know, you already took your M cat. So those kinds of questions, you already answered it. They already know you’re a smart kid. They already know that you know the answers to these science questions.
What they’re testing you for is your behavior. Literally, how you act, your reaction. What you’re thinking pattern is like, how you react to certain situations.
That’s what they want to test. When they ask you a question, just don’t even like to focus too much on giving them the right answer because most of the time, there isn’t one. What you want to do is focus on letting them know this question is nothing to you.
Literally, you’ve been in way worse situations. You can take much worse than this and just give them an answer. Stick with that answer and give them a bunch of reasons and just stay calm.
If you stick with the rule, you will be able to ACE any interview.
You still want to go into your interview, having some answers to like the general questions. In addition, these are questions like,
- Tell me who you are?
- Why do you want to become a doctor?
- What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
- Why did you choose this school?
These questions you want to have answers to them. you don’t want to have like specific for word, paragraphs memorize in your head. You just want to have a general idea. It’s kind of basic points that you want to get on because you don’t want to sound like a robot.
However, at the same time, these are questions that a lot of these schools act as. You don’t want to be entirely just like confused as to what your answer is.
Every single time at the end of your interview, the interviewer is going to ask you, “Do you have any questions for me?”
Your answer to that question is yes. I have so many questions for you. You don’t want to sit there and just be like, yeah, no, I’m done, you know, whatever. I got everything I needed. When they ask you, do you have any questions? I want you to like throw like a million questions that their face. Okay.
The reason for that. It’s because when you ask them a bunch of questions, they look more interested, and you look more engaged. Not only in the school but also in medicine and in that person.
It kind of establishes a strong connection between you and the interviewer.
They’re going to ask you to ask them a question, and you want it to be a question that’s like, it’s not like general information. You want it to be particular and something you can’t just like to go online and find. I would stick to questions like,
- Where do you think the school is going to go in five years?
- Usually, they do a tour before you give you interviews. Just be like, yeah, I did the tour and I saw the school.
- How do you think it’s going to change when I’m here?
- Where do you think the direction of the curriculum is going?
- You can ask them like, for me, this medical school is top tier in its research. I think research is the most reliable program they have. What do you think is the strongest point of this medical school?
Ask them questions that get you more engaged in that school and make you seem more interested in that school. In that way, you’re letting them know that you’re interested in that person and the school and the area. That gives you big points because they want you. When they’re interviewing you, they want you to that school to be your top school.
Keep asking questions until your time runs out. until you gauge the conversation ending. Then thank them for your time or for their time.
They don’t want to think that the school that you’re interviewing at is like your second, third choice. Know that you’ve got to make it seem like this is the school that I want to go to.
Even if it’s not, you want to make it seem like it is. If it is, it shouldn’t be too hard. However, they want you to be super interested in just super focused.
Can you have a life in medical school
In med school, sometimes it’s hard to see why you’re doing it. sometimes you lose the bigger picture.
It could be because I want to make sure that for those that are meant to become doctors. For those where this is the right career path for them.
I don’t want them to get scared of what, because the way the institutions are set up the way they make it so hard to become a doctor. Many people get scared away from it.
The basics. It’s like the stuff that you’re always told.
- Do you have a good work ethic?
- Are you proactive?
- Are you intelligent?
You have a work ethic. I’m assuming you have the intelligence. Moreover, to be completely honest, I don’t think you have to be extremely intelligent to become a doctor.
I think it’s more just hard work than anything. However, say, you already have that work ethic. Say you’re a hard worker. You’re willing to do a lot, and you’re intelligent enough to do it.
You’re still wondering, I have the tools to be able to do this, but is this right for me.
If you’ve gone past, that and now you want to know if this is the right choice for you to make. Then keep reading because this is what I’m going to tell you.
I would just want to start off by saying that there’s been a lot of times throughout my educational career, My clinical career that I questioned. if this was the right path because like a lot of people would pursue it even the ones that are like born to do medicine.
They have like, they spent their whole lives in a hospital and they’re just like, this is the thing for them. It’s inevitable for you to contemplate whether you’re making the right choice.
The reason for that is because it’s just such a stressful career to get into. it’s so long and once you get into it, it’s hard to get out. I think one problem is people want to jump ship early.
For many people, that’s good because a lot of people realize that medicine is not for them because their passion isn’t there. A lot of other people, they see everyone else leaving and they’re like, okay, maybe this isn’t all it’s set out to, maybe I should leave too.
For me, the biggest thing I’m in my fourth year of undergrad, I’m about to graduate from my undergrad and all my friends that are graduating there. They’re going off, and they’re going to get a job, they’re going to live their lives pretty much.
So no more education for them. Whereas for me, I have to go through another four years of med school and then residency, and whatever else follows that.
It just like saying that listening to my own voice when I sing that like stresses me out a little bit.
The reward and satisfaction that you get from medicine is something where the work you have to put in to get to it. For many people, it’s worth it because for a lot of people it’s the only thing that they want to do.
You’re going to meet a lot of doctors who are going to tell you not to do it
For me, this was pretty much at the top of the list, the experience that I’ve had that had made me rethink it. You know, for me, it was so disheartening when I was working my scribe shifts over in the ER.
I was talked to a doctor. This is someone that’s already made it to someone that’s already been through it. He’s telling me, you shouldn’t do it. You know, because this is coming from someone that’s already experienced the reward, but they’re telling you that it’s not worth it.
If there’s one thing that makes you want to rethink it, but with all that, being said and I know I’m just throwing a bunch of negatives at you right now, but here’s where you know where medicine is right for you. I’ve had a lot of conversations with grown people that are very well off that do business.
Those jobs the ones where you’re going to like a 9 to 5. Ones that are economically based. Those ones are very claustrophobic and that you go to whatever job you’re doing at the end of the day, your goal is to make yourself money.
So. if you’re selling cars or anything or doing it for someone. You’re not helping other people, and you’re not making some kind of change. All you’re doing at the end of the day is making yourself a little chunk of money.
Why do you want to be in the medical field
The reward you get and what you’re working towards, what all this stress and all this work are leading up to the reward is that at the end of the day after shifts, you will have saved a life. You will have changed someone’s life. Someone. Well, not live their life the same way because you interacted with them and you help them. For me, that’s the biggest thing. This is why people do it.
So how to tell if med school is right for you if you’re already intelligent if you already have a good work ethic, do you care about at the end of the day at your job, do you care about making a change? If money is what keeps you driving, then medicine might not be right for you. But if you think yourself, I don’t want to just go home at the end of the day and know that I’ve made money. Then you should probably do it.