View Full Version : Have you interviewed at Ottawa before?
02-12-2003, 01:07 AM
I've heard that Ottawa interviews are more challenging and stressful than the other Ontario schools.
What was it about the interview that made it more challenging compared to other schools?
02-12-2003, 01:39 AM
My interview two years ago was a bit of the good/bad cop scenario – one person always pleased with my answers and the other challenging them in one way or another. Expect political and ethical questions. Also expect that they will not always agree with you. McGill and McMaster where I interviewed last year were a bit more relaxed.
02-12-2003, 10:17 AM
I had the good cop/bad cop thing too but I found my Ottawa interview to be the most laid back of my interviews.
I don't want to scare anyone, but please read this and prepare yourself for the possibility. . .
I had a VERY bad experience at Ottawa last year. Without going into too much detail, I would highly suggest that you be prepared to be challenged (a nice way to say that they may not listen to what you are saying and/or may yell at you). I had been told that Ottawa was laid back and was totally shocked at how downright offensive my interview was. Another issue to perhaps look into is that Ottawa last year did not tape record interviews. As a general rule, ALWAYS tape record your interviews otherwise there is no way to challenge anything that was said. This protects the school and yourself.
Needless to say, it was an experience that I would not wish on anyone. Had I been prepared for an interrogation, I may have acted differently but I doubt that it would have mattered. It's sad, really. Please do not be afraid to challenge the way your interviewers are acting, the questions they are asking and their entire demeanor. It is an interview, but I wish now that I had said "screw it" and told them off.
Please don't get me wrong. I think Ottawa U is a great med school and has some fabulous faculty members. I would still love to go there. But please be prepared for what could be a very difficult experience. Good luck!
02-13-2003, 11:11 AM
Is there anyone out there who got in and had a confrontational experience in the interview?
How did you handle it? Are the interviewers trying not to be biased and so might come across as being confrontational? Is there more to it than that?
02-13-2003, 12:21 PM
My interview could have been confrontational but I didn't allow it to be. When I answered my questions, I addressed every view I could...then stated my opinion. By acknowledging any counter argument first, they weren't able to go "yeah, but...." This won't always work but I found it did for me. Who you get for the interview is just luck (or bad luck). There isn't much you can do if they are just mean people...from my experiences though, and the general tone that I have heard from other people, the Ottawa interview was low stress.
I would not say that my interview at U of O was relaxed compared to my Western interview. I was so sure that I wasn't going to get in that I registered for the Princeton review to retake the MCAT. I know that it is easy to say now but don't worry about it too much. You may get somebody really nice who treats you well and not get in or somebody who challenges all that you say and get in (like some of my classmates did).
02-14-2003, 06:21 AM
I can honestly say that my interviewers, during my interview, were extremely professional. Were they confrontational? I wouldn't say they were confrontational...sure, they questioned my reasoning/answers/opinions...but they always remained professional. Although I didn't get an offer last year, I did find my interview to be reasonably relaxed. Perhaps the fact that I'm older (39) influenced how the interviewers interacted with me?
From what I have heard from other candidates that interviewed on the same day as me last year they had similar experiences to those I had. BJ's story is the first of the "horror stories" that I've hear from interviews at UofO last year.
02-14-2003, 12:13 PM
I thought that Peter had a terrible interview experience and/or feedback at UO last year. Maybe I am not reading the posts correctly.
Hi all (and Peter),
I apologize if I scared anyone or gave a false impression. My experience was more than "challenging", but these were multiple factors that led to this outcome. One of which was my gender, so Peter you may have been lucky. For the most part, I have heard positive feedback about Ottawa: non-confrontational, relaxed, conversational. This was not my experience, nor the experience of a couple other people I talked with.
Apparently Ottawa U interviewers received training a few years back on how to conduct the relaxed, non-confrontational interviews. Not everyone listened. There is one individual in particular who has quite a reputation (I apologize, U of O moderators) for conducting offensive and abrasive interviews. Luckily, it is only one person, so odds are that none of you will get this person. Ottawa has a stated policy that you cannot be interviewed by the same people two years in a row so I hope that this will save me. I don't want to divulge any more information since this really isn't a confidential site but I hope that this person is no longer doing interviews. And I hope that if you get them, you are male!
02-14-2003, 02:23 PM
My interview experience was quite positive actually. What was quite negative was the reaction I received when I contacted the university to try and get feedback on my application to improve it for this year.
02-14-2003, 02:26 PM
Is there any chance this person's name is RH (first and last name). If this is the individual, he actually treated me very professionally during the interview...but post interview, when I asked for feedback...that was a different story...
02-15-2003, 11:43 AM
I was a 2X applicant and am now a second year medical student and I can honestly say that this is the first "horror" story that i can recall hearing. I think that UOMeds06 hit it right on the nose when he said that you can somewhat steer your interview in the direction that you want it to. In my experience, I found both interviews to be extremely laid back, they basically just wanted to hear me talk. As, i have mentioned before on this sight, it can sometimes be a trap because you may end up finding yourself going down a path that you didn't want to take and they may challenge you on that. I think that they just want to see that you can follow a thought through, not topple with a bit of pressure and not look like you are all over the board.
bj, i'm sorry that you had such a bad experience. As i said, you are the first that i hear of, so it is unlikely to repeat itself this year. Best of luck to you.
Good luck everyone!
02-15-2003, 04:45 PM
So, UOMeds05, I THOUGHT that you was K*** but it seems like you probably aren't now....though that's who Sil tells me you are...hmmm...the hunt continues!
Sil, do you think that this person can be who you thought it was?
02-16-2003, 10:39 AM
C'mon guys, you disappointment me. So innovative, so sleak, yet no clue when it comes to who I am... In your defence, i am not sure who Sil is.
just to mention it again, way to go on setting up those mock interviews. That is really great of you guys!!
02-17-2003, 09:46 AM
I'll figure it out! You need to give more to go on! ;)
02-26-2003, 03:58 PM
My interview for the most part last year was very dry. It was not laid back at all. I found that in response to each of my answers, the interviewers tried to convolute the situation and put me under pressure. For instance there was an ethical question about an underage girl who asked for birth control pills and they asked whether I would let her parents know? I said that no I would not but I would ask her to consider discussing her situation with her parents. They then asked me that she now confides that her father is raping her. I was quite surprised. I of course told the interviewers that I would let the social services know about it. The point is that I generally found that they started with easy questions and made them harder and harder as if they were trying to see what my limits are. I also found that if I tried to control the pace of the interview that they rushed me. One of my interviewers asked me to summarize my doctoral research in one sentence to a layperson. I was thinking you gotta be kidding me. In general I did not find the interview laid back and easy at all. I found it stressful and I hope that I don't get the same interviewers and that I get someone more friendly this year. Also my interview was just before lunch time and I suspect the interviewers had already interviewed applicants all morning and wanted to rush mine.
Bottome line I did not have a good interview experience last year. Hope get a better one this year if I do end up getting an interview.
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