Medical School Application Guide

 

One-on-one Medical School Interview Coaching

 
5 tips to succeed in your medical school interview

5 tips to succeed in your medical school interview

 

 

Medical School Interview Tip number 1 - Know your stories

 

Prepare 5 anecdotes or stories where you have displayed interesting skills such as team work, leadership or initiative. For each of them, you should know the context, how you felt at the time, what you did, why you did what you did, what was the outcome, what you learned from it and some reflection about how it has affected you as a person or will affect your actions in the future. Even by preparing only 5 anedotes, you will be able to bring them up as examples in hundreds of questions.

 

Medical School Interview Tip number 2 - Use a structure

 

A structure with an introduction and a conclusion will stenghten almost any answer. But a structure will be even more vital when you get asked something very difficult that you are not sure how to approach. If you fall back on your structure, it will give you a way to start answering, buying you time, while you think of something. For example a structure for an Ethical question of  the type "what do you think of Euthanasia" may be: 

 

  • Introduction rephrasing the question and listing issues involved. Or introduction exaplning why this is an ethical issue.
  • Argument FOR with examples
  • Arguments AGAINST with examples
  • Conclusion

 

Regardless of the topic that comes up, you can use a similar structure which means that if you get asked about a topic you have not thought about, it will stop you from freezing by giving you a way to start. 

 

Medical School Interview Tip number 3 - link your example to medicine

 

Medical School Interview Tip number 3 - link your example to medicine

Most medical schools will ask you a question of the type: "tell us about a time when you ..." or "give us an example of a time when you...". Students have usually prepared examples for these questions. For the best way to develop your example, see tip number 1. Do not forget how you felt and why you did what you did as these are the elements that will help the interviewers get to know you. Your answer will be stronger if you can relate your example to medicine. In my experience you can always relate it to one of these 3 things: 

 

  • How it reinforced your desire to be a doctor
  • How it helped you develop a transferable skill that will be valuable as a doctor
  • How it increased your understanding of the medical profession 

 

Medical School Interview Tip number 4 - Include an example even when you are not asked directly to do so

 

The majority of the questions you will be asked will not ask you directly for an example. For instance, you may be asked "what do you think are 2 important qualities of a doctor". If you answer that question drawing from your own work experience, using a precise example of something you witnessed and thus illustrating why you have picked a particular quality, this will make your answer a lot stronger than talking in generalities about any qualities of a doctor. The same applies to most questions you will be asked. For example, if you are asked about "what do you think are the main issues of the NHS", listing issues in general will not be as good as using examples from your work experience or what you have read to answer the question and explain the reasoning behind your answer. 

 

Medical School Interview Tip number 5 - Practice mock interviews

 

Whether you are a naturally good speaker or a shy person, practicing mock interviews always lead to a better performance in the end. You do not want to sound over rehearsed, but it takes time and practice to be able to express your lifestory in a sound humble and easy to follow manner and the more you practice this, the more natural it will feel. 

 

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