So, you have applied to study Medicine at your chosen universities and they have invited you to an interview. If this is you, congratulations! You should be very proud of yourself. This is the next step to achieving your dream of becoming a doctor.
Many applicants feel apprehensive at the prospect of attending Medicine interviews at universities. Let’s face it, convincing a university admissions team that you belong in their Medicine programme is not an easy task.
Fear not. In this blog article, we have outlined our handy guide for all the Dos and Donts of medical interviews.
We at The Future Medic are here to share our tips to help you feel more confident when you attend your Medicine interviews.
What happens at a medical school interview?
You will be invited to come to the medical school campus, where you will meet for the interview. Alternatively, your interview may take place online. You will receive the location and details of your interview in your invitation letter.
Medical school interviews are usually held between November and March, to join the Medicine programme the following September. Some universities such as Oxford may ask you to take additional tests in addition to your interview.
When you are face-to-face with your interviewer, they will ask you a series of questions. Based on the answers you give, the interviewer will assess your capability for medicine and get a sense of who you are as a person.
You will have a short time to give a good impression, so appearing and conducting yourself professionally, whilst showing your aptitude and passion for medicine is vital for you to get the result you want.
You will have the opportunity to ask any questions at the end of the interview, so use this wisely.
What do medical school interviewers look for?
There are many attributes that interviewers are looking for in applicants. You have to sell yourself and your skills, to show the interviewers that you will be an asset to their Medicine degree programme.
The interviewers want to see:
- Your motivation to study Medicine and become involved in the medical field.
- That you understand what a career in Medicine entails.
- Your academic and intellectual potential.
- That you possess the qualities of a good doctor.
- That you are expanding your knowledge of Medicine and healthcare by undertaking relevant work experience, reading scientific books and journals, attending lectures, etc.
Interviewers are looking for examples of:
- Excellent communication skills – to show that you can adequately interact with patients, provide them with good care, and work well in a team with colleagues.
- Academic competence – you will spend a lot of time studying, so you should be an excellent student, who is not thrown by the number of exams and assignments.
- A strong interest in the human body – to show that Medicine is the right pathway for you, as opposed to dentistry or any other scientific subject.
- Genuine ambition to become a doctor – you must justify your passion to become a doctor and illustrate the steps you are already taking to get there.
- Conscientiousness – to show that you can take responsibility for your own actions and do your job well.
- Empathy – to display your level of understanding of the large diversity of circumstances that befall your patients. A lack of empathy will cause a person to not treat patients with the level of care they deserve.
- Leadership – to show that you can set goals, delegate effectively, and help others develop their skills.
- Managing risk and solving problems – to show that you are level-headed when problems arise and you know how to deal with them effectively.
- Flexibility – to show that you can adapt to the pressures and challenges of working as a doctor.
Dos and donts of Medical Interview
There are various ways you can prepare for a medical school interview.
First of all, make notes on the things that you will want to share with your interviewer.
For instance, your relevant work experience, the valuable skills you gained, why you want to study Medicine at that university, and what you hope to get out of it.
Here is a list of things you should do at your medical school interview:
- Wear smart, professional clothing.
- Stay calm and composed throughout the interview. It is normal to feel nervous, but your nerves will pass. Be present in the moment, ground yourself and breathe.
- Pause if you need a few seconds to process the interviewer’s questions.
- Ask the interviewer to repeat the question, if you didn’t hear it properly.
- Illustrate which aspects of the university’s Medicine programme appeal to you and explain why.
- Remember to reflect on the things you wrote in your Personal Statement. (E.g. your relevant work experience and what valuable skills you have gained.)
- Explain why you want to become a doctor and what your career ambitions are. (E.g. which speciality of Medicine do you want to specialise in? Why?)
Here is a list of things you should NOT do at your medical school interview:
- Do not wear casual, scruffy or untidy clothes.
- Do not rush your answers – instead, speak clearly and coherently.
- Don’t sound too rehearsed and robotic. The interviewer will ask you questions that you may not have heard before, so it requires quick thinking on your feet.
- Don’t exaggerate or lie about the books you have read or any work experience you have gained, as you may get caught out!
- There is no need to talk about your hobbies and interests if they are irrelevant to studying Medicine (e.g. if you enjoy binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy).
- Don’t just say “I don’t know” in response to the interviewer’s questions. Try to answer them as best as you can.
- In the end, after the interviewer asks you, ‘do you have any questions for me?’, don’t say ‘no’. Take this opportunity seriously to speak to the interviewer and ask questions about the Medicine programme or anything else that is relevant.
- Don’t just rant about the state of the NHS – your answers should be professional.
What kinds of questions will I get asked in a medical school interview?
There are many questions that you could be asked in your medical school interview- relating to your character, your motivation to study Medicine, how prepared you are for the challenges of becoming a doctor, as well as the healthcare industry in general.
Here are several examples of the kinds of questions you can expect to be asked:
- Why do you want to become a doctor?
- Why do you want to study medicine at this university? What is it about the course that attracts you?
- What do you hope to achieve with a degree in Medicine?
- How have jobs, volunteer opportunities and work experience prepared you to study Medicine?
- What do you want to specialise in?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What do you think makes a good doctor?
- What do you do to relax?
The healthcare industry
- What do you know about the current trends in the UK’s healthcare system?
- What is the role of general practitioners?
- What do you think has been the most important development in the history of medicine?
- What is your view on euthanasia?
Where can I get help to prepare for a medical school interview?
Here at The Future Medic, we offer Medicine Interview Coaching, to help students feel more confident about their medical school interviews.
You can book between 1 to 20 hours of Interview Coaching with one of our fully qualified doctors and medical school interview experts.
Choose from our Interview Tuition Service, which offers you personalised 1-to-1 lessons with our highly qualified tutors. You will have access
Alternatively, book our Medical School Interview Course, a webinar which you can join from anywhere in the world! In this live online webinar, you will learn everything you need to know about interviewing at medical schools- from the interview questions
Our team of tutors has over 14 years of experience in mentoring, public speaking, and the medical school admissions process. We have helped thousands of aspiring medical students successfully enter the medical schools of their choice.
At The Future Medic, we have made it our mission to supply aspiring doctors with all the knowledge, skills and resources you could possibly need to enter the competitive yet rewarding field of Medicine.
We hope we have provided you with thorough knowledge of all the dos and donts of medical interviews.
For a full list of our services, visit our website.
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