Interview #1: Indiana University (MD)
by Lorien E. Menhennett
Since early October of 2013, I have had six medical school interviews. I will write a post about each one. Note: a version of this content was originally posted on OldPreMeds.org.
Interview #1: Indiana University (10/2/2013)
My first medical school interview was at Indiana University School of Medicine (this was an MD program interview). IUSM has 9 campuses across the state, and I interviewed in Muncie, which is about 4.5 hours from where I live in the Chicago suburbs.
Funny story before I get to the interview part – Because Muncie is several hours away, the night before my interview I stayed at the Ball State University student union hotel, which is very close to the IUSM medical facilities. When I was checking in, the hotel clerk saw I was from Chicago and asked what brought me to Muncie.
“I have a medical school interview tomorrow!” I told her.
“Oh, you want to teach there?” she asked.
Ha. I’d heard of non-traditional pre-medical students being mistaken for faculty, but this is the first time it had happened to me. At least I look mature, right?
In spite of the fact that I’ve been on countless job interviews, and as a journalist have interviewed countless people (and thus am familiar with the interview process), I’ll admit – I was a tad nervous going in to the interview. I just wasn’t sure what to expect. The staff at Muncie though, as well as the faculty, were quite warm and welcoming and that helped put me at ease.
All of us interviewees were together in a conference room while we waited for our interviews, watched a financial aid presentation, etc. I was (by several years) the oldest in the room, which I had pretty much expected. The thing that did shock me was that one young woman brought her father. Yes, into the conference room. Where we were all waiting. Talk about awkward. Now, I get that they drove from several states away and probably had to check out of their hotel, but he could have gone to a restaurant, one of the university lounges, etc. Bringing your dad just doesn’t seem to send the right message, in my opinion. It seems inappropriate, like you’re not grown up yet.
After a brief tour, I had my interview. The moment I walked into the interview room and shook hands with the interviewers, my nerves disappeared. I felt in my element, in a way. Two people interviewed me, an MD and a PhD. It was very conversational and comfortable. There were some difficult questions, but I think I handled them well. The interview lasted about an hour, and then I was headed back to Chicago.
As of March 10, 2014 (more than five months after my interview), I still haven’t heard from IUSM. I’m thinking that’s not a good sign. While disappointing, it’s not the end of the world because my next interview, just two weeks after Indiana, went much better …