Top Tips to prepare yourself for Medical School Interviews
Congratulations! You’ve submitted your UCAS application and have now been invited to interview. This is your chance to show medical schools why you deserve a place. Interview season runs from November to March. For some interviews you’ll have a long time to prepare. As with anything else, practice is key to success.
Author: Cameron Elsworth
Manchester Medical School
Know about the Medical School and the course it offers
Every Medical School offers a course unique to themselves and every Medical School is in a different place. It’s likely at some point in the interview you’ll be asked about both the course offered and the location of the relevant Medical School.
Knowing about the course on offer
✓ You’ll probably be asked something along the lines of “Why does the course at x medical school suit you?”.
✓ You’ll need to know what teaching method the medical school offers. PBL? Integrated? Traditional? Once this is established, you need to know how this teaching method suit you? You should think of a few positives of each teaching method and why you’ve got skills that are suited to it. You may like the PBL course because you’re an independent learner for example.
✓ Patient contact? When does it start and why is this good for you? You may like a course with early patient contact so you can begin to contextualise your learning from the get-go.
Knowing about the location of the medical school
Location, location, location! You’re going to live and work in and around the area you study for at least the next five years. Consequently, you need to know a bit about where you’re studying as it may come up in interview! It could be a local landmark, sports team or a park that you like, for example.
Know your application and yourself!
Medical Schools may have read your personal statement, non-academic forms and references. They’ll have some idea of who’s sitting before them before the interview. Therefore, it’s important to go over every document you have sent them before the interview and familiarise yourself with the content.
Know what skills and attributes you have
If you haven’t done so already, have a look at our ‘ultimate guide to analysing your attributes and key strengths’ to find out what yours are. You’ll be asked about your strengths so preparing for this question before hand will go a long way in helping!
Prepare answers on your skills and attributes with specific examples from work experience, academic work and extracurricular activities.
Make sure you can show you understand the role of a Doctor
Medical Schools want to see that applicants are serious. To come across serious, you need to have a firm understanding of exactly what it is a Doctor does and their place within the medical team. Here’s some things you can do to show this understanding.
Read medical news
✓ Topical questions on recent medical issues are almost guaranteed at interview
✓ These may be ethical questions on euthanasia, strikes or pay which are relevant to the news at the time
✓ In order to answer these questions, it’s key you keep up to date with the news – bookmarking BBC’s health section on your phone is a great place to start
✓ It’s also a good idea to have a piece of medical research released recently that has interested you. The New Scientist Magazine is a great place to find recent developments.
Reflect on your work experience
✓ Being able to say what you learnt from, what you demonstrated during, and what you found interesting from your work experience is key
✓ Use our ‘ultimate guide on reflecting on your work experience’ to help you do this
✓ Remember, specific examples are necessary
Presenting yourself best at interview
Understand the interview format
✓ For a more detailed breakdown of each interview type, check our relevant pages on Multiple Mini Interview, Traditional Interviews and Oxbridge Interviews
✓ Use any guidance available on the Medical School websites to do with the interviews, you may be able to find out what topics they’ll test, type of questions they ask or even get a few example questions.
The importance of this cannot be emphasised enough. Practice is key to effectively preparing for an interview. Use all information at your disposal from the medical school to help tailor your preparation as effectively as possible
Use friends, family and teachers to test you on practice interview questions. Also, you can practice by yourself! Record answers in to a voice recording app on your phone then listen back to them, hearing yourself speak can be an effective way of highlighting weak points in your answers.
Final Note: Good Luck! Stay calm and remember everything we’ve covered here!