By: Dr. Kevin Pawlak, Chair of the Admission Committee
The admissions interview is an important tool to learn about a candidate’s personal attributes and personal experiences. It really helps to assess important aspects that are essential to developing into a successful physician. It gives us at XUSOM an opportunity to observe how mature, confident, personable and hardworking a student may be as well as their oral communication skills.
The questions we ask are usually fairly simple and straight forward since we are really more interested in getting to know the student, than what the answers may be. Questions may be simply why do you want to be a doctor? Or why do you want to attend XUSOM?
The interview is also a good time for the student to display a strong interest in the school and for borderline students to present themselves as winning candidates by virtue of sincerity or their personality. It is also a way to explain any extenuating circumstances that affected academic performance and describe how they can contribute to the University. The interview also gives the student the opportunity to ask questions about the school, the curriculum or any concerns that they may have about moving to Aruba. Being able to ask intelligent questions shows the interviewer that you are well prepared and truly interested in coming to the school.
I think one of the best pieces of advice I can offer is to be prepared for the interview but not to stress that much about it. It is very hard to show your personality and what you have to offer when you are anxious. If you are getting an interview we have already seen your transcripts, read your personal statement and your references and we are interested in what you have to offer. So relax and have a nice conversation with the interviewer and let your personality shine through.