Many of you may be well into preparing for interviews. Practicing how to answer tough personal questions and scenarios are vital. However one aspect of doing an interview that people may not focus on is how to present yourself in front of the interviewer. Presentation is just as important as the content you say in an interview. Now you might be thinking, ‘there’s no way that’s true’ however let me put it in perspective for you. In an MMI, the interviewers are sitting in a room by themselves for an entire day asking many different students the same question/s over and over again. Every candidate is undoubtedly smart otherwise they wouldn’t be there and so the answers that the interviewers are receiving won’t be incredibly different to each other. As someone who went to many interviews, I don’t believe that it was my content that resulted in me getting offers from my top preferences, instead I believe it was the impression I made on the interviewers through my presentation.
Making a great first impression is critical! When you enter the room, the interviewers will immediately judge whether they can see you as a future doctor. Here’s a couple of things to make sure you do when you open that door:
- Stand straight: This will portray confidence which is a key characteristic they look for in candidates
- Have a smile on your face: it will make you come across as friendly and approachable.
- Have a solid handshake: Make it firm and make sure you make eye contact during it.
When answering questions
- Speak clearly: You need to make sure the interviewer can clearly hear you and understand what you’re saying
- Modulate your voice: Speaking in a monotone voice is boring and the interviewer will lose interest in what you’re saying
- Use your hands: Moving your hands when speaking may seem unnatural but it makes you come across as more creative and interesting. Therefore when practicing to answer questions, try force yourself to move your hands a little bit and eventually it will become normal for you.
- Sit up straight: This shows respect and confidence
When leaving the interview
- Thank the interviewer: This shows respect to the interviewer and is also a solid way to end the interview
- Make sure you smile: This will leave a good last impression in the interviewers mind before they score you
These are all small things which add up to become quite significant in the interview. If you can perfect these little aspects of your interview technique, then you will set yourself up very well to get offers from universities.
Written by Vinay a 100th percentile student studying medicine at Monash University.