I’ve just completed traveling around the country for residency interviews, so I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to ask and answer personal questions.

In my desired specialty of dermatology, a typical interview day consists of short, intense bursts of eight to 12 interviews lasting around 10 minutes each, akin to speed dating. Because dermatology is a small specialty, a large portion of the department tends to show up to assess applicants like me. I’ve been in interviews that include anywhere from one person (usually the chairperson or program director) to an entire panel of dermatologists, (usually around three, but numbering up to seven in one memorable instance).