What to expect at your medical school interview (Part 2)

Interviews can be stressful for some students. That’s a fact! But you should feel great about yourself having reached this stage. Your medical school interview is an opportunity for you to really highlight your key personal attributes on top of your academic qualifications. It is certainly not a test, but instead a great way to show care all your experiences to the admissions team.

Preparation

Every medical school has its own interview procedure so it’s advisable to read up on the precise details for the one you are attending. No doubt there will be an information pack sent to you before the interview day, but it would be good practice to have a look on their website to get a feel for the medical school and the degree course. Whilst the interview is not a test, it is always useful to prepare a few short answers to possible questions so that you feel relaxed and comfortable on the day. Of course, we can never predict every possible question, but it is always a good idea to come prepared as this will settle your nerves and let you develop your confidence.

Real questions

Here is a list of some real questions students have been asked in their medical school interview:

1.     What makes you want to become a doctor?

2.     What qualities do you think patients appreciate in a doctor?

3.     What qualities do you think colleagues appreciate in a doctor?

4.     What do you understand by the term medical research?

5.     What are the benefits and limitations of medical research?

6.     Describe some medical research that you have read about or seen on the news.

7.     What qualities do you think are essential for a doctor to have?

8.     Discuss one of two of these qualities that you already have.

9.     What do you think you will find most challenging about a career in medicine?

10.  What does lifelong learning mean to you?

11.  Tell us more about your work experience (or voluntary work).

12.  What did you learn about yourself from your these experiences?

13.  How do you deal with stress and heavy workloads?

14.  How do you feel about working in a team?

15.  Describe a situation where you were a team member.

Current health story

Some medical schools will provide you with a recent health related news item before the interview and ask you to be prepared to discuss it on the day. In this case, it would be wise to do a little background research into this item and think of the possible question you might be asked. For example, what is the importance of this research? How will this change our understanding? However, not all medical schools will provide such an article, so instead it would be beneficial for you to become familiar with something recently in the news that is health related. It doesn’t matter too much about the topic, as long as you are prepared to discuss it and answer some questions. Of course, it is likely that the first question will be about why you chose that particular story!