A very brief list of rules to interview by:

A very brief list of rules to interview by:

  1. Be on time (or reasonably early).

  2. Look professional (bathed, clean-shaved if applicable, suited). Your appearance should be generally unremarkable (but well put-together). You are being judged from the second you meet the Program Co-ordinator/Chief resident in the morning. If you sweat a lot when under pressure, please please please use a strong deodorant or perfume. If you smell in the interview, it’s game over! This happens! More than you would imagine!

  3. Avoid checking bags (it costs money on most airlines anyway). People show up suit-less every season because of this. They really do. Yes, it actually happens.

  4. Be warm and pleasant. Be excited. Look people in the eye. Smile frequently (your cheeks will ache, be strong).

  5. Be someone you would want to work with. Don’t be a sycophant, however.

  6. Do not complain. Ever. Be nice to all residents and ancillary staff.

  7. The program coordinator is one of the most powerful people you will interact with. At some places, THE MOST IMPORTANT!

  8. Have a repertoire of standard “I am interested” questions. You will be asked for your questions by every person you meet. Don’t be combative in how you ask them.

  9. Ask nitty-gritties to the residents and not to faculty: call schedules, moon-lighting, benefits, etc.

  10. Do not ask questions that are answered on the website or in the Powerpoint talk. It means you’re lazy or fell asleep or both.

  11. When possible, research the program ahead of time and have specific questions/discussion points.

  12. Go to the dinner the night before (don’t drink too much!) if you can. It is an excellent time to meet residents. The residents are what you will probably base your decisions on (along with location and reputation; not the Powerpoint). Do not fail to RSVP to the interview dinner if one is requested, and do not no-show without notification if you then can’t make it. Some applicants do this, and the programs always notice. It’s rude.

  13. The residents will tell you that the dinner is a safe space. It is not if you’re an ass****. An ass**** with a 265 is still an ass****.

  14. Trust your gut.

  15. Last but surely not the least. Do NOT try to prove that you are the smartest from the cohort interviewing with you by being the only one asking questions, interrupting others while they are speaking, speaking out of turn, showing excessive enthusiasm, boasting about how you have 20 publications etc. etc. They want a team player. Someone who gels well with everyone. THE BEST FIT! Trying to show your competitive side while interacting with residents/Program Co-ordinator/Ancillary staff makes you a douchebag. Don’t be one!!

Good luck