‘Tis the Dermatology Interview Season, cont.

The Dermatology Interview Season is firmly underway! 

This can be a very exciting but also stressful time.

Here are some of my personal quicktips for the interview season based on past experience (disclaimer, my past experience was years ago…):

Pre-interview dinners. Helpful to go.  You’ll learn a lot about the program and the personality of residents.  Some programs may ask for feedback from residents or faculty who are present.  Be yourself.  Be nice.  Try to be on time (although winter travel can always be tough to predict!) Look up the restaurant and dress appropriately.

Tips for the interview. It may be helpful to take a look at the frequently asked questions list.  Get a curveball?  Don’t worry — probably meant to see how you think through things or respond.  You’re not expected to know everything or be perfect.  And it’s okay to say, “I don’t know” — that’s true for any situation.

Thank you letters. Rank list is probably already made by the time your letter arrives, but send emails or letters as you see fit; try to put something somewhat personal in there.

Part II: Advice for Dermatology Residency Interviews

Congrats!  You got your interviews, what next?

Scheduling.  Many interviews conflict with each other.  Take the time to go to different program websites and to the derminterest.org website to check out when interviews will be held.  Note that it will be impossible to come up with a complete calendar though.  Schedule EARLY!!!!  I missed several of my preferred dates because I called 30 minutes or an hour after the email was sent.  Consider a phone that accesses email if you don’t have one (I didn’t have a smart phone, so I had emails with the word “interview” texted to my phone).  If you’ll be out of town, have a friend/relative check your email.  It all works out in the end, but you just don’t want to miss interviews if you don’t have to.  If you don’t get the date that you requested, call the coordinator and politely ask if you switch.  There will often be a wait list so call early!  Be prepared though, you just can’t make every interview out there.

Pre-interview dinners. Helpful to go.  You’ll learn a lot about the program and the personality of residents.  Some programs may ask for feedback from residents or faculty who are present.  Be yourself.  Be nice. Look up the restaurant and dress appropriately.

Common questions? See the frequently asked questions list.  Get a curveball?  Don’t worry — probably meant to see how you think through things or respond.  You’re not expected to know everything or be perfect.

Thank you letters. Rank list is probably already made by the time your letter arrives, but send letters or emails as you see fit; try to put something somewhat personal in there.

Giving talks. Some programs will ask you to give a 10-15 min. talk, particularly if you are a research applicant.  Obviously, practice your talk and be prepared to answer questions about related literature etc. Most folks at these talks are genuinely interested and ask good questions.  Few “pimped.”  If you don’t know the answer to something, say I don’t know.  Don’t worry, you don’t have to be the expert on everything!