Medicine Personal Statement Interview Questions
Advice & Insight From Personal Statement Specialists
Knowing how your University uses your personal statement
Different universities will use your personal statements to a different extent. Questions about your personal statement allow admissions tutors to really get to know you. They give you chance to demonstrate your motivation and enthusiasm to study medicine. Questions are likely to encourage you to further explain your achievements, experience, and future ambitions without being restricted to the word count of the personal statement. These stations allow you to differentiate yourself from other candidates and will act as a prompt for discussions about you and your experiences. Some universities may also ask you to complete additional forms about work experience or roles and responsibilities which will be assessed alongside the personal statement, keep your eye out for emails about this.
How to proactively prepare for personal statement questions
Re-reading your personal statement.
The interviewer is likely to have your personal statement in front of them – you do not need to re-explain to them what you have already said but expand on your points. Within your answers you are aiming to add depth and personality to what you wrote. They want honest and insightful reflections on what you learnt and took away from experiences not just a repeated description of what you’ve done. Questions may pick out specific books, extracurricular activities or work experience placements you’ve mentioned. To answer these questions, you need to be familiar with what you wrote about and make sure you know about what you have said. Show genuine excitement and passion about the encounters and experiences.
Considering the why
Think back to when you were writing your personal statement and analyse why you thought it would be useful to speak about these experiences; did they inform your decision to study medicine and give you an insight into the career or did the experience help you develop the skills required by doctors and show you why medicine is right for you.
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Honest and insightful reflections
It would be useful to go through each experience mentioned in your personal statement and list some areas for expansion, consider using the STARR approach for this. Tutors don’t want you to exaggerate what you have learnt but want honest insights, you don’t need to have learnt to play the flute to improve your manual dexterity or fabricate your life experiences. Your ultimate aim is to come across as a well rounded applicant not a ready trained or “ideal” doctor. For work experience placements consider individual encounters you saw and refer back to any notes you made during your placements. You want to aim to explain the importance of experiences, your depth and breadth of interest and personal insights. Perhaps do some independent research on some topic areas linked to experiences you have had to show your proactive nature and desire to learn. If you have referenced any literature, journals or books in your personal statement make sure you have key points to make about them. What did you learn beyond what you may gain from GCSE or A – level Courses and what are your opinions on what you read.
Being ready to think on the spot
Within your 4,000 characters you may have covered lots of different experiences, you need to be experienced thinking on the spot as you cannot always predict what they are going to what to know about. Send your personal statement to friends and family and ask them to ask your questions on it, this will get you thinking on your feet. You want to prepare for a variety of different questions. It may be useful to split your personal statement into key areas and prepare questions for each of these. Motivation, work experience, volunteering, extracurricular and conclusions. Think about linking your ideas to NHS hot topics and ethics.
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Other top tips for answering Personal Statement Questions
It is important that you fully answer the questions asked, they may want to know about the most important part of your statement, in this case don’t pick several parts but one particular achievement or example. Your answers want to be concise, so stick to just a couple of points which you can clearly explain with confidence. As with the written statement you want clarity in language and structure, if you can showcase your achievements concisely and clearly then they are much more likely to make yourself stand out.
Have confidence in what you wrote and why they should give you a place and you are setting yourself up to succeed.
Example Medicine Personal Statement Interview Questions
- Of all your work experiences mentioned in your personal statement, which would you regard as the most insightful?
- I can see a number of impressive achievements in your personal statement, which will most aid you as a future doctor?
- If there was one additional thing that you could mention in your personal statement, what would it be?
- Outline from your personal statement what you have done to prepare yourself for a career in Medicine?
- Which life experience mentioned on your personal statement do you think may best help you in your career in medicine?