It doesn’t matter who you are, it goes without saying that interviews are daunting tasks, particularly in the medical sector. However, with a bit of know-how and preparation, you can certainly help alleviate any pre-interview nerves and feel much more in control. You’ll have anticipated what will get asked in the interview, you will have learnt so much about the business and you’ll feel cool, calm and collected.
Let’s look at what you should prepare for a medical interview:
Keep a notebook
We highly recommend preparing for your interview well in advance and over the course of a few weeks, grab a new notepad and allocate a few hours a day to researching and perfecting your answers and knowledge, you can then refer back to this when you have a few moments during the day to ensure your notes really sink in.
Divide your medical interview prep notebook up 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 for ethics.
It’s good to have everything in one place, and it stops things from becoming overwhelming. It doesn’t need to be full of in-depth content and notes, but having a range of different ideas at your disposal will help for interviews because you are more likely to have a relevant and unique point to make about a question that they’ve already asked 200 other people!
If you haven’t already, have a look at the following websites and make some notes:
Research the Medical School for Your Interview
- Is it MMI? Is it a panel interview?
- Is there a group task element?
- Is it a traditional interview like the Oxford and Cambridge interviews?
Understanding the structure of your interview will give you a strong guideline to base your research on and ensure you are prepared for any little surprises that might be thrown your way. Most medical schools have extensive information on their websites for applicants about their application process, and they will also send you extra information when you receive an invitation to an interview, so make sure you look through this and familiarize yourself with what to expect.
One of the key questions you may be asked is ‘why this medical school’. Make sure you have a strong answer for this, genuinely ask yourself why you can imagine yourself studying and living there. Ask yourself why you like the course and why you like the city, and why you’d flourish and be successful there.
Use the STARR Technique to Prepare Your Answers for a Medical Interview
The way you structure your answers in your medical interview is vital. It prevents you from rambling and ensures you cover all the key points.
We suggest using the STARR acronym:
One brief line outlining the example.
What was involved?
How you approached and performed the task.
What was the outcome/achievement?
What did you learn and how will you apply it?
For an idea of what sort of questions may come up in your interview, take a look at our blog post What Questions Are Asked in a Medical Interview. Make sure you answer these in your notebook, using the STARR technique we’ve outlined above so you don’t miss any of your interview-winning answers!
Don’t forget, you will also be asked questions about your interests outside of medicine, this could be what you do to relax, will any hobbies or interests of yours help with your career, who do you admire and why. Remember, you need to be the right fit for the culture of the medical school as well.
Use Praise from Other People
You will need to showcase your qualities during your interview, but no one wants to come across as arrogant. For example, you might get asked what your best trait is. You can answer this question in your Medicine interview without sounding arrogant by citing what other people have said about you – make sure you note this down so can memorize and refer to them on the lead up to your interview.
Your chosen medical school is going to be looking for your top qualities, take a look at our recent article about What Are the Qualities of a Medical Student and use your own experience and knowledge to answer them.
Remember to remind yourself of your own achievements, and that you got an invite to interview! You are meant to be here!
It is vital for you to get comfortable talking about yourself and all the amazing things you have achieved. The internet is full of examples of mock interviews; MedicMind, Medical School Council and The Aspiring Medics all have excellent free examples for you to work through.
You can also refer to our blog post about The Do’s and Don’ts of a Medical Interview and jot down some notes ready for your interview.
Have a Plan for Interview Day
Having a set plan for the day of the interview can help with nerves and help you feel in control. You are going to be nervous; you wouldn’t be human if you weren’t! Just remember that you have got this far. Here are a few tips to help you on interview day:
- Wake up early and make sure you have breakfast, if you’ve got time, go for a walk or the gym, get out and do something to take your mind off any nerves and set you up positively for the rest of the day.
- Remember your notebook! You can flick through this whilst you wait or whilst you are travelling to your interview.
- First impressions count, so make sure you are smartly dressed and go in with a smile, sit up straight and try to relax, let your personality and enthusiasm shine! Take a look at How to Introduce Yourself in a Medical Interview to ensure you get off to a good start once you’ve walked through the door!
- Take a few seconds to think about each answer to the questions you are asked, they are not trying to catch you out!
- If a question stumps you, remember not to panic! Ask the interviewer to rephrase it and answer the best you can, make sure that you don’t waffle here. Just be calm, collect and relaxed.
- Make sure you have a list of questions to ask your interviewer, as there is usually a section in the interview where they will ask if you have anything you would like to ask. We have written a blog post about The 10 Best Questions to Ask at a Medical Interview which should help!
- At the end of the interview, make sure to thank them for their time.
Further Reading About Medical Interviews
- Prepare for a Medicine Interview 2023
- How Do I Prepare for an MMI Interview?
- Why Study Medicine?
- Top 10 Medicine Interview Tips
- What are the Qualities of a Medical Student?
The Future Medic
When it comes to how to prepare for medicine interviews or a medical receptionist interview or any interview in the realm of medicinal studies and prospects, The Future Medic is here to help. We offer a range of packages in order to get you above and beyond the standards of medicine. Do you struggle in interview scenarios? We offer interview coaching services with the option to choose the duration of your coaching, and the option of being coached by a medical education specialist doctor/ interview panelist, or our lead tutor, Dr Valeed Ghafoor.
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 the things you need to know before having 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.
Book your future with us today
Our team at The Future Medic understand the responsibility to provide our country with the next generation of bright minds who will innovate, revolutionise and excel in the study of medicine, that is why we have made it our mission to supply you with all the knowledge, skills and resources you could possibly need to enter this competitive yet rewarding field of expertise.
We hope in this article we have helped you understand how to prepare for medicine interviews. For a full list of our services be sure to visit our website. Our blog page contains many topics that pertain to studying medicine too. You may learn something new by taking a read.