Is it Important to Ask Questions in your Medical School Interview?
Asking questions in your medical school interview is essential. It is a mistake you will want to avoid. Only answering the interviewer’s questions and failing to ask any of your own can give the impression of disinterest. Not something you want to leave your interviewer thinking about!
If you don’t ask questions you will also harm yourself as this is an amazing opportunity to find out all you can about the medical school, the way they teach and the way they support their students.
If nothing else it is a wonderful chance to get to pick the brain of someone with a more advanced career in medicine than yourself. Do you have a medical question that you have always wondered about but didn’t know who to ask? Ask your interviewer.
Your interviewer wants to have a conversation with you and understand who you are as a person and why you have applied to medical school. By making sure you are asking questions you should be able to help them with this and make the interview go smoothly.
It is extremely important that you feel confident in introducing yourself and asking and answering your questions.
How do I impress a medical school interview?
Preparing for your interview in advance is paramount. We recommend that before your interview you spend a few hours a day for a few weeks before the interview doing research and getting to grips with your questions and answers so that you will feel confident when you get into your interview.
Take some time to memorise these if you can. It can be hard to find the line between under-prepared and over-prepared.
You should feel confident in your answers, your ability to answer any questions asked of you and your ability to ask appropriate questions.
You should not feel like your answers a too rigid and rehearsed. This will show through in your interview and rather than showing off your medical knowledge and having a conversation about yourself, you will just appear to be unable to think on the spot. It will also demonstrate your ability to remember answers rather than actually have the knowledge needed for medical school.
We think a great way to set up your preparation is to divide a notebook into the following:
- Divide your medical interview prep notebook into three core sections:
- One section for keeping up with medicine-related news that you have either read online or watched on TV.
- One for common questions.
- The last section is for ethics.
You should not end up filling a multitude of notebooks. The whole idea of this is to have all of the notes you should need in one easy-to-access place. This should take out some of the overwhelming feelings that often come when trying to cram knowledge into your brain.
Instead of having loads of writing that you will never be able to refer back to, try just jotting down those bits of information that could genuinely be discussed in your interview. Make sure to have a variety of points to talk about and you should have plenty at your disposal by the time your interview comes around.
By doing this research you are also bound to come up with some interesting questions that you could ask your interviewers as well to show them how keen to learn you are.
Never say I don’t know
Medical schools are notoriously difficult to get a place at. These places are extremely competitive, in 2022/2023 during the admissions cycle, St Georges University of London had 2259 applicants but only 165 places to give out.
You need to use your interview to the best of your ability to shine and demonstrate why you think your interviewer should choose you, over the other couple of thousand people who want the same spot you do. To get into medical school you have to really earn it in so many ways.
We will be covering what questions to ask but it is also important to know what not to say. One way you could fail to do this is by sayings ‘I don’t know.’ This is a very common mistake to make and you should do your utmost to avoid it.
Even if you are totally unsure about a question, try to answer it. Your interviewer wants to see that you care about this interview and that you are really trying.
In a field that is so highly competitive you don’t want to leave the interviewing thinking you don’t have enough initiative to even bother trying to answer a question, you are not sure of.
You can absolutely take a moment to think and even ask your interviewer to repeat the question. The latter could serve as particularly useful just to give you an extra bit of thinking time should you need it.
What questions should I ask at a medical school interview?
Knowing what to ask of your interviewer in your medical school interview can feel really intimidating. But don’t let it be. There are different types of questions you could ask that will demonstrate genuine interest and eagerness to learn from your interviewer.
Ask For Advice
Asking for advice is a wonderful idea. Mentorship is often valued at medical schools. So ask about things you are genuinely unsure of not only will it show that you are interested to learn more but they likely will java some good advice that may become really useful.
So don’t just ask, listen to the answers.
Examples of asking for advice that are suitable:
- ‘What are characteristics you see in successful students?’
- ‘Do you know any faculty members or students you can introduce me to with similar interests?’ Here you could also ask about specific research or organisation you are interested in.
- ‘Do you have any advice for somebody like me who is interested in pursuing research and clinical medicine?’ This can obviously be replaced by whatever specific subject it is that you wish to ask about.
Follow-Up On Topics Brought Up During The Interview
Bring back anything that has been already discussed so that you can elaborate or as for elaboration. Maybe your interviewer mentioned a hobby they enjoy that you also happen to enjoy. You can work this in and ask questions about medical school and social life balance. This is a fantastic way to connect with your interviewer.
Examples of following up that are suitable:
- ‘Earlier we talked about […]. I wanted to follow up on this and ask…?’
- ‘You mentioned […]. I was wondering…?’
Demonstrate Your Knowledge Of The School
Showing your interviewer that you know about the school you are interviewing for conveys a real interest. It demonstrates that not only are you interested in medicine but where and how you are going to learn.
Learning about the medical school you are interviewing for is an important aspect of preparing for your interview. You should make sure that you have spent time researching the school, looking at its website and even trying to reach out to current or past students of the school to ask about their experiences. Having this knowledge means your questions about the school can be much more specific.
The more specific to the school your questions are, the more you will be demonstrating how keen you are to attend that school.
You should also be able to answer a common question they could ask ‘Why this medical school?’
Example of demonstrating your knowledge of the school could be as follows:
- ‘A current student at your school told me [fact about the school]. [Followed by a question about this]?’
- ‘I heard that the curriculum includes [certain topic]. Could you speak to this?’
- ‘I read about [a program in the school] online and was wondering if you knew about it?’
There are also so many more topics you could ask about including:
- Ask about the school.
- Counselling/Student Support
- Financial Aid
- Student Involvement
How Can We Help?
There are so many ways that The Future Medic can help you and these include:
- Communication Skills
- Body language
- Rate & Tone
- Mirroring Posture
- Clarity of Articulation
- Minimising Jargon/Waffle
- How to use words you don’t understand
- Breaking bad news
- Communicating your thought process
- Active Listening
- Lateral thinking / Problem-solving
- NHS & Hot Topics
- Medical Ethics
Get in touch with The Future Medic today
The benefit of our coaching services are as followed:
- An increase in self-confidence
- A 97% average success rate with our previous users
- Guidance from a fully qualified UK doctor
- Help from a specialist in medical education
- 100,000 hours of UCAT tutoring experience
- We also offer the opportunity to join our Medical School Interview Course. A full day of a live online webinar will help you understand what to expect and what you need to know before your interview. A comprehensive course designed for those who want the best possible chance to succeed. Our online webinar offers insights for preparation you may not find anywhere else.
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