Styles Of Medical School Interview

Traditional Interviews

Interviews are part of the application process for most medical schools, and most of these use a traditional interview format. If you are invited to an interview, it will usually last around 20 minutes. You will be questioned by a panel of 2-5 assessors, often including consultants, GPs, university staff and medical students.

Interviewers will usually refer to your UCAS application, so make sure you are familiar with your personal statement before entering the interview room. Other questions may look for qualities you possess, or for skills and knowledge you have gained from work experience. Remember to back up all your answers with examples. There may also be topical questions about the NHS, new advances in medicine, or how healthcare is being portrayed in the media. Make sure you have an idea of what has been going on lately in the news in relation to these.

Finally, at the end of the interview you will be asked if you have any questions yourself. It is a good idea to have a question ready, however if it is something that has been covered in the interview or is clearly stated on the website, then asking can show a lack of attentiveness and research. If all your questions have been answered, politely tell the interviewers this.

Multiple Mini Interviews

Most medical schools use the traditional format described above, however increasing numbers of schools have begun to use a different format; Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs). In this set up, you will be faced with various different stations, each presenting you with a question, scenario or task. These may range from standard interview 

questions to ethical dilemmas, interactions with an actor, and teamwork tasks. Observing your interactions with fellow applicants will show that you can listen as well as portray your own ideas – a valuable skill in medicine! For example: Personal statement, ethical station (Topical - plactic sugery, obesity, Euthansia. Ethical situation such as challengig situation - see asuperior doing something wrong what do you do?, Key question, qualies of a doctor).

Types of Interview Question

There are several types of question that will come up during your interview. Being ready for these topics can help you present yourself intelligently and confidently. Be prepared to answer questions about your personal statement. The interview is an opportunity for the panel to ask you to expand on any areas they want to learn more about. Here are the main areas they will ask you questions on:

  1. Background and motivation for medicine
  2. Knowledge of the medical school and their teaching practices
  3. Depth and breadth of interest
  4. Empathy
  5. Teamwork
  6. Personal insight
  7. Understanding of the role of medicine within society
  8. Work experience
  9. Tolerance and ambiguity and ethics
  10. Creativity, imagination and innovation

For example questions for each of these question types you can see our 100 sample interview questions.