View Full Version : How do you deal with combative/disagreeable interviewers?
I heard there are some interviewers that disagree with everything you say on purpose. How would you respond to that? I know it's a good idea to stand by your original ideal, but wouldn't that lead to a lot of awkward moments where it looks like I don't agree with anything the interviewer has to say?
01-16-2003, 10:46 AM
Most interiewers that I encountered (and have heard of) are not combative or disagreeable...they will treat you respectfully, and if they don't, you can formally complain to the admissions office. Both schools I interviewed at had an appeal procedure if you thought that your interview was unfair.
They will usually challenge you on your answers...not necessarily because they actually disagree with what you are saying but because this style of 'testing' is something that they have been told they have to do...the interviewer may be arguing the other side just to see how you will react. Make sure that you always stick with and defend your answer...do not let an interviewer get you to back down. However, you should always defend your position with respect for the other side and make sure that you stick to the issue.
An interviewer will not hold it against you if you have different opinions...as long as they are rational, well thought out and you stick with them.
01-16-2003, 08:14 PM
If the interviewer is good, they'll take those opportunities either to shift to an entirely different topic, or if they are really out to get you, they'll wait and just let the "awkward silence" continue until you choose to break it.
You just have to keep in mind the whole point of this approach is for them to evaluate you and the way you think and react. Having a few pauses of non-conversation in such a scenario isn't going to prevent them from assessing you, and along that line of thinking, shouldn't negatively affect their assessment of you.
UBC, Med 4
01-16-2003, 09:43 PM
Most schools give pleasant interviews, but not all. For insight into difficult situations I would suggest that you look into last year's interview experiences of applicants that are posted in this board. Look under the separate schools that you are interested in applying to.
01-17-2003, 08:31 AM
Interesting and timely insight: I was just speaking with a doctor yesterday who was part of a two-person interview team recently. The interview team decided prior to interviewing the individual to play out a "good cop, bad cop" routine on the unsuspecting interviewee. By interview's end what impressed this doctor was not the interviewee's responses, (as some of them hinted at her lack of experience in certain areas), but her ability to remain unflappable during the potentially harrowing process. Paraphrasing the doctor: she was in a stressful situation but it was impressive that she did not lose her cool... if placed in a similar stressful situation you can have some confidence that she will react similarly.
01-21-2003, 08:39 AM
I agree with Kirsteen about the point of remaining "cool." Many patients are combative...and while they are often incorrectly applying, for example, information they have found on the internet on a condition they may have, as a physician, you should be able to listen well, be empathetic and be convincing enough (in a palatable way) to help the patient see another perspective.
If you find an interviewing situation so stressful that you freak out and get defensive, etc., then it is very likely you will not be able to handle much more difficult real world situations as a medical student, resident or practicing doctor.
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