Top Tips for Acing a Medical School Interview
Applying to study Medicine can be a daunting and challenging process, but understanding what is required of you will make it much more manageable.
After submitting your application and studying hard for your entrance exams, you now have the interview process to tackle. With the right amount of research and preparation, you can approach an interview feeling confident and well-equipped.
Firstly, if you’ve been invited to interview, congratulations! Your application clearly caught the eye of an admissions officer, and you seem like a great fit for the course on paper. Now you just need to show how you’re a great fit in person as well!
Here are our top tips for acing a medical school interview:
Do Your Research
Once you’ve been invited to interview, take a look at the medical school’s website. Remind yourself of all your reasons you applied in the first place! It’s also a good idea to double-check if the website mentions the qualities they’re looking for in an ideal candidate. This way, you can approach the interview with a strong understanding of what to showcase.
Once you’ve looked around the official website, try and find current students talking about their experience elsewhere online – maybe there’s a blog or Youtube channel run by a current student, or a thread on The Student Room where grads offer guidance to prospective medics. Either way, finding out as much as you can before your interview will help you to feel prepared and ready to impress!
Researching is a great way to get excited about medical school. Genuine enthusiasm can go a long way in a medical school interview, and it’s important to remember why you’re putting in all of this hard work!
Be Prepared to Answer a Range of Questions
You could be asked a wide range of questions at your interview. These could range from finding out your opinion on which qualities make a good doctor, to why you’ve applied to that particular medical school. Give yourself plenty of time before your interview to carefully prepare answers to some potential questions.
No matter the question, some things will always apply!
1. Be confident when you’re speaking – try to talk clearly and coherently.
2. Use sentence starters like: “when I was looking at the course online…” and “one thing about medicine that particularly appeals to me is…”. This will give you some time to think through your answers.
3. Be honest! If you don’t know how to answer something, don’t be afraid to say so and explain why you’re uncertain. Breaking down your thought process – and showing that you’re not afraid to seek help when necessary – are both valuable skills that interviewers are looking for.
4. Similarly, don’t be afraid to change your mind! It’s entirely normal for your answer to develop as you’re given more information, or as your thought process evolves.
3. Think About Medical Ethics
As well as researching potential questions, it’s also a good idea to consider common theories in medical ethics, as a career in medicine can require you to make tough ethical or moral decisions.
While you may not be asked about these directly, showing an awareness of the types of challenges you’ll face in medicine, and the sensitivity with which these questions should be addressed, will demonstrate a valuable level of maturity and conscientiousness.
Debating medical ethics topics with peers, friends and family, can be a really good way to develop your own thoughts and values whilst also considering any opposing views. It’s important to respect the opinions of others – especially when they differ from your own – and being able to demonstrate this is a valuable key skill.
4. Be Honest and Be Yourself
One of the most important things to remember is that the interview works both ways!
The interviewer wants to make sure you’re the right fit for their medical school, but you also need to make sure that their medical school is the right fit for you. If you’re too focused on trying to impress them, then you might find it hard to ask genuine questions or find out more about the course or school – so be yourself, and be as open as you can.
We hope these tips have helped you to feel more prepared for your future in Medicine. If you’re looking to take the next steps in preparing yourself for your degree, you might like to consider taking an OxBright Medicine Internship, to further develop your skills and knowledge.
By Diego Balassini
He is planning a career in reconstructive and plastic surgery, hoping to draw together innovations from tissue bioengineering, regenerative and stem cell research.
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