6 out of 10
At the school
"Tell me about you and medicine. (Which is the same as, "Why do you want to go into medicine?")"
"How did you like your undergrad school? "
"Where do you see yourself in ten years? "
"Tell me about a hero of yours. "
"The first question from the sudent (closed file) interviewer: "So I don't know anything about you. Tell me a little about yourself." A common question at closed file-interviews, but always dreadful, especially since this was one of my first interviews. Make sure you prepare for this kind of open-ended question. This usually means you have to do some reflecting on childhood experiences that you may not remember well. "
"I took advantage of the practice interview service at my college's Career Development Center. I think a lot of schools have this, and I found it extremely helpful. Otherwise, just make sure you know at least the basics about Hopkins, their curriculum, strengths in your particular research area, etc. (look at the website first - hint, hint) "
"I really got a sense of the strong history and tradition at Hopkins. The hospital and medical school are filled with portraits of past leaders in medicine. There is a kind of haunting predestination about Hopkins. The watchful eyes of the deceased in the portraits lead to the feeling that, if you walk these halls, you will emerge into the medical elite. It's creepy, but also inspiring. There aren't many women or minorities in those portraits though, but that certainly was not a reflection of the amazingly diverse student body at Hopkins. "
"Everyone kept denying that competition is prevalent at Hopkins. I heard this so many times, that I started to believe that there was a cover-up underway. The students seemed really insecure about their reputation as intense, competitive people. Also, the admissions office made it sound like the changing of the grading policy was a marketing ploy to alleviate the stereotype of competition held by applicants and outsiders. The truth is that the grading system is essentially the same. They now have Honors, High Pass, and Pass instead of A,B,C, but the grade distributions in each category are unchanged. I left Hopkins feeling that competition is indeed prevalent."
"If you're coming from California, Hawaii or the South, make sure you check the weather reports before you go. That place is COLD!"
"The interviews themselves were really great. The interviewers were warm, asked only fair questions, and I felt that they were really interested in getting to know the applicant. However... There is a part of the interview process where all the interviewees are sitting in a large room with 4th year medical students who were on the admissions committee. We were told only that this was a chance to "mingle" with Hopkins students. As soon as the mingling started, it felt like the first episode of "Joe Millionaire." Everyone was trying to catch the attention of various students, struggling to turn casual conversation into a meaningful interaction that the students would remember. But it felt so fake! I even saw some of the other interviewees turn to each other after talking with one of the 4th years and whisper, "That conversation felt so artificial." It also felt like the entire group of 4th years were gradually starting to hone in on their chosen stars. One of the 4th years told an interviewee, "Yeah, I will totally call you when I'm down in LA and we will hang out." I found this to be highly unprofessional and inappropriate. The rest of us non-stars started to feel demoralized just at the time when we needed to be psyching ourselves up for our formal interviews. I have no idea how much this part impacts the final admissions decision. But I feel like half of the interviewees (the stars) left feeling great about Hopkins, and the other half (the non-stars) left feeling like there was absolutely zero chance of acceptance. "