Introduction To Medicine Interview
More than preparing your statement, completing forms and getting LoRs, waiting to hear about interview invites is one of the most stressful steps in the entire medical school admissions process. Fortunately, there is a systematic strategy to stand out during medicine school interviews, just like there is for every other aspect of the application process.
Here, we will work through how to prepare step-by-step – as well as providing you with some sample medical school interview questions.
Why Do Medical Schools Conduct Interviews?
Medical schools might discover a great deal about you via your application documents, such as
- Academic performance (grades and admission tests)
- Fitness and motivation to become a doctor, and personal attributes (personal statement)
Through your interview, medical schools hope to learn the following:
- Your soft skills (empathy, communication, teamworking, etc)
- Further evidence of your understanding of the career and motivation for it
- Your ability to solve problems and engage with ethical questions
- Your understanding of the university
- Your ability to evidence and demonstrate attributes outlined in your personal statement
This should bring some factors in the medical school interview process to light:
- If you have received an interview invitation, you have passed the academic and extracurricular requirements. You should therefore enter the interview with the conviction that your academic performance is “good enough.”
- How you respond to questions and converse with interviewers and school personnel is just as important as the content of your responses.
You’ll be able to make the greatest effect on interview day after you reframe the interview as a chance to engage academics, students, and staff rather than as a presentation of your academic prowess.
Medicine Interview Formats
The panel interview and the MMI are the two interview styles used by UK medical schools. Before your medicine interview preparation, research the programme or programmes you’ve applied to. Find out what interview forms they employ, and when they carry out interviews.
1. Traditional Panel Interview
These interviews can be face-to-face, one-on-one, in-person, online, or with a panel of admissions board members. Expect them to last between 25-30 minutes. Many of the best schools in the UK still use the classic interview style, so getting ready for one means knowing the questions and the best ways to respond to them.
You can anticipate being asked, “tell us about yourself” and “why do you want to be a doctor” during a traditional medical school interview. Preparing for open-ended, ambiguous interview questions like these will save you time in the interview setting.
2. Multiple Mini Interview
Due to its intricacy and length, the multiple mini interview (MMI) can be intimidating to potential medical students. MMIs typically take 90 minutes and are made up of 8 to 12 mini “stations” where applicants are questioned about various policy or ethical issues in the interview to see how they respond or handle the question.
Your success or failure depends on how you answer medical school interview questions during your MMI. Even at the same station, be prepared to answer several different questions. Prepare a strategy for each question and conduct mock interviews to practise answering them.
For MMIs, it’s crucial to practise and get ready for each sort of station, from mastering policy-related questions at one station to mastering the MMI acting stations scenario.
Do’s & Don’ts of Medicine Interview
Things to Do
For your medicine interview preparation, we’ve compiled a thorough collection of our finest interview advice.
1. Understand how to prepare
The best place to start is by learning how to prepare for medical school interviews. Make sure you know the distinctions between panel and MMI interviews and the specifics of each medical school’s interview schedule.
2. Understand how to do deliver answers
When tackling questions on your personal experiences, we advise using the STARR method for your medicine interview
- Situation: A single line summarising the instance
- Task: What exactly was the task?
- Action: Your strategy for and execution of the mission
- Result: What was the result/accomplishment?
- Reflection: What did you learn, and how will you put it to use?
For example, assume you’re the captain of your high school’s cricket team. The interviewer asks, “Can you give us examples of when you exhibited your leadership skills?”
In this condition, you can reply keeping in view the following example:
- Situation: You led your school’s first XI cricket team as captain.
- Task: To the best of your ability, serve as the team’s leader, ensuring that you all work effectively together to win the cup.
- Action: You made care to stay approachable and successfully distribute chores, such as planning transportation for away games and supervising pre-game warm-ups. You changed how you spoke to different age groups to get the most out of them.
- Result: At the end of the day, you won the cup and had one of the best sets of results in the recent history of your school.
- Reflection: In the football team, you honed your decision-making process and learnt how to interact with people of various personalities. You’ve had various job experiences and know how important teamwork and leadership are in medicine.
3. Use Others’ Opinion
One way of demonstrating strengths without coming across as arrogant is to refer to others’ opinions of you. For example, you might state that, “My supervising consultant commented on my “excellent communication skills” during my last work experience placement, and he graciously relayed feedback that some of his patients had said I made them feel at ease on the ward. Therefore, I think my ability to communicate is one of my strongest qualities.”
4. Read GMC’s Ethical Guidelines
The GMC’s documentation for doctors and medical students is must-read content. It covers how you will need to act in a range of different situations, from the mundane to the uncommon, and allows you to understand the attributes and values that will be crucial to maintaining professionalism as a doctor.
5. Dress Properly
Even when doing a remote interview, first impressions are lasting. Dress as you would expect a doctor to dress. That typically means either a suit or smart shirt and chinos for males, or dark blouse and skirt for females.
6. Maintain Your Body Language
If in a virtual interview, ensure that you still make an effort to convey positivity and confidence through your body language.
A few guidelines:
- Avoid fidgeting excessively. You may clasp your hands in your lap to aid with this.
- Try to come across as natural as possible when you’re practising. You’ll soon become aware of your unique traits!
- Be confident enough to smile.
7. Think Before You Speak
Scenarios are designed to provoke thought, rather than have a firm answer. Take time to think, and if needed even state, ‘Can I have a second to formulate my response?’ A strong, efficient answer after a five second pause is far superior to a rambling answer delivered immediately.
Things to Avoid
Even though interviews are the last step in the application process, they can make or break your chances of getting accepted, regardless of your academics and previous experience.
1. Sounding Overly Rehearsed Or Memorised
While preparing for each interview, avoid creating a full script that you then repeat verbatim. Instead, cover key points for answers for the main questions, and ensure that you can navigate through these points in a natural way.
2. Evidence your answers
Don’t state that you are hardworking, for example – rather, evidence it. ‘Taking on a volunteering role of four hours per week, as well as caring for my grandmother whilst sitting my AS levels, meant that I had little time to myself. However, I believe it evidences my ability to push myself, my resilience, and my unwillingness to back down in the face of difficulty.’
3. Not Having Any Interview-Related Questions Prepared
Have questions ready that show a genuine interest in the course and university. Ideally they should stem from research done on the website or through students there, and show a desire to learn more beyond this first line of information.
Criteria on which You’ll Be Evaluated
There are mainly 5 criteria on which you will be evaluated. These are
- Academic Achievements
- Extracurricular Experiences
- Personal Attributes
- Motivation for Medicine
- Life Experiences
Motivations for being a Doctor
- What inspired you to become a doctor?
- What benefits and drawbacks does medication offer?
- What area of study do you want to pursue?
- Why would you want to become a general practitioner?
- Why would you want to work as a doctor in a hospital?
- Aside from clinical practice, what other goals do you have for your medical career?
- Give examples of some healthcare workers who assist physicians and describe their roles.
- Why do you prefer being a doctor to becoming a nurse?
Personality Medicine Interview Questions
- What is your strongest suit?
- What three words best describe you, please?
- What qualities do you possess that will help you succeed as a doctor?
- Could you recall an instance in which the result of a problem was affected by your communication abilities?
- What is your greatest flaw?
- Do you have empathy for others?
- Who has made a significant impact on you?
- What do you find most interesting?
- Give an instance where you contributed to a team successfully.
- Why do you work well in a group?
- Why are you a successful team leader?
- How well do you manage your time?
- Tell me about a project you worked on outside the classroom.
- Which leadership positions have you held, and what have you learned from them?
Work Experience Medicine Interview Question
- What most impressed you during your work experience?
- Why do we require work experience from our applicants?
- How has your work experience affected how you view the medical field or the NHS?
- What comes to mind when you hear the term “multidisciplinary team” ?
- What role does the medical staff play in patient care following surgery?
- What difficulties did the doctors that you were shadowing face?
- Tell us about an interesting case that you saw during your work experience?
- What was different about Medicine, when you were undertaking work experience, compared to what you had expected before?
Medical Ethics Questions
- Do you think euthanasia ought to be legal?
- Is it possible to violate confidentiality? When can it happen if so?
- Should physicians be permitted to strike?
- You are voting on the allocation for a liver transplant as a member of a medical council. In one liver, there are two patients. Patient A is a 75-year-old military veteran who abstains from alcohol. Patient B is a 27-year-old single mother, addicted to drugs. Who should receive the organ?
- In the UK, organ donation is now made using an opt-out system. Discuss opt-out programmes and other strategies to encourage organ donations in the UK.
NHS Hot Topics Interview Questions
- Should the NHS be available 24/7?
- How much are you aware of the Dr Bawa Garba case?
- How would you respond to the present crisis in mental health?
Covid-19 Interview Questions
- What actions did the government take to combat COVID-19?
- What do you believe the government could have done more successfully to stop the virus’s spread?