If you want to study medicine, you are sure to know there are many boxes you will need to tick before those student scrubs are in your hands.
In 2022, only 16% of those who applied to study a medical field were successful, which shows just how important it is to get the application process perfect. When considering, “How do I ace a medical school interview?” you will be glad to hear that we have many tips to help you achieve a confirmed place.
Whilst the UCAS offer rate calculator is a popular tool for prospective students to use to understand their chance of success, at The Future Medic, we think many other factors should be considered.
If you have already secured your dream medical school interview and are ready to ace it, keep reading for our top tips.
What Is a Medical School Interview?
The interview process is a key part of the application to study at any medical school in the UK. Medical school interviews are how universities select the best students with a combination of the correct academic and social attributes.
The world of medicine is demanding, and places to study are limited. This places more importance on selecting the right students to prolong the long-term success of UK medical advancements.
If you have been given an interview, you are already in a better position than most applicants, as interviews are seen as the final stage. The purpose of a medical interview is not to test your existing knowledge but to give the candidate a chance to convince the selecting professional they deserve their place.
Only those who display an academic and emotional intelligence that is compatible with their institution of choosing will make it through the interviewing stages.
What Can I Do to Prepare for My Medical School Interview?
If you want to ace your medical school interview, the below tips will help you well on your way.
Understand in advance what questions you will be asked.
The last thing you want is to be thrown a question you were unprepared for. If you are already nervous, this is likely to be enough to ruin the entire experience. Although medical practitioners need to be able to think on their toes, making this an element that is tested with the application process, you should familiarise yourself with what questions are asked in a medical interview.
Research your medical school.
Once an interview is confirmed, you should research your medical schools in complete detail.
If you search online, you will find out the values your potential school holds in high regard, learn about the type of people recommended for your courses, and see testimonials from successful past students. You should look for any repetition and unique qualities that are mentioned across published materials as this is a clear indication of what they will look at as being important.
The institution will want to know why you are passionate about attending their course and will be looking for an underlying knowledge of how the university works. Being armed with knowledge will be sure to impress and go a long way in helping you secure a spot.
Another thing to research is your interviewer if you are given their details in advance. Whilst you don’t need to know everything about them, there may be some advice from previous candidates online or via your medical school tutor that can help tailor your interview style.
Practice makes perfect.
Part of our tutoring process encourages candidates to understand what good interview questions and answers look like for medical school applications. Whilst we don’t advise that you over-practice and come across as unemotive, getting an idea of how you would best answer the most commonly asked questions is essential.
It would help if you also considered how you would answer questions in a way that covers all of the facets of the response being looked for.
To do this, we recommend that candidates have a pool of situations they can choose from that best illustrate an answer. Being able to select real-life examples coupled with your findings and analysis of what this says about you as a person is going to ensure your answers are all in-depth.
You should also take part in interview role-play or ask people to throw you questions when you least expect it so that you are able to answer on the spot. The goal is not to have rehearsed answers, but instead feel confident in selling yourself as an ideal student and be able to think on your toes you are asked something that you were not prepared for. These are all skills needed when working in the medical field so be prepared for some curveballs.
Invest in professional medical application tutoring.
As much as you can practice by reading tips online, it is recommended that you bring in the help of professional medical school interview tutoring.
Our services are provided by medical professionals who know exactly what it takes to ace a medical school interview. The Medical Schools Council recommends that candidates undertake professional interview prep as it will allow them the fairest chance at passing this process stage.
Tutoring does just give you the way to find the right answers, but also helps you understand the tone needed to conduct a successful interview. The what, where, when, how and why questions all need to be answered with the perfect balance of personal opinion, experience, and unbiased intentions to ensure you are showing every side of your professional and personal character.
Know how many stages of the interview you will need to pass.
It would be best if you also gained an understanding of how many stages of the interview you will need to pass, as this will reflect on the content that is included. This can be ascertained by doing your research and consulting with your medical school professionals, who will have access to the latest knowledge.
If you have an MMI interview, you can learn more about how to prepare by clicking here.
Re-align with the other elements of your application.
You may have been preparing for your medical school application for a long time. This means you need to refresh yourself as to what you included.
During the interview, you will be asked to explore your entire application in depth, and any disparities in answers will negatively impact you. This also ensures you are repeating examples sparingly and providing a variety of relevant information about yourself that means you are remembered.
Ask your own questions.
You will likely get asked if you have any queries, to which you should always answer yes. If you do not have any questions, it can look as though you are unprepared or unengaged.
This common misconception is that this is a relaxed moment in which a conversation can take place. We don’t see it that way and instead believe it’s an extra question that aims to understand your way of thinking.
The best questions to ask may include queries about the school or course, student opportunities, or even specific requests about the teaching process. You cannot go wrong if they show you are passionate and have an existing knowledge of how the course works.
What Steps Can I Take on the Day to Perform Well in My Medical School Interview?
As well as reminding yourself of the dos and don’ts of medical interviews, you should carry out these actions on the day of your consultation:
Ensure you dress correctly so that you make the best first impression.
Carry out last-minute research into your course to see if any recent changes have been made. You should also be aware of the latest news stories relevant to your proposed field of practice, as it will look impressive if you have your finger on the pulse of current affairs.
Revisit your application letter to remind you of the reasons you want to study.
Take your time to answer each question and understand that interviewers account for nerves.
Are You Ready to Put the Steps in Place That Will Help You Pass Your Medical School Interview?
Getting an interview is already a reason for celebration. Making sure you feel confident in how you can best person is all you need to do to anchor your place.
For more information, please check out our services or contact us with any outstanding questions.