[Interview Series] Part 2: The social
One of the best experiences during interviews is being invited to socials, dinners and second looks. These events outside the interview itself are a less intimidating way to find out more about the program you're applying to. At the end of the interview process you will have gone to so many interviews that it becomes a blur and it's hard to create a match list so these social interactions become important. Many graduate schools and residencies organize an event either the night before or the night of the formal interview. Make sure you arrange to be there and go prepared.
Here's part two of my interview series: 1. BE COOL | Don't wear a suit. You will be in professional attire the entire day of the formal interview and you don't need to show up to a restaurant wearing another suit. Instead, chose business casual look. I opted for a professional but fun skirt/top combo as pictured. Ladies you can also do a dress with is a good option for light packing. Make sure the dress isn't too form fitting or wild. This is still a professional event and you want everyone checking our your resume not your work out bod! Here's one of my favorite business/casual dress from Club Monaco. It's trendy but on the professional side. AND it's on sale for under $100!
2. WATCH YOUR MOUTH | Don't badmouth other programs even if one of the residents or other interviewees are. This makes you look like a gossip and it's bad manners. I've also heard that a lot of program directors talk amongst each other. You don't want to come up in conversation in a negative way.
3. EAT. DRINK. (BUT BE MERRY) | A lot of the socials I went to had an open bar and buffet. You're probably tired and looking to relax but this is not the time to overdo it and look sloppy. Keep your drinks to a minimum and stay classy my friends.
4. SOCIALIZE | This is a wonderful opportunity to meet other applicants from around the country. This will be your future network so invest in these relationships. I met lots of wonderful people on the interview trail and learned so much from their experiences, dental school curriculum, etc. I will caution you though, take everyone's opinion with a grain of salt. I remember really loving a specific program but heard so much gossip about it from other applicants I dismissed. That was a huge mistake. Everyone is different and there's always pros and cons to every program. Make sure you are always making your OWN decision.
5. ASK QUESTIONS | But having said that, don't isolate yourself to fellow applicants. Often, only current residents attend so it's more "casual”. Ask the right questions. A lot of them want to represent their program well but are very honest about heir experience.
6. BE YOURSELF | Whatever you do, be yourself. Don't talk about your resume, just be you. People notice when you're putting on a show so just save yourself the trouble and be yourself.
Wearing | Skirt/top combo from Club Monaco, Prada bag (this is the bag I took to my interviews. Simple, fit everything and mostly made of Nylon so I didn't care about it getting rained on) but it's from a few season's ago so here's a similar one.