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Ask THIS to "Wow" Your Interviewer

Updated: 1 day ago

In the past, we've covered what it takes to be a great interviewee and how to start preparing for interview day, but today I want to share with you a singular question I asked during my own interviews while applying for residency that I believe contributed in no small way to a successful match cycle. Most interviewers were delighted to hear me ask something like this, and one program director in Alabama even exclaimed: "It's been many years since an applicant has asked this question!"

Before I reveal what you should say, I want you to first understand the psychology behind asking this type of question:

  1. You are setting it up so that the interviewers can envision you in their program

  2. You allow the interviewers to imagine you as a successful prodigy in their program

  3. You show the interviewers you care about what THEY want, not what YOU want

The question essentially sounds something like the following:

"Assuming all of this works out today and you accept me into your program, what will I have to have done, by the time I graduate from your program, that will make you look back and think: 'Wow, I really made the right decision to accept Wilson!"

Now, I don't want you to just copy this phrasing directly (and therefore lose the genuine touch). Rather, use the concepts above to shape your own question to ask. For example, you could easily rephrase the question into:

"Let's pretend we fast forward to 3-4 years later and I'm about to graduate from your program, what type of achievements would I have to have earned that would take you back to this moment and think that you made an excellent decision to accept me as a student?"

Due to the rather lengthy nature of this question type, you're going to want to rehearse these questions out-loud multiple times until you can ask this question as naturally as possible. You might even have to repeat the question to your interviewer if they didn't process all of it.

When you rehearse, try to convey a tone of curiosity and confidence, rather than one of self-importance and cockiness.

In terms of sequencing the questions you will be asking your interviewer, I recommend you to save this type of question to be asked at the very end of your interview, allowing you to leave the conversation on a very positive note.

Disclaimer: I can only speak on the positive results that I've seen from using this technique. Obviously, asking this question is not going to compensate for overall poor interview skills. Think of this as the cherry-on-top.

Final tip: It's important to walk into interview day prepared. I recommend purchasing a padfolio to keep these major things:

1. Resume/CV

2. Visual examples of any art you want to share ie. paintings, photography, creative hobbies that show manual dexterity

3. Pen/Paper for notes

4. Business card to share contact information

Virtual interview must have: Tried and true by yours truly and many of my colleagues in dental school and residency as we wear the badges of the COVID era, I highly recommend investing in a ring light attachable to your laptop to automatically enhance professionalism in the interview setting.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases through affiliate links support the blog at no additional cost to you. I appreciate your support!


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