I was taking to my director the other day and asked point blank given all the factors( GPA, REFs, etc..) what do you use as your ultimate decision to accept a student with the many apps that apply??
She said it boils down to the fact that she tries to determine if the app is able to take pressure, is teachable, can take critque well, maturity and all around the kind of person that she would be able to work with.
So to me that says personality- based on refs and how well you present yourself at the interview. The interview process here is about a half of day where you start out in her office with questions of the how, when and why. Then you are off to the OR and put on scrubs
and you round with different people ( CRNAs, MDAs, SRNAs) and can ask questions and see first hand what the day to day operations are like.
While this is going on they are sizing you up the whole time. They figure the more they are around you the more they can check you out. The big plus is you get to be alone with 1st and 2nd year students and get the real scoop for this helps you in deciding if you want to attend the program or not. You also get to see the personality of the docs that you will be working for during your 2 years in the program and you get to see first hand what type of cases you will be doing as a student.
After that you go back to the office and get more questions and then they go over you transcripts, etc...
I know this is brief but just trying to help my fellow man/woman get into a program!!