Why are Interviews Given?
Interviews allow the Pre-Health Committee to compose informed, meaningful letters of recommendation that are sent to admission committees of professional schools; such letters are often required by admissions committees. The letters help provide of comprehensive view of the student's pre-health experience at UMSL.
They also give the student a chance to get feedback on their application before it is submitted to schools.
Who Should be Interviewed?
If you are applying to a professional school that requires or suggests a committee letter and you meet the minimum academic requirements of that school as well as the minimum standards for interview by the UMSL Pre-Health Professions Committee, you should be interviewed.
What are the Minimum Standards
Students that have at taken their pre-health pre-requisites, or a significant number of upper level science courses at UMSL are eligible to sit for an interview. While there are no current minimum academic standards for an interview, students with less than competitive GPA's should be prepared to answer questions about alternative plans.
When are Interviews Given?
Interviews are given to students one year prior to proposed matriculation in a professional school degree program. Interview packets can be turned in between the 1st of November and the 30th of March during the school year before the student applies. Interviews will begin in February and continue through April. Letters will be available to submit to schools by the end of May.
What are Interviews Like?
The interviewing committee typically consists of three UMSL faculty and staff members. The point of the interview is not just to help in writing the committee letter, but also help students with their personal statements, and prepare them for interviews. There is a lot of back and forth, as well as immediate feedback from the committee members.
Questions vary from the classical types of interview questions such as, "Why do you want to be a physician?" to specific personal questions such as "What happened to you during your junior year that resulted in the dramatic change (increase or decrease) in your GPA?" Students may also be asked for their opinions about various medical or social issues, to describe clinical experiences they have had and what they learned, and other questions that will help the Committee to assess the students' preparedness for professional school.
How is an Interview Scheduled?Once the Interview Packet and letters of recommendation are submitted, the interview will be scheduled. Interviews will be held between February and April.
Do's and Don'ts at the Interview
1. Be scrupulously honest. Attempts to deceive will be quickly identified and will surely work against you.
2. Reveal yourself. Do not try to hide or hedge opinions for fear that you will disagree with some (or all) of the Committee members. Disagreement is fine (welcome even); what’s most important is that your opinions be logical and informed.
3. Be prepared to talk about the schools that you hope to attend, the profession you hope to enter, and the experiences that have influenced you.
4. Make your answers to the point. If you are unclear about a question, ask for clarification. Do not embark on long monologues or harangues.
5. Come prepared and dressed as if you were interviewing with your first choice school.
6. There will be immediate feedback on your questions, please remember that with criticism, the commitee wants you to be at your best in your applications, and is pulling for your success!