Online Medicine Interviews: The Complete Guide
Advice & Insight From Interview Specialists
Online Medicine Interview Formats
The majority of universities are continuing to run their MMIs (Multiple Mini Interviews) via online means. You should check each university’s information regularly for updates, as many have stated that their plans are subject to change. For an online MMI, you should prepare as you would for an in-person MMI. Expect to have a series of virtual stations – likely in separate virtual meeting rooms, that you will be admitted to over the course of an hour or more. Each station will have a different aim or domain tested – such as an ethical situation, a role play, personal statement discussion, or understanding your motivation for medicine.
Some universities – such as UCL, Oxford and Cambridge – will be running online panel interviews. Others, like Plymouth and Sheffield, have indicated that they will be changing their MMI format to something more resembling a semi-structured panel interview in light of the difficulties of running an MMI online. You should expect much the same competencies and reflections to be tested, but through two longer largely ‘traditional’ interviews of up to 45 minutes at Oxbridge, or one or two 15-20 minute sem-structured panel interviews at other universities. These will be conducted by a panel of two or three interviewers. The panel will normally consist of one senior doctor, one member of the medical academic staff, and one junior doctor or medical student. As the name suggests, a ‘semi-structured’ interview involves a loose structure of questions, so that each interviewee will receive much the same set – with some variation. A traditional, unstructured panel interview leaves the questions entirely up to the interviewer’s discretion.
Online Medicine Interview Essential information
Thus far the two most popular softwares being used are Zoom and Microsoft Teams. BSMS, Birmingham and Swansea have already indicated that they will use Zoom, and Lancaster, St Andrews and Nottingham will be using Teams. Expect other universities to reveal the software they are using via either their website or in an information pack to interviewees. Dundee is the sole university to use another platform so far, choosing Blackboard Collaborate instead.
Zoom requires you to download an app, then have a meeting ID and password to join the meeting. You should download the app in advance and have a friend or family member create a meeting for you to join as a mock-interview, to check that you are confident using the technology. Similarly to Zoom, Teams lets you join a meeting via an invite link. You can then access this link via their app (which you may download in advance) or via your web browser. Blackboard collaborate doesn’t have an app, and instead works solely via web browser.
You may also be required to submit your ID digitally before your interview, or have a copy of it on hand for the interview. Ensure that you check what is required of you beforehand, and have it prepared in good time.
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Get to Grips with the Format
There are two types of virtual interviews – pre-recorded and live. Most universities will be using live interviews for the majority of their process, but there may also be pre-recorded parts (this is especially possible if the university is looking to continue with a 10 or 12 station MMI format). Familiarise yourself with what your chosen universities are doing. Check if they are running MMIs or panel interviews. Then get a friend or family member to run a mock video interview with you, using the same software, and ideally the same format. Try to record this as well, so that you can go back through your answers and the way in which you answered (your body language, clarity of speech etc).
Prepare your Setup
Make sure that you have a good place to do the interview in – be it a quiet room in your house or an unused space at school. Position yourself with a neutral background, and ensure that any lights or windows are in front of you, so that you are well illuminated. Check how you look on your webcam, and make sure that your webcam and microphone are working well. These are vitally important factors which will largely guide the interviewers impression; we have created a dedicated article on this to optimise your online interview preparation and setup!
Optimise Your Interview Performance
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Be there on Time
Join the meeting room before your interview is scheduled to start, to make sure that there are no problems and avoid any last-minute stress.
Adjust Your Speech and Body Language
Think about the differences between virtual and in-person, and adjust your interview style appropriately. You should ensure that you sit at an appropriate distance from the webcam, and ideally in line with it so that your eyes can meet it easily. Remember to look into the webcam rather than at the screen to give the impression of making eye contact. Try to speak slowly and clearly, and ensure that you leave a pause after your interviewer speaks, before you begin speaking. Otherwise, due to lag, it is possible that more audio may come through as you begin speaking.
Online Medicine Interview Questions
- Why do you want to be a doctor?
- What can you tell us about COVID-19? Do you believe the government policy to have been correct?
- What are the issues with trying to speed up the process of finding a vaccine?
- Tell us about a time when you had a falling out with a friend or colleague, and how it was resolved.
- What is the role of the multidisciplinary team in Medicine?
- How do you deal with difficult or stressful situations? Do you work well under intense pressure?
- What impact has digitisation had on Medicine? What impact do you believe it will have in the next 50 years?
- What do you understand the term empathy to mean?
- Tell us about your work experience.
- What most impressed you about the doctors, or the work that they did, during your work experience?
- Tell us about your proudest achievement outside of academia.
- How will you contribute to student life at our university?
- Tell us about your learning style.
- Do you learn well in groups?
- Tell us about an academic challenge – like an essay writing competition – that you took on, above and beyond the standard school curriculum
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