Unruh also suggests students ask questions about the program's structure. "How do they teach professionalism, leadership, presentation skills?" he says. "Those are all subcategories of the structure of the educational program."
The wrong questions, though, could reveal a student's lack of preparation.
"Asking basic things that are on the website is probably not a good idea," says Pamela Davis, dean of the school of medicine and vice president for medical affairs at Case Western Reserve University.
[Learn to balance a personal life and medical school.]
Applicants should also avoid asking questions that are too casual or informal, which can sometimes happen when the interviewer is a young resident, says Freedman, who also helps students prepare for interviews through her company MedEdits Medical Admissions.
"Like asking them about their personal life or, let's say, talking to a resident about the bar scene in that city," she says. "It's important that the applicant always maintain an air of formality."
3. Participate in practice interviews: Medical students can test out the residency interview process by doing mock interviews, experts say. Students should go to their student affairs office to find someone experienced in residency interviews to practice with, says Freedman.
Once they get an idea of what the interview is like, they can rehearse with friends, but should be careful to avoid one of the traps of repetition. "It's important to never memorize answers," she says.
Interviews should be like conversations, she says. Students should try not to be too anxious. Practicing what they want to express during an interview may help students to be less nervous about the process, Freedman says.
"It just allows you to then walk into an interview and to have more comfort in speaking," she says.
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