Skip to main content

The Interview

2023-2024 Application Season

Interview Release Date Specialty
October 6, 13, 20, 27  Neurosurgery (Fridays in October after 4pm EST) 
October 10 Pediatrics suggested earliest date, then rolling
October 10 Ophthalmology
October 17 Emergency medicine (6 pm EST) – participating programs 
October 27 Urology
October 24 Obstetrics and Gynecology
October 26 - November 1  General Surgery (suggested)
November 6, 20, December 4  Dermatology
November 10 Plastic Surgery (8 am – 12 pm PST)
November 9 Otolaryngology (12-6 pm EST)
November 13 Orthopaedic Surgery (12 pm EST)

Interview Tips

  • We recommend all applicants participate in at least one Mock Interview
  • Plan on interviewing from October through January – interview release dates vary by specialty and are noted above
  • Anticipate a potential mix of virtual and in-person interviews
  • Actively monitor email and interview broker programs for interview invite offers
  • Consider scheduling interviews for programs lower on your list first
  • Research programs before you go
  • Treat everyone you encounter with civility and respect
  • Prepare for the interview – review your application materials and prepare a list of questions
  • Show enthusiasm for the residency program and specialty
  • Turn your phone off
  • If an interview asked prohibited questions (e.g. plans to marry, have children) you do not have to answer
  • Talk about yourself – use examples and real life stories so the interviewer can get to know you
  • Consider keeping notes or a journal of your interview days

Interview Information

How to ACE Residency Interviews: A PD Perspective

5 Mistakes on Residency Interviews and How to Avoid Them: A PD Perspective

How to approach challenging residency interview questions: A PD Perspective

Navigating the Interview Season, American College of Physicians, Maryland Chapter

"Pick Me!”, A Residency Interview Information Session with Dr. Laura Buchanan

Canceling Interviews (from the AAMC)

  • *Note - must log in through AAMC Careers in Medicine

Virtual Interview Prep

AAMC Virtual Interviews: Application Preparation Guide

Preparation Guide for Applicants Participating in Virtual Interviews

Prep for Success in your Virtual Interview Webinar (Vimeo) and (PDF)

Top 10 Tips for Virtual Interviewing Season (2021)

UMB and SOM Virtual Backgrounds for Webex, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams

Navigating the Residency Interview Zoom Workshop - 8/28/2023

Interview Skills

Balanced Power Pose

Interview Facts

Should I accept all my offers?

  • It is OK to accept offers and turn them down later as you review all options and decide how many interviews you actually care to attend. However, it is polite to give programs a week or two’s notice, if possible, so that they can fill your spot with someone else who is anxiously awaiting offers. It is never OK to not show up and not let anyone know in advance.

Can I cancel an interview?

  • You may need to cancel an interview. This should be done in a professional manner, preferably at least 2 weeks in advance. We recommend you contact the program coordinator by phone or email as soon as you know you intend to cancel. Confirm with an email to the program coordinator and ensure the cancellation in the interview broker portal. Cancelling on short notice can be seen an unprofessional and may reflect poorly on you as an applicant as well as the school and other students.

I was invited to the 'Informal Meeting with Residents' the night before the interview, should I go?

  • It is nice if you can go to meet the residents in an informal situation. Speaking with residents is one of the most important parts of your interview day. Most programs will arrange for you to spend time with the residents, even if you cannot attend the pre-interview social event.

What is my target number of interviews to get?

  • 12 – 14. Statistically, if you are able to rank about 11 programs a match is more likely.

Should I send a thank you note to a program after I have interviewed with them?

  • The most important thing to note is that if a program says they do not want any, believe them, and do not send one. Beyond that, whether or not you send one, and whether is it an electronic or hard copy, is really a personal decision. We do not know that sending either makes a difference in how programs will perceive/rank you.

What would an example email template for canceling interviews look like?

  • These emails are generally addressed to the Program Coordinator. The student provides their name and AAMC ID, date scheduled to interview, indicates that they are cancelling the interview/unable to attend, expresses regret for any inconvenience, and can give regards to the Program Director.

Is it appropriate to contact the program after the interview?

  • If you have specific questions, you may contact the program at any time after the interview and before submitting the rank order list to ask your questions. Different specialties and specific programs often publish expectations for post-interview communication. You should always respect the expectations of the program. If allowed, you may follow up with programs to provide updates after your interview – e.g., a new publication or award.

Should I send a letter of intent?

  • You may consider sending a note to your top program to let them know you plan to rank them first on your list. You should NOT send a letter of intent if it has been discouraged by the program. You should only send a letter of intent if you are certain of your rank list. A letter of intent does not offer a guarantee, but can help programs understand your intent when they are creating their rank list.