Medical School Interview Tips
Because there are limited spaces available for international students who wish to study medicine, your medical school interview can be a scary prospect. The SI-UK Medicine Service can fully prepare you for your medical school interview with interview practice from a doctor who sits on the admissions panel of a London medical school.
You will be quizzed on areas such as:
- Medicine knowledge
- Understanding core qualities of a doctor
- Ability to work in a team and under stress
- Knowledge of the institutes modules/course
- Motivation and realistic approach to medicine as a career
- Ability to multitask and communication skills
Types of medicine interview
Traditional medicine interviews
The traditional medicine interview is gradually being pushed out by MMI interviews, but is still a popular choice when assessing candidates at many medical schools. Common traditional interview questions and areas of interest can include:
- Why do you want to study Medicine?
The panel will be looking at what motivates you and this question can speak volumes about you as a person and candidate. Answer concisely and clearly, avoiding clichés.
- Area of medicine you are interested in
There are a huge number of possible areas a medicine graduate can move into, so do not be afraid if you are unsure which exact part you wish to specialise in. It is important however to at least have an idea of what you wish to pursue and talking confidently with knowledge on these areas will help immensely.
- Medical industry news and current events
Medicine is an ever changing field, so ensure you are fully up to date on the latest news. The National Health Service, the publicly funded health service of the UK, is rarely out of the news and useful resources include NHS Choices, Guardian Health, BBC Health and Science Daily.
- What appeals about the course and medical school
Attend any Open Days the medical school/university run, and learn more about the history of the course and any notable alumni. Think about your career goals and how they fit into the medicine programme you wish to study.
- Work experience
For the majority of medical schools, work experience is an absolute must for any aspiring student to have completed. Explain why your work experience was useful and how it shaped your outlook on wanting to work in medicine. Use examples to show why you are worthy of a place on their medicine programme.
- Communication and working with others
Use examples from work experience or prior study practice of how you have communicated clearly and effectively to fellow colleagues or project members. Remember to listen attentively, speak calmly and confidently and maintain eye contact throughout, as these are all are traits of someone who is a good communicator, which is vital in the area of medicine.
- Make an impression
Usual interview etiquette also applies so make your impression with the panel count. Dress smartly, have a positive body language, be polite and prepare a small number of questions at the end, specifically related to the course or university.
MMI medicine interviews
Multiple-mini interviews (MMI) are an increasingly common form of interview used at many UK medical schools. Instead of the traditional interview format in front of a panel, students will be required to test their ability through a series of ethical and problem solving scenarios.
- The entire process will last no longer than two hours
- There can be up to ten MMI, with each assessment lasting no longer than ten minutes
- Your personal statement can be factored into the interview
- MMI seeks to examine empathy, problem-solving, moral reasons and communication
- Can also involve teamwork with fellow applicants