If you have recently applied to medical school and you are counting down the days to your university interview, then it can feel daunting and pressuring. However, we are here to reassure you that you have nothing to worry about.
Your application already impressed the recruiters, which is why they have invited you to an interview, to meet you in person and gain an understanding of what you could bring to the Medicine course.
‘But how do I impress a medical school interviewer?’, we hear you ask. Well, keep reading to find out our best tips to help you prepare for the medical school interview stage.
What happens at a medical school interview in the UK?
The interview stage is a process for the university admissions teams to shortlist the best candidates to offer a place in their Medicine programme.
As part of your interview, you will be invited to the university campus, where you will meet some of the staff who work in the Medicine department. In some cases, your medical school interview may take place online. You will be told the date, time, location and format of your interview in your ‘invitation to interview’ email or letter.
Medical school interviews are usually held between November and March, to join the Medicine programme the following September. Some universities such as (the University of Oxford) may ask you to take additional tests, alongside your medical school interview.
During your interview, the panel will ask you a series of questions, to assess your capability for Medicine, your motivation for studying the course, and how it relates to your future ambitions.
You will have a short amount of 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 win a place on the course.
You will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview, so use this wisely.
What is an MMI interview for medical school?
Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) are another type of interview stage, which universities use to shortlist candidates for their Medicine courses. This is a group assessment, where a select number of Medicine applicants are invited to attend.
Each university will have its own style of hosting the group assessment, which consists of 5 to 12 ‘stations’ that candidates rotate between. The topic of the stations differs across universities- for instance, a station could be a discussion group on Covid-19, or a role-play scenario, or a debate about ethics.
At each station, interviewers pose questions, and candidates are given 2 minutes of thinking time. They will have around 8 minutes to answer the questions.
The MMI is a chance for applicants to come up with thoughtful answers, work positively with others, and stand out from the crowd. This allows the university recruiters to get a better insight into how the applicants work under pressure and in a group setting.
What are medical school interviewers looking for?
Medical school interviewers are looking for certain attributes in applicants which make them suitable for a career in Medicine.
During your interview, you must sell yourself and your skills, to show the interviewers that you will be an asset to their Medicine programme.
The interviewers want to see:
- Your motivation to study Medicine and why you want to work in the medical field.
- That you have a strong interest in the human body.
- Why you are interested in studying Medicine at their university.
- That you understand what a career in Medicine entails.
- Your reasons for choosing the pathway you want to specialise in.
- Your justification for studying Medicine, as opposed to Dentistry, Veterinary Sciences, Pharmacy, Nursing, or any other subject.
- Your academic and intellectual potential.
- That you possess the qualities of a good doctor. For example, communication, active listening, leadership, and empathy.
- That you are constantly expanding your knowledge of Medicine, healthcare and ethics. You will be expected to have relevant work experience. It is also a good idea to show that you read scientific books and journals, attend lectures, listen to podcasts, etc.
- That you can cope with pressurising environments and heavy workloads.
- That you can adapt to the challenges and pressures of being a doctor.
- That you are level-headed when problems arise, and you know how to deal with them effectively.
How do I impress a medical school interviewer?
If you are wondering, how do I impress a medical school interviewer, then we have got you covered.
Simply follow these tips below:
Make sure you know what the interviewers are looking for.
Above, we have outlined a summary of what the interviewers are looking for. Make sure you have prepared answers to all those questions. For instance, your motivation for studying Medicine, your understanding of what a career in Medicine entails, along with what you hope to achieve with a degree in Medicine.
That doesn’t mean you should memorise your answers and repeat these back to the interviewers monotonously. If your answers are overly rehearsed, then you won’t sound genuine and sincere.
The interviewers will phrase their questions in different ways, so make sure you listen carefully to what they are asking and tailor your answers to that.
Remember what you wrote on your application, and back up your claims with examples.
Don’t just think, ‘ok, I’ve landed an interview, now I can toss aside my UCAS application!’
You should re-read your Personal Statement and come up with plenty of examples to support the claims you made. For instance, if you wrote that you like to read scientific journals, then the interviewers may ask you, which scientific journals do you like and why?
Be polite and respectful.
When answering questions at the interview, you should be polite, professional and friendly.
You should never show any disrespect towards the NHS, other healthcare workers, or people or groups in general.
Always be courteous and respectful at all times, especially with anyone you encounter at the interview.
Remember to maintain eye contact with your interviewers, because it can be construed as rude if you don’t meet their eyes during the conversation.
Dress for the occasion.
Wear smart, professional clothing to your interview. That means no casual clothes or shoes, or heavy jewellery.
Think along the lines of a formal suit, blazer, shirt, blouse, smart dress, and smart shoes.
Best of luck with your interviews!
Stay calm and be confident. You can do this!
How can I get help with preparing for my medical school interview?
We will provide you with expert coaching on how to put your best foot forward and impress those interviewers. With our guidance, you will nail your interview and increase your chances of landing a place on your desired Medicine course.
Starting from only £100, our Interview Coaching package offers advice and guidance from our expert tutors. All of our tutors are fully qualified British doctors, specialists in medical education and interviewers at their respective medical schools. This level of tutoring is not guaranteed by any competitors.
You will have access to Interview Online Courses and personalised 1-to-1 lessons with a highly qualified tutor.
You will get to work on topics such as:
- Motivation for Medicine
- Interpersonal skills
- Academic ability
- Lateral thinking
- Work experience
- NHS & Hot Topics
- Medical ethics
- GMC/ Good Medical Practice
Choose from between 1 to 20 hours of coaching, to prepare for a medical school interview and set you up for the best chances of success.
At The Future Medic, we have helped thousands of aspiring medical students successfully enter the medical schools of their choice.
Read more articles about medical school interviews
To learn more about medical school interviews, click here to read our blog articles on:
- How Do You Introduce Yourself in a Medical Interview?
- How Do I Ace a Medical School Interview?
- What Questions Are Asked In Medical Interview?
- What Are 10 Good Interview Questions and Answers for Medical School Interviews?
- What Should You Not Say in a Medical Interview?
- What Should I Prepare for a Medical Interview?
- What Are the Qualities of a Medical Student?
- MMI interviews – what are they looking for?
- How do I Prepare for an MMI Interview?
- How to Prepare for Oxford Medicine Interview – Medical Interview UK
About The Future Medic
We are a team of experienced GPs. We understand the challenges and pressures of applying to medical school- whether you are a home student in the UK or an international student.
That is why we coach students on every aspect of the medical school application process.
With our services, we have helped thousands of students successfully enter the medical schools of their dreams.
For a full list of our services, visit our website.
Register for a place on our 2022/2023 Mentorship Programme here.
Read more articles on our blog here.
We hope this article has answered the question ‘how do I impress a medical school interviewer?’