Would you rather be a tree or a flower? If you had one last day on earth, what would you eat and why? Why would I get asked these kinds of questions?
Asking weird medical school interview questions is a common technique that interviewers use to get a better idea of your personality and how you function. So many applicants have memorized their answers to common interview questions that admissions committees can struggle to get a sense of your authentic responses. These questions are meant to be hard, because the truth is more likely to come out when you’re taken by surprise. Your responses to these weird questions display your thought process more genuinely compared to generic questions that you will be prepared for. The interviewer is interested in you and your thought process or values, not your actual answer.
Being asked these questions can be a shock, but don’t freak out.
Follow our steps to ace your weird medical school interview questions!
- Don’t panic.
- We advise that you don’t answer or start talking right away. Ask them to repeat the question, take a drink of water, or ask for more time. For example, you can say “That’s so interesting! I’m going to take a moment to think.” It’s not bad to ask for more time–in fact, it’s better to express that you are going to consider the question carefully! If you answer too fast, interviewers may think that you’re not giving a serious response. The goal is to calm your nerves a little and get the time you need to collect your thoughts.
- Ask clarifying questions. This helps show that you are being attentive and receptive to the question, as well as gives you more time.
- How to answer: Discuss both sides of the argument or the various possibilities if applicable. This will illustrate your reasoning, which is what the interviewer is interested in. If the question doesn’t have a clear side or possibility, just discuss your thought process.
- Pick a definitive answer. You don’t want to say that you’re not sure, because the interviewer wants to see that you are confident and decisive.
- Stay up to date on medical news and policies. Sometimes you will get asked questions about these. Interviewers do not expect you to be an expert; a basic level of knowledge is sufficient.
Below find examples of some crazy interview questions with insight on how to answer them.
Scenario 1: “How would you describe the color orange to someone blind?”
- The point of this question is to assess your creativity and ability to think on the spot.
- Sample answer: “The color orange feels like being covered up in blankets inside on a rainy day. It feels like the warm sunshine on your body while you lay outside in the summer heat. It feels like when you eat your favorite meal or meet a friend.”
Scenario 2: “If you were a cereal, which cereal would you be? What cereal would your friends think you are?”
- The identity question. The purpose of this question is to assess depth of self-awareness, self-confidence, and whether you are well-rounded. What matters here is not your answer, but the reasons that you give. For this kind of question you would want to give a well thought out answer.
- Sample answer: “I would be Rice Krispies because I am energetic, fun-loving, sassy, and active. I can seem subdued and shy to people who don’t know me, but once I come out of my shell I snap crackle and pop!”