Recommenders & Interviewers

“When we bring our awareness to our voice and learn to express it in new ways—with impeccability—we rediscover our true message. Your voice is the key to unlocking the power and magnificence of your message.”

– Dielle Ciesco


Connecting Meaningfully With Recommenders & Interviewers

One of the most important realizations of the entire medical school application process is that no one can complete it alone. Even without any outside advice or help, interacting with admissions committee and/or peer interviewers is an essential aspect of every successful medical school candidacy. A great deal of value exists for the taking – but only a few applicants are generally consistent in projecting a mindset of maturity, thoughtfulness, preparation, and sufficient self-assurance while avoiding accusations of arrogance. One key strategy for doing this draws on the Fast Five Facts concepts mentioned within the Writing A Winning Essay section. If you are constantly measuring your verbal, body language, and posture responses to project a consistent image of your self-chosen character traits, you will find it far easier for everyone to share the same high opinion of your personal qualities. 

So much of what happens on a day-to-day basis is open for personal initiative. At a very basic level, some practices seem almost too straightforward except for the fact that these niceties are often ignored. Punctuality is simply a must, as are appropriate attire and grooming (consider the example of security guard firms which nearly always require a two-week unpaid leave of absence for any cleanly shaven staff member who expresses a wish to grow out a beard or a mustache). Recognizing when formal attire is an absolute necessity (definitely during formal and informational interviews!) helps reassure outside observers. If you are competent, confident, and casual enough about such things you may even find others reaching out to you for advice – reflecting the general respect you have earned and can continue to build throughout your ongoing daily routine. 

In the case of a work context, some specifics are far more interesting than others. For instance, does a person treat supervisors and directors with the same consideration and respect as peers and subordinates? Are emails and voicemail messages returned in a thoughtful and timely fashion? Top marks always go to working professionals who take advantage of resources like Google Alerts to make sure they are always up to date in a timely fashion regarding their employer’s press releases, competitor initiatives, and general industry trends. Similarly, individuals in external roles (sales, administration, and so forth) find a fully developed LinkedIn profile and also to use that site to check up on new colleagues and external collaborators to better understand their backgrounds and possible concerns/priorities. Even letting them know in the course of a meeting that you’ve done your homework can do wonders for others’ relaxation, respect, and willingness to collaborate. 

This attitude of calm competence pays extra dividends when you may feel stressed – such as during an interview process when the stakes can be very high. Medical school offers and the work positions that support competitive candidacies are not easy to come by – which makes the attention to detail and personal investment in consistently exhibiting appropriate character traits the best long-term investment you could possibly make in favor of your medical school application candidacy. White Coat Checklist also offers targeted Recommender Outreach and Face-to-Face Interview resources in our Member Resources section for persons interested in more in-depth discussion of these challenging issues. 

White Coat Checklist’s Member Resources section includes the free AppTrackR medical school dashboard to allow applicants to track their target schools in real-time, question prompts for composing a compelling personal statement, and real-life secondaries essays to learn from the mistakes of prior applicants who have successfully matriculated. Members are also eligible to Contact WCC to ask questions or request 1:1 Advising or Remote Editing Sessions for individual targeted support. 

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