This is loosely based on the experiences of -myself- during psychiatry interview days. Relax and enjoy the show. I’ll write a more serious post about interviews later, for the benefit of med students out there.
Interviewer: “Hi Dana! Pleased to meet you! Take a seat…”
Me: Shakes hand while thinking “Firm! Make eye contact! Smile! Give ’em the razzle-dazzle!”
“So, how’s your day been so far?”
Great! The bagels were delicious and I managed to stay awake during the Program Director’s presentation about all the awesome things this place has to offer, in spite of my having done another interview day just yesterday and barely running on adrenaline.
“Oh great! So, to begin…tell me a bit about yourself.” (*That is the worst question ever! Why do they keep doing this??? Seriously people, stop!)
Well, I’m a med student and I’m here because I want to be a psychiatrist. (I actually began a few times like that…) I honestly don’t know what the hell else to say except that I’m awesome and you should hire me, so just ask me some to-the-point questions that aren’t complete curveballs.
“Awesome! Well, I was reading your application. Tell me, why psychiatry?”
Why NOT psychiatry??? Hello, it’s friggin’ awesome!!! ‘Nuff said!
“It sure is! Tell me about your childhood…” (Yes, I got that in one interview.)
Uh…well. It was great? I guess? Some mommy and daddy issues here and there and serious fear of abandonment, but since I’m sitting here today I guess I turned out pretty ok? Oh, and I have a dark past. Does that count?
“Do you have a significant other?” (Yes, I also got that once.)
Gosh, no. I’m not popular with the boys, it seems. Thanks for rubbing it in my face. I’ll go cry in a corner now….
“Great! Now, tell me about your research experience.”
Well, I originally got into research because I wanted a PhD and had nothing better to do with my time. Turns out I actually liked it. I’m working on this project with So-and-so right now…
“Are you thinking of publishing a paper?”
Aw shucks, well, I’d love to. That’s obviously the goal, so I can pump up my CV and feel accomplished. But the data’s shit for now with meager p-values that barely get to 0.06 (woe is me). Plus, nobody knows what it means. But yeah, that’s the plan. So I’ll get back to ya on that one!
“Oh that sounds great. Now, what caught your attention about our program?”
Answer 1: Well, I honestly wasn’t interested in this program at all, but since it’s in the same city as my BFF from 3rd grade, I decided to come down here and crash. Might as well interview too, ya know?? (When talking to other applicants, it turns out some people actually do this. I don’t blame them. Traveling is awesome.)
Answer 2: It has everything I want and I think I’d be marginally happy here. Just hire me already. I’ll be your slave for 4 years.
“Great, great. By the way, what number interview is this for you?”
Answer 1: Oh, 10 out of 15…which means I’m totally over this whole process and basically only came here to give face, get free food, and meet some eye candy for that non-existent significant other position that’s been catching dust for years now. Also to just, you know, check out the program and determine whether I would be borderline OK with living in this place. Just hire me already.
Answer 2: Oh, this is my first interview. I’m scared shitless. I have no idea what I’m doing. Can you tell? Hire me? Pretty please?
“Awesome! Now, I noticed you took a leave of absence, do you mind talking about that?”
I do mind, actually, seeing as it’s my private life! But I don’t have a choice now, do I? So, shoot!
“Tell me about what happened.”
Well, I was a bit cray-cray and depressed out of my wits and had to take a break because of some personal stuff that got in the way of my performing to the best of my abilities at med school. But, you know, people LEARN, AND GROW, and GET BETTER….so that shouldn’t be a deterrent to your hiring me. Just hire me!
“What kind of personal issues? Do you mind telling?”
Again, I do mind! But again, do I have a choice?! Haha! You’re a curious one, aren’t you?? Well, I realized I was abused as a teenager by a schoolteacher during a 5-year affair I had with him, I was also bullied by his wife to the point I get flashbacks, I was depressed and suicidal, and I decided to do the most logical thing ever: take a break from life so I COULD GET BETTER. Because, you know, that’s what normal people do! And usually, medical students are normal people too?
“Wow, you went through a lot. And your grades weren’t affected at all.” (Yes, I got that too)
Yep. You know, depressed people do that. They’re good at hiding their misery. And med students do get depressed too, you know. You’d be surprised at the depression rates…
“True, true…well, that’s that I guess. Do you have any questions for me?”
Are your residents genuinely happy? Do you honestly think I’m a good fit for this place? I sure hope so! Also, when’s lunch? I’m starving and looking forward to that free food ’cause, you know, I’m a student with a balance of $0.50 in my bank account and I had to take a loan just for this whole interviewing rendezvous. Plus, I want to meet your residents so I’ll know what type of people I’ll actually be working with on a daily basis. Just want to make sure they won’t haunt my dreams or threaten to cut me up into little pieces and feed me to the leeches.
“Right! Well, it was a pleasure meeting you Dana!”
It was a pleasure meeting you too! I sure hope I didn’t make a complete ass of myself! And remember: RANK ME! HIRE ME! I’M AWESOME, I SWEAR ON MY PINKY FINGER!
(Falls to floor crying and begging for that residency spot. Grabs onto interviewer’s legs and refuses to let go until she is given the contract so she can sign off her freedom with her own blood.)