• The Strategy Behind Answering Residency Interview Questions: Why Sample Answers is Not Enough.
    David and I are proud to proudly stand behind Residency Interview Questions as the founders. One thing that makes us so different is that we have a personal story behind our product and service. Both of us are immigrants from China with dreams of becoming doctors here in the U.S. We were lucky to have parents who brought us here early – and we benefited from going to great U.S. medical […]
  • Residency Interview Questions and The Art of Conversational Threading
    Conversational threading is a very useful skill in the context of answering residency interview questions. These interviews are not only a platform for showcasing your unique characteristics but also an opportunity to exhibit interpersonal skills and the ability to engage in meaningful conversations. Let’s delve into the significance of conversational threading and how mastering this art […]
  • The Importance of the First Impressions for Residency Interviews
    How long does it take to make a first impression? Approximately 7 seconds. As humans, we have an amazing ability to size each other up. It was an evolutionary requirement to understand whether a new person was a friend or threat. The first test of a residency interview is the first impression. There are a lot of articles on how to make a great first impression. We want to provide a guide to nail […]
  • How to Portray Confidence during the Interview
    In this article, we will be going over how to appear confident during your residency interview. For some, this comes naturally (and if that is the case, feel free to skip this article!), but for most people portraying confidence is an acquired skill. We will go over some of the most important steps to convey confidence, thoughtfulness, and a natural tendency for leadership. Practice Your […]
  • Residency Interview Questions: The Dreaded Behavioral Questions
    Behavioral questions have become a staple of residency interview questions for many program directors and faculty members. So what are behavioral interview questions anyway? Behavioral interview questions are questions that focus on asking a candidate to talk about a prior experience and actions based on a specific scenario. The goal is to understand the depth of a candidate’s experience, how […]
  • Residency Interviews: Key Tips on Time Management
    One thing that is not talked about in residency interviews is how to manage your time. It’s something that I often take for granted as someone who spends most of their time in meetings. Essentially, you need to have an internal clock around the time of your residency interview. I have done the entire spectrum of interview times. Some of my interviews have been as short as 7 minutes to the […]
  • The 3 Most Important Residency Interview Questions to Nail: Part 3 – Why Choose You?
    We’re here at Part 3! In Part 1, we talked why nailing “Tell Me About Yourself” is so important. We hope you found the tips helpful. In Part 2, we gave you some of our favorite questions to ask and gave you some strategies on how to use this to your advantage to sell your interviewer on what they should rank you highly.  In part 3, we’re going to be talking about the 3rd most common and important […]
  • The 3 Most Important Residency Interview Questions to Nail: Part 2
    Welcome to part 2! In part 1, we talked about the best way to nail the “Tell Me About Yourself” question. In part 2, we’re going to tackle a residency interview question you’re going to get. The question is: “Do you have any questions for me?” We here at Residency Interview Questions, truly believe this question is a great opportunity to connect with your interviewer and elevate your rank list […]
  • Tips for the Pre-Interview Dinner
    Navigating this Important Social Event The “pre-interview dinner” can be a challenging social interaction for some IMG applicants. This is another kind of trial, not your academic prowess, but rather of your social lubricity. In this article, we will cover some overarching goals of the pre-interview dinner and things to do/not to do. Goal of the “Pre-interview Dinner” From your perspective, the […]
  • The 3 Most Important Residency Interview Questions to Nail: Part 1
    We definitely have RIQ clients that want to be prepared for everything. We totally understand that because of the importance of each and every interview. However, there are definitely diminishing returns. Not all residency interview questions are created equal. In fact, you may struggle to be authentic if you are trying to have answers to every permutation. Instead, you look as if you are simply […]
  • Residency Interview Questions: The Complete List
    Here at RIQ, our strategy is to prepare you for a limited number of core residency interview questions. From there, you will be prepared to answer any number of variations. While we are big proponents of excellent residency interview preparation, we also believe that you can overdo it. By trying to create examples and answers for every possible interview question, many applicants run the risk of […]
  • The Importance of the Residency Interview: Challenges Facing IMGs
    The data is clear – if you are an international medical graduate (IMG) you are at a disadvantage for matching compared to American medical graduate (AMG). In a 2022 survey of program directors published by the National Residency Match Program, 80% of programs will seldom or never interview a non-U.S. IMG. For U.S. citizen IMGs! For American IMGs, it is not much better – 51% of PD will […]
  • Be Prepared for Your Medical Residency interview: Top Four Tips on What to Research Beforehand
    We want to give you a roadmap here on how you can best be prepared for your medical residency interview with these top four tips. One key aspect of preparation is going to conduct the necessary research on the residency program you are interviewing in. This does not mean 12 hours of detailed background work. Often times, a solid 1-2 hours with good notes can be more than enough to set the right […]
  • Top 5 Tips for Nailing Your Virtual Residency Interviews
    Virtual Residency Interviews: Top 5 Tips Virtual residency interviews are the new normal. David and I still remember vividly how we traveled around the country to 50+ hospitals and residency sites on planes, trains, and buses. This got worse in the winter with flight cancellations, flus, and tight connections. I had to go to New York City five separate occasions in a single interview season. With […]
  • Tips to Increase the Number of Residency Interviews for IMGs in the Residency Match
    This is a numbers game. Increasing the number of residency interviews you get is essential to success. We wanted to share some of our tips and tricks on how to increase the number of interviews after your application is submitted. Why is this important? We know that every single residency interview is precious. Precious.  For those interested, we encourage you to check out the NRMP’s Charting […]
  • Matching into Residency as an IMG with Red Flags.
    First off, I want to say that matching as an IMG is never going to be easy. There are no guarantees – any company that offers you that is probably not being realistic or honest. We know that there are many more applicants than spots. According to the National Resident Matching Program 2023 data, there were almost 43,000 active applicants. Out of those, 17,382 IMGs (both U.S. citizens and […]
  • A New Match Season and a New Residency Interview Content Coming Soon
    David and I have been so proud of all of our clients these past 5 years achieving their match dreams. We have so many stories to tell – from IMG candidates 20 years past their graduation date matching after trying for 3 times and to candidates overcoming fails in both Step 1 and Step 2 CK to match. As the competition increases and spots becoming ever increasingly difficult to obtain, David […]
  • The Waiting Period – What to do between ERAS Submission and Interviews
    After you hit that Submit button, congratulations on completing your ERAS application! This is the first hurdle towards your journey in residency training. It’s a huge accomplishment to have completed USMLEs, summarized your CV, written your personal statement and obtained reference letters. However, there are still steps that you can do to proactively improve your chances of a successful […]
  • Virtual Residency Interviewing in 2020 via the Web
        In the midst of COVID-19 related shutdowns and travel limitations in 2020, residency programs are still interviewing to make sure they have housestaff to man the next wave of potential hospitalizations. Most, if not all, residency programs are moving to an online interviewing platform via Zoom, Google Meet or other video conferencing software. We wanted to talk about ways for you to […]
  • IMG Friendly SpecialitiesTop 10 IMG Friendly Specialities
      International Medical Graduates (IMGs) make up a critical portion of the US healthcare framework. They serve in diverse positions ranging from primary care, to under-served areas, and in subspecialities. In 2019, IMG match in the US had its most successful year. In all, 58.8% of IMGs successfully matched, an increase from 56.6% the year before. This is due in part to increased number of […]
  • Body Language in Residency Interview Questions
    At RIQ – we talk a lot about the content of your answers. This is, of course, really important. However, the delivery and energy you bring to the interview can be equally important. A lot of our clients are nervous. This is expected – but you cannot let nervousness be the predominant emotion that you convey during your interview. A trick we teach our clients is that the enthusiasm is […]
  • Nailing Residency Interview Questions with Zero Research Experience
    We frequently work with clients that start out who have zero research experience. This can certainly making interviewing difficult – research interests become an interesting talking point in interviews. There are often questions related to an interest in research during residency interviews. All of the international medical graduates (IMG) or foreign medical graduates (FMG) who claim this […]
  • 5 Biggest Interview Mistakes for IMG Applicants
    Steve and I wanted to share with you the 5 biggest mistakes we’ve observed when coaching IMG applicants. When you finish interviewing, your interviewer doesn’t remember the specific details of your answer within the 10 or more applicants they interviewed that day. They remember the gestalt of the entire interview with you, they might write down a few details that you talked about, but […]
  • Welcome to the 2019 Match Season! Important Dates and Policy Changes from the NMRP.
    The 2019 Main Residency Match® is about commence with registration opening September 15th, 2018. We outline the most important dates here – but do consistently check the National Resident Matching Program® (NMRP) website for any changes. In this post, we’ll highlight some key dates as well as any major policy changes. This is up to date as of September 8th, 2018. Here are some critical […]
  • RIQ Turns 5 years Old – A Continued Commitment to Helping Our Clients Match for 2018-2019
    There are many resources currently that can help you prepare for all the USMLE steps. Observerships are widely available – but some are better than others. David and I started RIQ almost 5 years ago, because we saw a huge gap in interview preparation. We see so many applicants spend years and $10,000 or more on tests, clinical experiences and VISAs. But, residency interview preparation is […]
  • The Number 1 Residency Interview Question
    Here it is guys, we wanted to share with you guys the most common, and MOST IMPORTANT residency interview question. We got asked this question at about 95% of interviews. Past RIQ clients almost always agree this is the #1 question they have been asked. Tell Me About Yourself? Think of  the answer to this question as your elevator pitch.  It is a short, sweet answer with the sole goal of proving […]
  • RIQ Webinar: High Yield Tips to Nail Your Residency Interview
    David and I are happy to announce RIQ’s very first webina! It’s open to everyone – clients or not. When: September 12th, 2017 Time: 6:00 pm PST, 8:00 pm CST and 9 pm EST Link to Register We promise this is going to be worth your time. What will you get out of this hour? David and I will break down the numbers regarding matching as an IMG. We’re going to go through the RIQ […]
  • Post Your Burning Questions – IMGs and the NRMP Match
    Burning Questions – Please Comment and Post! We know that residency application and matching is tremendously stressful process. We went through it. We now evaluate resident applicants. We’ve seen the entire cycle from beginning to end. We also know it is extra challenging as an IMG. Whether you are a U.S. citizen or not, there is less resources out there. The challenges that an IMG […]
  • How To Explain Red Flags on Your Residency Applications.
    Red flags on your ERAS application can be very anxiety inducing. There is a lot of confusion on exactly what to say and where to say it. Overall, programs get multiple pieces of information from letter writers, USMLE itself, your medical school, etc. In these instances, it is best to use the personal statement to explain your side of the story. What if you had a Step 1 Failure, Step 2CK Failure, […]
  • What Questions Do You Have For Me? The Single Best Question to Ask Every Single Residency Program.
    There is one question that I can predict with 100% certainty you will be asked during your residency interview. I was asked this on every single one of my 29 interviews. David and Tamara report the same statistics. No, it isn’t “Tell Me About Yourself.” The question is “What Questions Do You Have For Me?” You’ll definitely be asked this at least once during […]
  • Announcing Our Free Module. Building Trust.
    As we look forward to the opening of the 2017-2018 National Residency Match Program season, we are distinctly aware of the challenges facing international medical school graduates. The threat of an immigration ban certainly concerns us. The discussion on limiting VISAS for foreign medical graduates also worries us. It is something we’re staying up to date with. A recent article published in […]
  • 7 Easy Things You Can Immediately Strengthen Your Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) CV
      The ERAS CV matters. The ERAS CV is a very important document for your residency applications. Too often, we see candidates spend hundreds of hours on their personal statement but only 2-3 hours on their ERAS CV. The secret is that many residency programs actually don’t even bother reading your personal statement. Personal Statement or ERAS CV? Many programs may have target board scores. […]
  • Residency interview rank meetingHow do programs rank residency interview applicants?
    We all know what you do after leaving from the residency interview, they probably follow a pattern like this: Breathe a sigh of relief Jot down notes about the program Write thank you emails to your interviewers Today, will try to elucidate a little about what residency programs do after they interview you, and how this may affect your chances in turn. When the residency programs usually rank […]
  • body languageUsing Body Language to Make a Strong First Impression
    Body language is so critical during the residency interview just as it is during the rest of our conversations in real life. It’s the way that we express dynamics, emotion, excitement, that engages our audience. I’ve seen a lot of applicants who interview, and all their body language is showing one thing: they are nervous, they are unpracticed, and it leaves an unsettling emotion to […]
  • Average Step 1 scoreProbability of Matching as International Medical Graduates
    Update – Trump Travel Plan and International Medical Graduates for 2018 National Residency Match Program. We are getting this question more and more from our clients. Basically, will it affect me? Trump’s travel ban is unfortunate, but not something that should deter you from applying for residency. The travel is limited to citizens of these countries: Iran Libya Syria Somalia Sudan […]
  • Everything You Need to Know About Observerships or U.S. Clinical Experiences: 2017 Update!
    Update – 7/9/2017. We wanted to provide an update to this post. Observerships are very important when it comes to residency applications for IMGs. The simple reason is that program directors want to know that you’re familiar with the U.S. healthcare system. Specifically, they want to know you are familiar with navigating the electronic medical records, rounding, and interacting with […]
  • SOAP (Supplemental offer and acceptance program)SOAP (Supplemental offer and acceptance program) – the RIQ STRATEGY
    All of your hard-work comes down to this. First, we want to thank you for working with us for your residency match journey and using the  RIQ Strategy. We hope we have been able to help you and we’re here to support you all the way to the finish line. Here’s a rundown of what to expect and do for Match Week. On Monday March 14th – 11 am EST you can login to your NRMP profile and see IF you […]
  • Navigating The Pre-interview DinnerNavigating The Pre-interview Dinner
    It depends on the program, but more likely than not you will be invited to attend the pre-interview dinner.  University programs tend to offer pre-interview invitations more often.  David and I went on more than 20 each.  Our cholesterol suffered but we also saw these dinner opportunities to make solid first impressions and connect with people socially. One thing to keep in mind: I know a number […]
  • How Many Interviews Should I Have?How Many Interviews Should I Have? Attention All Internal Medicine Applicants.
    We frequently get asked the question about how many interviews should I have by now? This is difficult as every applicant is different. We look at NRMP data to help gauge how many interviews people should have. The most important question is how many interviews should I hope to get in order to match? The data from the NRMP is helpful for this. If you are a U.S. IMG, and applying in internal […]
  • What do interviewers really read before interviewing you?What do interviewers really read before interviewing you?
    It should not surprise you that PDs and interviewers do not read a whole lot from your application.  Interview day is a schedule packed day for both interviewers and interviewees.  Usually, the next interviewee is lined up outside of the room right waiting to go in right after the previous left.  This leaves almost no time for interviewers to review your application before you go in.  Knowing […]
  • English Proficiency for IMGsEnglish Proficiency for IMGs – My Impressions as a native speaker
    Step 2 CS is the bare minimum for english proficiency Every year, about 75% of IMGs pass the Step 2 CS on their first try while 65-70% pass on their repeat attempt. Considering that Step 2 CS tests the bare minimum English proficiency you need, there is a big concern among residency programs and certainly the ECFMG that English might limit the IMG’s chances at matching and performance as a […]
  • Personal StatementPersonal statement – How to write the perfect eras personal statement
    The personal statement is always a challenge for candidates, particularly IMGs.  We have a strong opinion on personal statements.  We’ve written dozens of them.  We’ve edited many more.  We’ve asked Program Directors about personal statements.  Our advice here in is the same thing other consultants would charge you hundreds or thousands of dollars for.  Most importantly, we’re going to use our […]
  • SuitThe Interview Suit – A Practical Guide For Men
    Will an outstanding, expensive suit get you a residency position?  No, probably not.   Can a bad suit cause you to feel less than 100% confident in yourself?  Yes.   Will a bad suit give interviews a negative impression on you?  Yes, absolutely.  Can a provocative piece of clothing eliminate my chances of matching?  Yes it can.  We have witnessed this ourselves.  There was one candidate who wore […]
  • Strengthen your electronic residency application service (ERAS) application
    Both American medical school graduates and international medical graduates (IMGs) spend countless hours on their essay or personal statement for residency. This is understandable. The personal statement is your way to express who you are in your own words, but what about the ERAS application? One big mistake we see a lot every year is that candidates do not spend nearly enough time on their ERAS […]
  • Thank youThank you notes – all of your questions answered
    Every year the question about thank you notes come up.  This guide will help you figure out what to do when it comes to Thank You notes. Sometimes, programs will tell you to not write a Thank You note at all.  Do not worry, this is not a trick.  They are simply telling you to not waste your time.  Follow these instructions.  It reflects badly on you when you write a thank you note when you were […]
  • Common QuestionMost Common Residency Interview Questions
    David and I went through more than 45 hospitals and programs..  We have done polling on the candidates we have helped.  At each hospital, we had to do anywhere from 2 to 12 interviews with faculty or residents. Our collective experience extends beyond 100 interviews and we found the most common residency interview questions. We wrote down every single residency interview questions we were asked. […]
  • Best Of USMLE Forums and SDN ForumsBest Of USMLE Forums and SDN Forums: How To Match as an International Medical School Graduate (IMG) or Foreign Medical School Graduate (FMG)
    David and I are a huge fans of USMLE Forums and SDN Forums they are a great resource on how do one can match as an international medical school graduate.  We are regular contributors on both sites.  We post questions and comments regularly.  David and I have learned a lot from these forums.  In this post, we are going to distill the BEST of the BEST from USMLE Forums and SDN Forums to answer this […]