UCL Medicine Interview Tips
Advice & Insight From Interview Specialists
The UCL interview will be conducted as a panel interview. The panel is usually very diverse and will include three or four members from various healthcare fields and a variety of levels of seniority, one of whom will probably not ask questions and, instead, will take written notes. One of the panel members is likely to be a medical student.
The first two questions at the interview will almost always be something along the lines of “Why did you choose medicine?” and “Why did you choose to study medicine at UCL?”. These are meant to be easy questions in order to ease yourself into the interview setting and allow you time to calm down. As such, you should try to keep your responses quick and to the point, as more substantial questions may come up. You can find our article on answering the “Why do you want to study medicine?” and other similar questions here [attach link].
A few reasons you can give as to why you chose UCL may be that they have Student Selected Components which can widen your educational horizons, or give you a chance to learn a new language; that they are located in London and so have ties to hospitals with a wide range of interesting patients; or, that they have an intercalated BSc with the ability to choose virtually any course. A more personal reason could further improve your response. This may be that you visited them on an open day or have met some of their current or former students or that the doctor you shadowed during your work experience was from UCL and spoke highly of it.
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The later questions may be related to your personal statement or your BMAT essay. They will almost always ask a question along the lines of “If you could change your BMAT essay, what would you improve on?” Be sure to write down all the information on your BMAT essay that you can remember immediately after you have taken the BMAT (or as soon as possible!) so that you can look over your essay a few days before the interview. You should research a few more points that you can add to your essay. It will also be good if you could discuss any relevant news stories which broke in the time between your BMAT test and the interview so that it does not detract from the quality of your essay.
Afterwards, the interviewers may ask about medical ethics questions which will often involve you weighing up between different aspects. Not only should you ensure that you keep up to date on the latest news articles, but you should also be aware of some commonly asked ethical questions [link to article here]. These may include “How would you allocate X additional amount of money in the healthcare budget?” or “Is abortion ethical?”. In these questions, it is crucial that you consider various different points of views before you give a final answer to the question. You must also show a willingness to consider new facts or opinions if the interviewers offer these to you. They are likely to be more informed than you on whatever topic they have chosen.
Finally, they may ask questions regarding your approach to a difficult situation, such as “If you were a junior doctor on the ward rounds and one of your teammates were not contributing as much as they should, how would you approach the situation?” In order to stand out, make sure you substantiate your points by discussing similar situations that you have faced in the past, be it in your coursework or in your extra-curricular activities. This will help make your answer more memorable as well as show that you have a demonstrated teamwork, leadership and other interpersonal skills which make you suited towards medicine. You should also show an understanding of the principles outlined in the Good Medical Practice (GMP) and the commonly asked questions in the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) portion of the UCAT. Although UCL does not use the UCAT, by practising the SJT it could help you grasp the basics of the GMP and help you apply it to the scenarios they might discuss in the interview.
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