The period between your match for a medical residency interview and the actual date of the interview can be one of the most stressful periods in your entire career transition. A week feels like a month; a month feels like a year. It’s common to find yourself second-guessing your every step while you wait in anticipation for the faithful day.

Calm down. Take a deep breath.

It’s normal to feel nervous about an event that you’ve invested so much time and effort into. However, with adequate preparation, you can walk into your interview with the excitement of starting a new chapter in your life and career, instead of the dread of providing the wrong answer. The key is to have an idea of what to expect and how to approach.

Common Residency Interview Question: If You Don’t Match This Year, What Will You Do?

The tone of your residency interview can vary from warm and cordial to intense grilling. It depends on how competitive the program is. This is a question designed to test your confidence and comfort levels. Do you show that you’re worried about the prospect? Did you plan ahead? Can you address the question succinctly without curling into the fetal position and rocking back and forth?


This is an opportunity to communicate that you are a competitive candidate with other prospects. It’s important not to seem arrogant when communicating this, but you can mention that you’re hopeful about your prospects and expand into your backup plans. In the event that this prospect actually materialized—if you don’t match—complete additional rotations.


You can highlight your commitment to specialty by mentioning the prospect of completing additional rotations in your area of focus.

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