Attending a university interview can be a daunting experience. You may have written an excellent Personal Statement, which wowed the admissions team. Now, it is time to meet a panel of interviewers, face-to-face, to convince them that you belong on their Medicine degree programme.
Looking for advice on how to nail that medical school interview? Well, you have come to the right place.
So, what are 10 good interview questions and answers for medical school interviews?
Keep reading to get some useful tips to help you ace your interviews.
What are 10 good interview questions and answers?
We can’t write out answers for you to memorise, because that would be cheating!
Let’s face it, you won’t make a very good impression on your interviewer if you give a rehearsed answer, which doesn’t address the points raised in the question.
What we can do is offer you guidance, to help you organise your thoughts and formulate an answer which is specific to you.
So, what are 10 good interview questions and answers?
Take a look at the following examples, with our advice below:
- Tell me about yourself.
This is an opportunity to sell yourself and give the interviewer a flavour as to who you are as a person.
Describe yourself, but don’t point out things that are already known to the interviewer: for instance, “I am an A-Level student who is studying Biology and Chemistry.”
You can mention your hobbies and interests. Do you play any sports or musical instruments? Are you a member of a theatre group, a charity organisation, or perhaps you are a Brownie or Girl Guiding leader?
It is especially impressive if you do activities in your spare time that are linked to science or healthcare. For example, volunteering at a hospital, having a part-time job in a care home, or being a member of your school’s Astronomy Club.
Avoid mentioning hobbies that have no relevance whatsoever, such as binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy.
Additionally, you can highlight any recent awards or achievements you have obtained. Have you ran a marathon, climbed a mountain for charity, or won an academic prize?
- What are your greatest strengths?
Think about what core skills you are good at, which are transferable to a Medicine degree and real-life practice as a doctor.
Once you have identified what your strengths, describe how you use them in your life.
For example, your strength might be your communication skills. You might have learned how to communicate clearly by:
- writing essays
- creative writing
- being a member of a debate club
- by working in a part-time job
- by being the leader in a group activity
Or, your strength might be your commitment to helping others. This might have been fuelled by:
- going through an illness, or witnessing a family member become ill.
- a work experience placement at a hospital, GP, clinic, or care home.
- volunteering at a charity organisation, food bank, or community group.
- studying Health and Social Care, or Child Development.
- What are your biggest weaknesses?
Don’t worry, this is not a question designed to catch you out.
The interviewer wants to see if you are self-aware, honest, and willing to work on your weaknesses.
So, identify a weakness that can be improved over time, and describe how you would put in the work to overcome that weakness.
For instance, let’s say that you are not confident about using Microsoft Excel. But you know there are training courses which you want to enrol on, to improve your knowledge of the programme.
Don’t say that your weakness is that you are “a perfectionist”. This is simply a cliché, which sounds too rehearsed and insincere.
- Describe a time when you worked in a team.
Remember to talk about the end goal, any obstacles involved, what actions you took, and what the positive results were.
Never portray yourself or your team members in a negative light. Show how you worked well with others, to achieve a common goal.
- Give an example of when you displayed leadership.
Talk about the skills you deployed as the leader in a group setting, for instance:
- Did you delegate tasks effectively?
- Did you make the executive decision on a strategy?
- How did you motivate and communicate with your team?
- Did your leadership guide your team to a successful outcome?
- How did you resolve any conflict?
- How do you handle stress?
Offer examples of how you manage stressful situations.
Outline how you stay calm and manage your emotions when you are in a pressurising environment.
For instance, it can be stressful to manage a heavy workload or deal with demanding customers at your part-time job.
Perhaps you have learned stress management techniques to help you cope with the pressure.
Or maybe you have realised that you can ask for help when you are struggling.
- What are your career ambitions?
A medical school interviewer will be very curious about what you plan to do with your Medicine degree.
So, explain what field of Medicine you want to specialise in, and why. What is it about cardiology or paediatrics or psychiatry that fascinates you?
Outline what impact you hope to make, with a Medicine degree.
Do you want to take up postgraduate research and find new cures to diseases? Or perhaps you want to work in public health, to keep the population safe and healthy?
- How have you prepared to study Medicine?
Discuss the steps you have taken to prepare yourself for medical school.
What books, journal articles and scientific papers have you been reading? What did you find interesting about them?
Have you gained work experience in a patient-facing area?
Hopefully, you have spent time shadowing a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or healthcare worker. What insights did you gain, which helped you realise that you wanted to become a doctor?
- Why do you want to study Medicine at this university?
Convey your enthusiasm for potentially joining the university’s Medicine course, so that the interviewer can see your passion and commitment.
Pick out aspects of the curriculum that excite you. Why are you looking forward to taking these modules? How do they relate to your interests and career ambitions?
Demonstrate your knowledge of the university. What societies and clubs are you hoping to join?
Are there any medical lecturers whose research interests align with yours?
- What qualities do you have that make you suited to be a doctor?
Think about what qualities are needed to be a good doctor, and then, describe how you have obtained those qualities.
For example, have you gained active listening skills and empathy, after a clinical work placement?
Doctors must have an excellent awareness of ethics. Have you been reading up on the General Medical Council’s Ethical Guidance for Doctors?
Perhaps you volunteer at a food bank or charity organisation, so you have interacted with vulnerable adults and children. How has this taught you to be compassionate and patient?
Where can I get help with medical school interview preparation?
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.
Click here to book our Interview Coaching package or learn more.
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About The Future Medic
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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.
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