University Of Sydney Medicine Interview Tips
Advice & Insight From Interview Specialists
This article aims to provide individuals with a quick overview of the medical school interview process at the University of Sydney and what steps they can take to ensure that their interviews are successful. Undoubtably, medical school interviews can be challenging and daunting. The tips provided below are intended to help students overcome these potentially challenging emotions and give each applicant the best opportunity for success.
Before you start practicing for your interview, it is important that you take the appropriate time to familiarize yourself with the specific style of interview that you will partake in. There are many different variations of medical school interviews, includinga one-on-one personal interview, a panel interview, or multiple-mini interviews (MMI). The University of Sydney exclusively utilizes the MMI interview format, which involves rotating through several stations, each with its own scenario or prompt. The goal of this format is to assess an applicants personal and professional attributes, reasoning and problem-solving skills, as well as their values and commitments. For Sydney medical school, the MMI interview generally consists of five different stations/scenario, each lasting 7 minutes. For each scenario, you are expected to respond to an initial prompt and several follow-up questions.
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One of the most valuable things you can do while you practice, is to document all scenarios and your answers into a large database (i.e. spreadsheet or word document). These scenarios can further be divided into specific categories such as ethical-dilemma situations, teamwork-based situations, professional situation, differing-opinion/conflict situations, etc. The goal of this exercise is to help you identify potential patterns between different types of questions and how to approach them most effectively. Moreover, it may also highlight certain areas of weaknesses that you can focus on. For example, you may notice that you have trouble answering professional situation scenarios and therefore, you may want to dedicate more time towards improving your answers to thesetypes of scenarios.
Before heading into your interview, it is important that you become as knowledgeable as you possibly can regarding past, present, and potential future issues pertaining to medicine and the healthcare system. Opinion articles from different online sources are a great resource for learning about other people’s perspective on a given issue or topic. In addition, there are several great books, such as Doing Right, that can help you become more informed about the different issues pertaining to medicine and the healthcare system that may come up in your interview. In fact, it is worthwhile apply tip #2 to create a separate database for all the relevant healthcare-related issues and topics that you read about. In this database you could also document your own personal opinions/ideas regarding the topics, and how these may change as you become more informed. The information in this database can be a very useful resource for responding to certain MMI scenarios. It is important to note, however, that while reading books and other online sources can help you become more informed, they do not necessarily give you the appropriate skills for succeeding at the interview itself. Knowing something and having the ability to convey that information in a concise and effective manner are two completely different things.
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Practice is key, but you must practice properly! When I say you must practice, I do not mean reading and re-reading different MMI scenarios or thinking about potential answers in your head.What I mean is providing legitimateresponses to different practice prompts in a manner and setting that accurately mimics the actual interview. For example, for the University of Sydney each 7-minute station involves responding to a prompt and several follow up questions provided by an interviewer. You should try to recreate these exact settings by making use of a timer and a colleague, family member, friend, or a coach from an interview prep course who can ask questions. Initially, this may feel uncomfortable and you may not be satisfied with your answers, but it is very important that you answer the questions nonetheless. The exercise of responding to questions, even if you feel underprepared, is an incredibly effective strategy for identifying areas of weaknesses. For instance, you may not be satisfied with the content of your answer, it’s structure, or the delivery. Treat the practice sessions as if you are in the interview itself! Once you have fully answered, then you can go ahead and discuss the prompt with the mock interviewer or others, even if they are not experts. Individuals that listen to your answers may be able tohighlight important information that you missed or failed to consider in your response. They can also point out small mannerisms that may be off putting to the interviewer, and lastly, they may even force you to think about the prompt/scenario in a completely unique way.
The final tip to prepare for the University of Sydney medical school interview is to record yourself. Although awkward, watching yourself provide responses is an incredibly effective way of identifying weaknesses and areas of improvement. The overall purpose of practicing and recording yourself is for you to gradually improve your answer’s content, structure, and delivery.