Is Getting A Medical School Interview A Good Sign
Medical interviews are one of the last hurdles between you and your place to study medicine. Below we outline why getting a medical school interview is an excellent sign:
Waiting to hear back from the Medical School
Navigating the medical application process is a minefield. It may seem extremely demoralising when all your friends and peers have 5 offers. It may feel as if months have passed and still you are no clearer on the outcome of your application. This is perfectly normal, most university websites state the dates they release interview invites and hold interviews, it may be reassuring to refer to these. Universities have many applications to process and factors to consider when offering interviews meaning the interview selection process is lengthy for admission tutors and applicants. You may have committed to a career in medicine, gaining medical work experience way back in Key Stage 4. If this was when your medical application began than it can seem like an age between sending off your UCAS application and receiving the all-important interview. During this process you may find your motivation fluctuates. Gaining an interview for a medical school may be the motivation and reassurance you needed.
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Celebrating small successes
It is really important you are able to celebrate small successes during your medical career. Don’t consider becoming a consultant as the destination but celebrate every achievement you gain throughout your career. Gaining an interview is a huge achievement and a key part of your progression into becoming a doctor.
What it takes to gain an interview
The application process into medicine is extremely competitive so getting an interview is a huge achievement in itself. In order to be selected for an interview you must have already made a good impression. Gaining an interview is a testament to your academic abilities. The fact that you have been selected for an interview suggests that you also had a competitive UCAT or BMAT score. Although not all Universities use the personal statement in the selection process this may also have contributed to your success’. Your personal statement may only be 4,000 characters but it reflects a lifetime of achievements. Studying medicine requires commitment and motivation. An interview is confirmation of this tenacity – also the hard work cannot stop there.
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Why being interviewed is a great opportunity
Gaining an interview is clearly an important step to gaining a place in medicine. Many Universities select applicants based solely on their interview performance, meaning all your credentials to that point may be disregarded.
Gaining an interview is both proof of your academic success and gives you the opportunity to shine in a way that you may have not felt the rigid UCAS application process allowed you to. When writing your personal statement like many other students did you get frustrated that you couldn’t list all your achievements. You may feel that your suitability to study medicine and become a doctor extends beyond your aptitude. At an interview you can demonstrate your skills, attributes and behaviours. Many students do not get the privilege of showing their enthusiasm to studying medicine.
Learning from an interview
Whether successful or not, the interview process will teach you invaluable lessons and provide you with an experience that will help you to improve yourself for any future interviews. After the interview its really important to reflect on your performance. It is vital to not just reflect on your performance during the interview itself but on your preparations. Did you leave enough time to prepare for the interview? What was your revision approach – was it proactive?
You can view your interview as a learning curve. An effective interview preparation schedule will ensure you develop knowledge and experiences to show you are informed about medicine as a career. Applicants will have to prepare to answer questions which show the have an awareness of scientific and medical issues, this preparation will not only directly help you with your application to medicine but will improve your overall scientific insight, useful for any scientific career. Practising interview questions will allow you to develop transferable skills. Medical interviews test your ability to communicate and provide a reasoned argument. Developing these skills will help you in any future career.
Remember... interviews don’t define success
The aptitude and abilities of medical applicants does not represent the average ability of all those in your academic year group. You are competing against some of the most driven and academic individuals across the country. So don’t put yourself down. Whether or not you receive a medicine interview should not define your success. It’s really important that during the application process to medicine you find areas of your life which provide you with meaning and purposiveness beyond your success in the application process. If you commit too much of your mental energy to thinking about medicine interviews and applications then you are significantly less likely to be able to show resilience and rebound if things don’t go to plan.