Kendra Campbell, MD, Psychiatry/Mental Health, 10:28AM Oct 2, 2010
It’s been one month since ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) opened its floodgates and released thousands of potential residents’ applications for residency in the US. There are lots of great resources online for advice and tips with regards to the dreaded residency interviews. But I’ve received emails asking to provide the most common interview questions that I encountered last year, while on the interview trail. So, here is a list that I’ve created, in relative order of frequency:
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. Do you have any questions?
3. Why are you interested in (fill in the blank) as a specialty?
4. What do you like to do for fun?
5. What is your specific interest in this program?
6. What are your future goals, aspirations, beyond residency?
7. What are your weaknesses?
8. Can you see yourself living in this area?
9. Where else have you applied?
10. What area in this speciality interests you most, and do you plan on completing a fellowship?
The above questions are fairly standard. However, for fun, here are some random questions that I was also asked during interviews:
1. If you were a car, what type of car would you be, and why?
2. How do you feel about the philosophical underpinnings of psychiatry?
3. Can a doctor have a pink mohawk?
4. Have you ever had a pink mohawk?
5. If you could paint a mural on the blank wall in front of you, what would you paint, and why?
6. What is the one thing, which is not on your application, which you think would cause us not to accept you into our program?
7. What kind of dogs do you have?
8. If you were a fruit, what kind of fruit would you be, and why?
9. Tell me about the worst patient you’ve encountered.
10. How is your relationship with your family?
I hope this is helpful to a few folks out there. For all of you who have been through the residency interview process, or are currently going through it, please do add either a common question, which I’ve missed, or an “off the wall” one, which you've encountered!