Aston University Medicine Interview Questions
Advice & Insight From Interview Specialists
General Interview Information
Aston has 120 places available, of which 20 are for international students and 100 for home applicants. Of circa 800 applicants, expect around 220 to be invited to interview, and around 180 offers to be made.
Standard Interview Format
Aston assesses its applicants through an MMI (Multiple Mini Interview). It will have between 7 and 10 stations, and each station will last from 6 to 8 minutes. The MMIs will normally be held at the Aston University Campus. The MMI is designed to assess the General Medical Council’s Promoting Excellence framework, and the NHS Constitution Framework. Aston provides a clear overview of the kind of attributes that they are looking for:
- understanding of studying and practising medicine
- verbal communication
- listening skills
- understanding of teamwork
- understanding of leadership skills
- understanding of compassion, respect and dignity
- problem solving.
The MMI will normally take place between December and March. You should expect stations to be a mixture of role play (involving an actor that you will be expected to interact with) and discussions with an interviewer. Aston explains that they have consulted a range of people – doctors, healthcare workers, lecturers, students and patients – in order to determine the kind of qualities that they should be looking for, as well as then mapping this to the GMC’s guidelines on the qualities that doctors should possess.
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Before the Interview
You should consider the attributes that Aston is looking for, and consider how you match up to them. Try to reflect extensively on each one, and think about the work experience that you have undertaken, or how other life experiences will tally with them. Ensure that you read thoroughly all the content that Aston name checks in their MMI advice pages – that means the General Medical Council’s Promoting Excellence framework, the NHS Constitution Framework, and of course the GMC’s Good Medical Practice documents, for both doctors and medical students. Remember that Aston is a new program, and ensure that you can show you are ready to be part of their journey. Expect the interview to be geared towards assessing people skills and soft attributes over scientific or medical knowledge – although some problem solving components may feature. Aston explicitly states that no medical knowledge will be tested.
Exemplar & Recent Interview Questions
Understanding of Compassion, Respect & Dignity:
Tell me about the term empathy – what does it mean, and how is it different to sympathy?
What is the importance of compassion for doctors?
Do you think that it’s right for doctors to admit their mistakes to patients?
Have you ever had to support a friend or loved one through an especially difficult time?
Why is it important that doctors and patients respect each other?
How have you shown empathy in your life so far?
Have you undertaken volunteering or charity roles to help others?
How do you think that the way that doctors interact with patients, and show respect to them, has changed as we have moved into the 21st century?
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Motivation for Medicine:
What do you think are the most rewarding parts of working as a doctor?
What do you think will be the most challenging aspects of working as a doctor for you?
Why are you set on becoming a doctor? Why not become a nurse, a physician assistant, or an occupational therapist?
How do you try to keep up to date with healthcare news?
Have you thought about how stressful this career is? How can you prove to me that you’ve got the resilience to deal with it?
How have you researched the profession, beyond your work experience?
Teamwork & Leadership:
Talk to me about your experience working with groups.
Do you find that you naturally work better as a leader or as a part of a team?
What experiences have you had that illustrate your ability as a leader?
Tell me about a time that you were part of a team that lost, and how that affected you and your team.
Tell me about a time that you led a team to success.
Tell me about a time that you had difficulties dealing with another member of your team, and how you resolved it.
Tell me about the importance of working in a team for doctors, and the healthcare professions in general.