I Just Sat the GAMSAT, What Now?
03 April, 2017
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First things first, congratulations. You’ve got that out of the way and that is no mean feat. In terms of the first thing to do - relax for a bit. Give yourself some down time. One of the best things you could be doing is to be working out some of that stress, it’s been a hard few weeks or months and so to get yourself back to 100% you should treat yourself to some of the things that you enjoy before looking at what to do next.
But before long I imagine your mind will be back on medical school. If you want to look at your options & where you could potentially study, PostgradAustralia
is a great platform that allows you to explore, compare, and apply for different medical specialties around Australia. The other thing, and possibly next big thing, to contend with on your journey is likely to be an admission interview
. As such. What we are going to look at here are some techniques that you can utilise to sharpen up your interview performance.
The very first thing to do would be to find a group of people with similar aspirations to yourself to practice interviewing with. This means you can get fluent at answering the sorts of questions that you may be asked as well as try out techniques and approaches in a safe and low consequence environment.
The next important thing to remember is that the interviewers are not super human. Likely the only thing separating you from them is age and perhaps that they have a degree and have worked in your desired field. As such, unless they are incredibly well trained, interviewers will be subject to the same cognitive biases and subconscious preferences that the rest of us are. These are things that we can utilise to our advantage.
The first thing to focus on is your appearance. Despite what people say, impressions are formed in the first few seconds of meeting someone and so appearance does play a significant role. Be well groomed, but not excessively overdressed. Individuals often have subconscious colour preferences, for example the colour blue is associated with cooperation, whereas white is associated with organisation and red with charisma and power. In a survey 25% said orange is the worst colour to wear, and suggests that the candidate is unprofessional.
Additionally, your hand shake is very important. A warm, dry handshake inspires calm and confidence. A cold and clammy hand shake belies your anxiety. Ensure that your hands are warm
and dry before you walk in.
On the matter of hands, try to avoid being overly expressive with yours whilst answering questions as this can be very distracting. Instead speak with your palms exposed which suggests sincerity or with your fingertips pressed together in a steeple which suggests confidence. And be sure not to fidget!
Another subconscious tool to add to your arsenal is the concept of ‘mirroring.’ What this refers to is imitating your interviewers body posture and gestures in a subtle manner. This inspires a
subconscious sense of cooperation and singlemindedness that encourages the interviewer to empathise with you. For example, if the interviewer crosses their legs you may do so as well. If they lean in to make a point you can replicate this.
Mirroring can also be used in speech by replicating tone or reiterating phrases or idioms. On the matter of speech, always speak slower than you ordinarily would. This demonstrates careful thought and prevents you from using pre-rehearsed answers that can sound false. Additionally, whilst it may be tempting to interject to demonstrate that you understand what an interviewer is talking about, don’t. There are few things more irritating than being interrupted.