In the UK, applying to medical school is very competitive, with approximately 3.9 applicants for every one space.
Are you a Medicine applicant who is hoping to secure a spot at your dream medical school?
Then, maybe you need some advice on how to nail your medical school interviews. This is your valuable opportunity to convince the university admissions teams why you deserve a place on their Medicine degree programme.
But what are the interviews for medical school and how do you prepare for them?
We will outline our best tips in this article to help you ace your next medical school interview.
It is perfectly normal to feel nervous about sitting in front of an interview panel, however, remember that your application has already impressed the recruiters so far. As long as you go in prepared, and feeling confident about your skills, you will be absolutely fine!
What are the interviews for medical school?
So, exactly what are the interviews for medical school?
A medical school interview is the next stage of the medical school admissions process, following the Personal Statement and the UCAT test. It is a process for recruiters to shortlist the best candidates to offer a place on their Medicine programme.
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 interviewers 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 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 is an MMI interview for medical school?
Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) is 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. The interview process usually takes around 2 hours.
Each university will have its own style of hosting the group assessment, so the process will vary between universities.
The assessment consists of 5 to 12 ‘stations’, which candidates rotate between. The topics of these stations could be anything from problem-solving and ethical dilemmas to data interpretation and role-play.
Each station lasts between 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the university. Also, each station has one central component, theme or scenario that candidates are tested on.
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 team.
What are medical school interviewers looking for?
There are many attributes that medical school interviewers are looking for in applicants when they attend the interview.
You have to 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 academic and intellectual potential.
- That you possess the qualities of a good doctor. For example, communication, leadership, and empathy.
- That you are expanding your knowledge of Medicine, healthcare and ethics. You will be expected to have relevant work experience. It is 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 can are level-headed when problems arise, and you know how to deal with them effectively.
What questions will medical interviewers ask?
Medical school interviewers will ask you a wide range of questions. They want to get a flavour of who you are as a person, what you could bring to their Medicine course, and what kind of doctor you want to be.
Your questions could be about you as a person, 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 a few examples of medical school interview questions:
Why Study Medicine?
- Why do you want to become a doctor?
- Why Medicine, and not Veterinary Sciences, Dentistry, Nursing or Pharmacy?
- What is it about the human body that fascinates you?
- Which field of Medicine do you want to specialise in? Why?
- What do you hope to achieve with a degree in Medicine?
- How prepared are you for the workload involved in a Medicine degree programme?
- What aspects of our Medicine programme do you find exciting?
- What are you looking forward to most about becoming a doctor?
What personal attributes and skills do you have which make you suited for a career in Medicine?
- Tell me about yourself.
- What do you think you could contribute to university life, if you were offered a place here?
- What relevant work experience do you have which has prepared you to study Medicine?
- What do you think makes a good doctor?
- What is your biggest strength/weakness?
- Tell me about a time when you failed.
- How do you cope with stress?
- What extracurricular activities do you do?
- What would you do if you didn’t get into medical school?
- How would you handle a difficult patient?
- How would you use empathy to care for a patient?
- What motivates you?
- Give an example of a time you used your initiative.
- Tell me about a time when you worked in a team and it was successful.
The healthcare industry
- What do you know about the current trends in the UK’s healthcare system? How do you stay informed on these?
- What do you think has been the most important advancement in medical history?
- What is your view on euthanasia?
- What do you think is going to happen in the future of healthcare?
- How would you restrict the spread of an epidemic?
- What are the principles that the NHS was founded on?
- What issues come with an ageing population?
- Describe your understanding of antibiotic resistance.
- Have there been any public health campaigns that have stood out to you?
- Should tobacco products be banned?
- Is it ever appropriate to breach patient confidentiality?
- What is meant by the term ‘informed consent’?
- How accurately do you think the media portrays the role of a doctor?
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 I Ace a Medical School Interview?
- How Do You Introduce Yourself in a Medical 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?
- MMI interviews – what are they looking for?
- How do I Prepare for an MMI Interview?
- Dos and Don’ts of Medical Interview
- How to Prepare for Oxford Medicine Interview – Medical Interview UK 2023
- Medical School Interview Tutoring
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 helped you better understand ‘what are the interviews for medical school?’