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How important is the interview for clinical programs?


Clinpsyc01

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I've heard that a lot of programs/POIs have ranked their applicants beforehand and that these rankings don't tend to change unless someone behaves terribly during the interview or whatever. Is this generally true? 

Obviously it varies between or even within programs, but I'm curious to know what people think. I was discussing it with some people recently and we couldn't come to a consensus. 

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Heard about this too, but I'm not quite sure if this is really true. I've heard if you are in a prime position (POI really really wants you), that the interview is mostly to get to meet you in person, make sure you get along well with the rest of the department, etc rather than being an all-out test.

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I've kinda heard the opposite - that interviews are the most critical part of the process. Prior to the interview all the applicants are just a combination of comparable achievements and experiences; the interview process is what demonstrates who you are as a person, it determines "fit". The POIs know they're choosing someone to work with for the next 4-6 years, so personal fit is huge.

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I would agree that the interview is probably the most important part of the process. What I'm curious about is, what happens when it's not a clear choice after interviewing? I.e. two candidates both get along with the lab spectacularly on an interpersonal level, have interesting ideas to bring to the table, etc.?

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