Do training directors care more about your essay answers or your interview? What about your publication history? To get a sense of what matters most to directors, the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) asked its members in 2005 to evaluate on a scale from "not at all important" to "very important" the significance of different factors in their candidate evaluations.

Eighty-one percent-the highest total for any category-rated the interview as "very important." Also considered very important, though not by as many, were the APPIC application essay answers, at 48 percent and letters of recommendation, at 40 percent.

Thirty-four percent also rated the number of practicum hours as very important. The number of publications a student has carried less weight for many, with 38 percent rating it as "not at all important" and only 4 percent ranking publications as "very important."

--J. Chamberlin