by Amit Jivani January 20, 2020 3 min read

Miss Zahra Olateju • January 18th, 2020

Zahra is a Medical Student from the University Of Birmingham. When applying to medical school she received four offers: so so she’s well-versed with what works well on a medicine application! She is currently a guide for theMSAG.

After all of your hard work, you’ve finally got theinterview offer you’ve been hoping for, but you’re not sure how to prepare. Interviews are your last chance to show why you are a good candidate for medicine, so it’s important to prepare well. 

A common misconception among students is the more interview questions you practice the more likely you are to succeed at interview. But this isn’t necessarily the case. The quality of your answers is more important than how many questions you’ve practiced.  

What does quality over quantity mean?

medicine-interview-quality-over-quantity

In your interviews you could be asked a variety of questions, many of which you may never have seen before. Students who have focussed on being well read on a variety of healthcare topics and improving the structure of their answers, have the ability to answer a range of questions. However, if you’ve practiced hundreds of questions, but aren’t well read about current medical topics and your answers lack structure, you will struggle to answer questions you haven’t seen before.

How can you improve the quality of your answers?

There are three main things to focus on when trying to improve the quality of your answers: 

  • Structure 
  • Delivery
  • Content

Structure

When structuring your answer you should try to have an introduction, middle and conclusion to most of your answers. This organises your answer so that it has a good flow and it is easier for the interviewer to follow. Initially changing the structure to your answer can feel unnatural however, with practice your answers begin to sound more sophisticated. 

Delivery

Delivery is one of the most important parts of your interview. Nerves often cause students to avoid eye content, speak quietly and forget what they want to say. So the best way to improve your delivery is practice, practice, practice! 

Content

The content of your answer is key. It is imperative that, before your interview, you're well read on current medical news, confident discussing medical ethics and prepared to talk about your personal statement in detail. If you are struggling to keep current on healthcare news we have an NHS hot topics series (1 and2) which discusses the key NHS topics that have been in the news recently. We also have an online Medical Ethics series (essentials anddebates) with videos explaining ethical topics that often come up.

If you are struggling with your interview practice we have many courses on offer to help. 

  • On ourfull-day interview course you’ll have many opportunities to practice answering questions and receive personalised feedback. 
  • OurMMI course will give your further opportunities to practice whilst answering personalised interview questions specific to the universities of your choice. 
  • If you would like one-on-one help, our tutoring service with our skilled interview staff will allow you to practice more interview questions under pressure and receive more feedback.

What to do between now and your interview?

what-to-do-before-your-medicine-interview

  1. Keep up-to-date with medical issues in the news 

    Being well read on current medical topics will put you in a good position before your interview. Having a few examples of interesting articles you've read in the news recently will help to showcase your interest in medicine. Both BBC news and New Scientist are good sources to help you keep current.

    When reading articles, try to form an opinion on these topics as this will allow you to debate these topics at interview confidently. The best way to practice this is to discuss the topics with your family and friends on a regular basis.

  2. Do some mock interviews
    The best way to assess your progress is to do mock interviews. However, they are only useful if you get feedback to help you improve your technique. There’s a variety of people you could do your mock interviews with: family, friends, teachers and theMSAG. Try to do as many as possible as it will help to improve your confidence and the quality of your answers.

Once you’ve mastered the quality of your answers then you can practice as many questions as possible, as you now have the skills and ability to answer any question that’s thrown your way. That way you can be confident in your preparation and yourself when you go to your interview. 

Good luck in your interview and if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to write to us at hello@themsag.com.

Amit Jivani
Amit Jivani


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