How do you introduce yourself in an interview?
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The skills you will learn with us will send you into your interview ready to introduce yourself confidently and ready to impress.
How do you answer ‘tell me about yourself’ in a medical interview?
An extremely common mistake made frequently by medical students is overcomplicating your answer to this question.
This is normally one of the opening questions that are meant to get the conversation started and help you relax. This however is not always the case. If your answer is too short, you may appear to be uninterested in talking to your interviwer/s (you may have more than one person interviewing you depending on the type of interview). If it is too long however you could be misconstrued as either being over-confident in yourself or extremely nervous.
After this topic has passed the interview will progress to more serious discussions so use this time wisely.
Between ‘tell me about yourself’ and the medical questions designed to test your knowledge, you want to leave your interviewer thinking you did well in both aspects.
For some people ‘tell me about yourself’ is a lot at the start of an interview. Use this time to your advantage. This is your time.
There are a few points you will definitely want to hit in this section. They are:
- Personality traits.
The particular topics should not only give the interviewer a great idea of what your character is like on the whole but it should align with what they want to hear from you too.
This should not be anything to do with medicine. This part of your interview is not about your medical knowledge or experience. This is about who you are. Give an overview about yourself, where you are from, about your family and what makes you different.
It is completely up to you how much or how little you share with your interviewer in this section. You should bare in mind that your interviewer is not there to judge your background but rather to learn about you and better understand your personality and your influences.
There is a reason that the UCAT exam is seen as such a crucial part of the application process for medical school. What your values are will have a huge effect on what kind of medical professional you are likely to turn out as and how well you will work with others, this is very important.
You must have a motivation for wanting to go to medical school. As everybody probably knows, medical school is an immense amount of work and requires a serious work ethic. Your interviewer will want to know what specifically motivates you and whether it will be strong enough to get you through the experience and out the other side as a medical professional.
This is a good time to discuss why you wanted to go into medicine. Was it a family member who worked in medicine? Was there a certain experience that made you want to work in medicine?
When submitting your application you would probably have been asked to give character statements from other people in your life.
Having self-awareness is important as a medical professional. You should be able to understand how you are perceived by those around you. The interviewer will also want to be able to understand how emotionally intelligent you are as this is a hugely important aspect of working with and being able to have a rapport with a number of patients.
Here you should literally talk about what you find interesting. What are a couple of hobbies you have really stuck at over the years? Do you do any volunteer work?
This answer does not need to have anything to do with medicine, it is about offering more insight into your personality than medical experience.
Talk about yourself through others
A really great way to talk about your achievements or give yourself compliments indirectly is by discussing what others have said about you.
This will stop you from coming across to your interviewer as cocky or arrogant but will still mean you can demonstrate your qualities to them. The best way to do this is to note down what other people have said about you in various settings and do your best to memorize some of these to use as answers to questions or in the ‘tell me about yourself’ section.
Don’t forget to remind yourself of some of these things as well. Don’t be too nervous, remember that you were invited to interview at a medical school and that in itself is an achievement.
Why do you want to work in medicine?
Knowing why you want to study medicine is very important. There are so many different career paths you can choose to follow with a medical degree. This does not just include the UK either, you will be qualified across to Europe and further.
There are so many positions to be found after getting a medical degree, you can:
- Work as a doctor in the Armed Forces
- Open your own private medical practice
- Become a medical manager
- Work in medical communications
- Become a higher education lecturer
- Join a public health team to keep the general population healthy and safe
- Become a research scientist
- Work in pharmaceutical sales
- Work as a forensic medical examiner
- Work as a medical writer or health journalist
- Work for a medical charity
- Work in sports and exercise medicine
- Work in medical relief work, to help people in emergencies and after natural disasters
- Become a medical advisor on television or for media outlets
- Become a medical-legal advisor
- Become a politician
Make sure you know why you want your medical degree. If you have a role in mind for when you have finished medical school this is great and will show real motivation and dedication.
On the other hand, you may not have a career path chosen yet. This will not affect the interviewers’ decision. There are plenty of other ways to demonstrate your commitment and motivation for medical school.
How do I fit all of this into my interview?
Trying to fit all of this into one interview may seem like a lot so here is our suggestion:
1- Introduce yourself
2- Describe your background
3- Highlight your significant pursuits in high school (if relevant) and college
4- Describe any gap year activities, advanced degrees, and work experiences before medical school
5- Describe your present-day self and future goals
6- End the interview with a nice touch
Mistakes to avoid
There are mistakes to be made in your medical interview, this is a list of mistakes to avoid:
- Not sharing anything that offers insight into you as a person. This is a very important aspect of the interview as understanding your knowledge and personality helps the interviewer with their decision.
- Talking too much. Don’t tell them everything all at once, try to keep some anecdotes and examples for later in the interview. Don’t use them all up at once.
- Talking too little. Make sure to show your interviewer who you are and what your personality is like. Don’t answer too generically and try not to be so nervous that you come across too shy. They need to know who you are if they are going to seriously consider you for a position at their medical school.
- Adding nothing that was not already on your application or personal statement. The interviewer will have read this and will know what you are doing. You will not add anything to your interview by doing this.
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- Communication Skills:
- Body language
- Rate & Tone
- Mirroring Posture
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- Minimising Jargon/Waffle
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- Breaking bad news
- Communicating your thought process
- Active Listening
- Lateral thinking / Problem-solving
- NHS & Hot Topics
- Medical Ethics
Book with us today to learn these skills and we hope this article ‘How do you introduce yourself in a medical interview?’ helped.