Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 August 2009
The interview is usually the most decisive component of the residency selection process. The personal exchange that takes place at the hospital or medical center will be critical in determining how you are ranked by the program you are applying for. Thus, a maximal effort should be expended to achieve a successful outcome.
Having possibly been exposed to interviews when trying to get into college and most certainly when seeking admission into medical school, you are obviously not a novice as regards this trying experience. With your successful background in gaining acceptance into college and medical school, you should be more self-confident and at ease about the outcome of upcoming interviews. However, adequate preparation is, nevertheless, essential to help ensure similar success at this stage in your career.
You should realize that it is quite natural for your anxiety to increase as you approach the interview phase of the residency application process. This is understandable, because you find yourself in a highly competitive situation. It is important to recognize at this point that there are no ideal candidates for residency appointments. Rather, the chances for securing an appointment are dependent on the extent of the competition, the specialty in question, and the specific program within that specialty.
A wide variety of criteria are used in evaluating candidates (e.g., grades, class rank, evaluations). It should be recognized at the outset that the process is not a fully objective one.