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What should I do the night before my residency interview?

by Uneeb Khan
Residency Interview Preparation: Tips for a Successful Interview Night

Preparing for a residency interview can be challenging, but with the appropriate strategies and resources, you can feel adequately prepared for the significant day. Residency interview preparation services can offer guidance and support, while there are also steps you can take independently to prepare for the evening before your residency interview. In this article, we will discuss tips and strategies to assist you in preparing for the night before your residency interview and provide insights into the residency interview process.

Review Your Application and Interview Details

Handling challenging questions during the interview,
Networking with program faculty for residency interview,

Before your residency interview, review your application materials and resume. This will help you remember your experiences and qualifications. It will make it easier to discuss them during the interview. Also, familiarize yourself with the interview details, location, and schedule. Know where and when you need to be to arrive on time. This will help you avoid stress.

Research the Program and Interviewers

Researching the residency program and its faculty provides valuable insights into their preferences. This allows you to customize your responses and showcase your suitability for the program. It’s also important to prepare questions for the interviewers to demonstrate your engagement and interest, leaving a positive impression.

Choosing Your Outfit and Preparing Your Materials

To make a good impression, wear a professional outfit that is comfortable and appropriate. Your outfit should be clean, pressed, and well-fitting. Also, gather your portfolio, notepad, pen, and other materials to stay organized and show professionalism during the interview.

Practice Your Responses

Mock interview session for residency preparation

Practicing interview questions and responses can increase confidence. You can practice with a friend or get feedback from a residency interview preparation service. Prepare to discuss your strengths, weaknesses, and career goals. It’s important to be honest and genuine in your answers and think about what the program is looking for in a candidate.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Establishing a relaxing bedtime routine can help you get a good night’s sleep before your residency interview. Consider taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to calming music. Additionally, make sure you get enough sleep to feel refreshed and alert. Being well-rested will help you stay focused during the interview.

Plan Your Travel and Arrival

Planning your travel route and time is crucial for avoiding stress and arriving on time. Consider driving or taking public transportation to the interview location to avoid any unexpected delays or traffic. Additionally, make sure you know where to park or how to get to the interview location if you’re not familiar with the area.

On Interview Day

On the day of your residency interview, there are several things you can do to make a positive impression:

  • Arriving early is recommended as it shows punctuality and respect for the interviewer’s time.
  • During interviews, it is important to practice proper etiquette, including shaking hands firmly, maintaining eye contact, and speaking clearly.
  • During the interview, it is important to maintain good posture, show a pleasant expression, and make consistent eye contact.
  • Candidates should be prepared for challenging questions, including both common residency interview questions and behavioral questions that evaluate their interpersonal skills.
  • It is beneficial to take notes during the interview as it aids in retaining important information about the program and feedback from the interviewer.
  • It is recommended to send a thank-you note or email after the interview to express gratitude for the opportunity.

In addition to the tips mentioned above, there are several other strategies you can use to prepare for your residency interview. These include:

Networking and Shadowing

Networking with current residents, faculty, and alumni of the program can provide valuable insights into the program’s culture, expectations, and strengths. Shadowing current residents or attending program events can also give you a sense of the program’s daily routine and patient population.

Body Language

Your body language can convey confidence, professionalism, and engagement during the interview. Be mindful of your posture, facial expressions, and gestures. Avoid fidgeting or slouching, and maintain eye contact with the interviewer.

Difficult Questions

Residency interviews may include difficult questions that test your ability to handle stress and uncertainty. These questions may relate to ethical dilemmas, personal weaknesses, or challenging clinical scenarios. Prepare for these questions by practicing responses and reflecting on your experiences.

Interview Skills

Interview skills are essential for making a positive impression on the interviewer. These skills include active listening, effective communication, and adaptability. Practice these skills in everyday conversations and seek feedback from peers or mentors.

Medical School Interviews

Medical school interviews can also provide valuable experience for residency interviews. Many of the same strategies apply, including reviewing application materials, researching the program, practicing responses, and demonstrating professionalism.

Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions are designed to evaluate your interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team. These questions may ask about conflict resolution, leadership, or communication skills. Prepare for these questions by reflecting on your experiences and seeking feedback from colleagues.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are critical for success in residency programs. These skills include empathy, teamwork, communication, and leadership. Reflect on your experiences and seek feedback from colleagues to improve these skills.

Interview Preparation Sessions

Interview preparation sessions can provide valuable guidance and support for residency interviews. These sessions may include mock interviews, feedback on responses, and strategies for managing stress and anxiety.

Mock Interview Session

Mock interview sessions can simulate the residency interview experience and provide valuable feedback on your performance. These sessions may be conducted by peers, mentors, or residency interview coaching services.

Proper Interview Etiquette

Proper interview etiquette includes dressing professionally, arriving on time, demonstrating good posture and body language, and expressing gratitude for the opportunity. These behaviors convey respect and professionalism to the interviewer.

Residency Interview Prep Service

Residency interview prep services can provide valuable guidance and support for residency interviews. These services may include mock interviews, feedback on responses, strategies for managing stress and anxiety, and insights into program preferences.

Virtual Interviews

Virtual interviews have become more common due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These interviews require additional preparation, including testing technology beforehand, ensuring a quiet and distraction-free environment, and dressing professionally.

Insights into the Residency Interview Process

The residency interview process typically involves individual interviews with program directors or current residents. The interviews may be conducted in person or virtually, depending on the program’s preferences. During the interviews, program directors may ask questions about your personal statement, clinical experiences, research projects, leadership roles, interpersonal skills, and career goals.

Preparing for a virtual residency interview

Surveys of program directors have indicated that there are several factors that affect their decisions when choosing candidates for their programs. These factors include interpersonal skills, communication skills, professionalism, clinical experience, leadership potential, research experience, and dedication to the field. By concentrating on these areas during your preparation for residency interviews and participating in mock interview sessions with a residency interview coaching service, you can enhance your performance during interviews and improve your chances of a successful match. If you’re looking to improve your preparations for the big day, consider how interview preparation services can help. It offers insightful information about how these services can significantly improve your interview performance.


Preparing for a residency interview involves reviewing application materials, researching the program and interviewers, selecting appropriate attire, practicing responses, ensuring sufficient rest, planning travel and arrival, demonstrating proper interview etiquette, and seeking insights through mock interviews and coaching services. These steps will help individuals feel confident and well-prepared for this important stage in their medical career.

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