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Jia Tanwani

University of Toronto - Faculty of Medicine - Class of 2T0

How did you prep for your interviews, and when did you start prepping?

I started prepping after I got interview invites –so around late January. I prepped firstly by reading some material on biomedical ethics and re-reading my application because interview questions can be drawn straight from your ABS or essays. Then I started practicing alone and later with friends. I also took advantage of some medical interview prep workshops that my university was hosting.

What interview format did you find most challenging?

I found the traditional panel interview the most difficult for a couple reasons. Firstly, you get asked a lot of personal questions, rather than scenario or concept based and I personally find it more difficult to talk about myself than about scenarios/concepts. Secondly, there’s usually 3-4 people interviewing you whereas for other interview formats it’s just 1 person. And third, if you misspeak or aren’t able to convey something eloquently, it’s harder to reset yourself and start over fresh.

What advice do you have for students who are currently waiting for interviews?

Sit tight. For most schools, the invites come in January so you’ll know soon! And if you don’t get an interview, don’t sweat it. Take the opportunity to reflect on your application, your short term and long term goals, and who you are as a person.

How did you balance interview prep with other undergrad school work?

I balanced interview prep with other undergrad school work by doing a little every day. I aimed for a half an hour of prep every day and of course longer hours closer to the day of the interviews. Preparing a little everyday over a long period of time does wonders to consolidate your overall approach to interviewing and also refine the nonverbal aspects of interviewing (handshake, smiling, body language etc.)

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