If you had to give yourself a nickname, what would it be

Answering the “If you had to give yourself a nickname, what would it be?” Medical School Interview Question

The medical school interview is a tough process. You’ll be asked all sorts of questions, like if you had to give yourself a nickname, what would it be? This can seem like an insignificant question since you don’t know the interviewer on a personal level, but this question actually has some importance behind it. In this article I will tell you how to answer if you had to give yourself a nickname and why that is important in your interview.

The Med School Interview

This is a daunting process and a tough time for many applicants. The interviewer will ask you all kinds of questions if they see fit, from what is your favorite movie to if you had to give yourself a nickname, what would it be?  This question seems strange since the interviewer doesn’t know you on a personal level but there’s actually some significance behind it. In this article I’ll explain how to answer if you had to give yourself a nickname and why that’s important in your interview.

This question is important because this may show if the interviewer can get to know who you really are. The answer also shows if they’re willing and able to go outside of their comfort zone and step into yours.  It’s not just about an “easy” or “fun” answer, if you can make the interviewer think and see things from your perspective.  Answering this question well shows if they like what you have to offer!

The best way to approach answering it is just be yourself. This will show the interviewer that they’re not just interviewing a name on paper but getting get to know the real you.  If you’re not sure if your answer is good, ask a friend (or family member if they’re cool with it) what their initial reaction was when hearing it and if they can see how that’s really who you are!

After all, this is pretty much the entire point of the med school interview, is to get to know you and see who you are as a person.

Why the admissions committee is asking this

The admissions committee is trying to see if they can get to know you on a personal level. They want to make sure that if they accept you into their school, the students will like and respect who you are as an individual.

This is absolutely an obscure question, but it can give the interviewer a lot of insight if they’re willing to listen and understand your answer.

Don’t play it safe with an easy answer like “Harry” if you’re name isn’t Harry, because that’s a pretty lame answer. Show them your creativity and how well you know yourself!

This is an interesting question because it is not one of those things that your family or friends can do for you, for example making extravagant charitable donations, or having enormous wealth, and giving some to the school.

If you had to give yourself a nickname, what would it be

This answer is based solely on your ability to answer it and it in a way levels the playing field for everyone!

Ultimately the admissions committee wants to know you and see if you can fit into a physician’s role with your sense of humor and insight into yourself. That is the goal of the entire application process, getting to know you and see if you have what it takes!

Sometimes on Secondary applications

This isn’t always during the interview, sometimes it’s if you have to fill out a secondary application for the school.

If it is on your secondary, make sure that if can show what makes YOU unique instead of just putting down an easy answer.

The nice thing about this question being on a secondary application as opposed to during an interview, you have more time to evaluate the question and really come up with a thoughtful answer.

Want to be fun, but maybe not the most fun

Alright, you don’t want your nickname to be some crazy nickname that reflects that one night your were too drunk at the fun party right?

Think of a nickname that reflects what you are as a person and in combination with your belief of public health, medicine, and a physicians role.

Don’t put all the effort into having the focus on just medicine though, make sure you inject some of your personality and uniqueness into the situation as well.

Checking your self awareness

This is a huge part of the process. The admissions team is really checking if you guys (or girls :)) have a lot of self awareness .

The admissions committee wants to see if you are truly capable of being a physician and if your personality is compatible with the other students that will be starting their journey into medicine along side you.

They want to get an idea if you really know who you are, not just on paper but if they can see if you’re someone who will fit in with the other students.

If you had to give yourself a nickname, what would it be

The admissions committee needs to know if they are accepting a group of people that won’t be clashing or competing against each other, but rather supporting and helping each other on their journey through medical school!

Any Under Represented Points in your application that are unique?

This is an important thing to consider as well, because if you can find something that makes your personal statement and application unique, and use it to answer this question, it will help if the interviewer is struggling to find a way to relate with you.

This isn’t something they look for as much as if you have good grades from an undergraduate or master’s program but it can go far if there are parts of your transcript that stand out more

Answering this as an essay question

You may also have the chance after secondaries are in yo answer this as an essay if you have the chance.

This is a great way to show your creativity and insightfulness, so if this question pops up as an essay be sure to give it all you’ve got!

If there are parts of your application that stand out more than others (such as some parts that aren’t necessarily related), then using those facts to answer this question if a great way to bring out your personality!

Just make sure if you do it as an essay that the admissions committee can follow along with what parts of your application are important and how they relate to who you are.

Common Question at Keck School of Medicine in Southern California

This is a common question asked during interviews at this school. This is based on my own personal research, and not on any personal experience with applying to and interviewing there, since I didn’t.

You can bank on this question being somewhere in their application process though, and without a doubt you will likely run into this question at other med schools during their admissions process.

Other Common Interview Questions

If you had enormous wealth, how would you allocate your charitable donations?

This is a common question asked if you have a unique experience with your volunteer work or if there is some other way in which you can answer this.

It’s important to show that not only are you good at what you do, but also how charitable and thankful for the opportunities given to us through our time on earth!

Remember that interviewing isn’t just about if you’re qualified enough for admissions, it’s also about if they want to welcome you into their ranks if you get in!

Describe a situation in which you didn’t get something you felt you deserved

As far as interview questions goes, this is another tough one because it can be tough if you’ve never had to deal with this before.

You want to show some great insight into your personal thoughts and show that you don’t hold grudges, and that you are aware of your shortcomings.

Check out this article to learn more about how to respond to the question “describe a situation in which you didn’t get something you felt you deserved”.


The answer to this question will give you a chance to show off your personality and showcase some of the skills that make you uniquely qualified for medical school. If you’re not sure what nickname is best, try thinking about something in your life that makes an impact on people around you. Maybe it’s how much time you volunteer or maybe it’s all those awards from high school? Whatever it is, let them know! And if none of these ideas work for you, take inspiration from our list below and see if any of them suit your needs better than another. What name do YOU want to use when answering this question during your next interview? Let us know in the comments section below!

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