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Medicine Interview Guide


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Online vs in-person

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Important Dates

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Interview Formats

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Question Types

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Helpful Resources

MEDICINE INTERVIEW 2022 Update

Medical school interviews are the final hurdle of the admissions process before your hard work culminates in receiving an offer. With an increasing number of applicants every year to UK medical schools, it’s your chance to show your suitability to become a doctor. At the interview stage, the slate is effectively wiped clean, meaning that for most interviews, it is solely your performance in the interview itself that stands between receiving an offer or not. As you might’ve guessed, it is therefore essential for every applicant to prepare well. But with so much conflicting and repetitive advice, how do you know where to begin?

The MSAG have been leaders for UK medicine interview preparation for the past 13 years, and we were one of the first companies to run interview courses. Since then, we have continued to update our knowledge through research and the experiences of our trained coaches who have sat on the interview panels at Universities such as Cambridge, Kings, Brighton and St George’s.

This page is the culmination of our knowledge and is designed to become your one-stop guide for interview preparation. We will guide you through everything you need to do to bring your best interview performance on the day.

  • • Expected timeline, format and styles of interviews for 2022 entry
  • • Most common question types and how to answer them well
  • • Advice for unique interviews such as Oxbridge and Asynchronous styles
  • • Example mark schemes for common questions
  • • Tailored 2022 preparation advice for each of the 41 UK medical schools
  • • Experiences from successful medical students who were once in your shoes!

Online or In-Person?

In 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, medical schools had to move their interviews from in-person to online. We have reviewed the website of each medical school for 2022 entry interviews, to bring you the latest information.

Online Interviews

Which medical schools are doing interviews online? For 2022 applications, we know that 19 out of 41 UK medicine and dentistry schools have confirmed that their interviews will be held online. These are usually conducted over video call, on platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

School  
Aberdeen Medicine "For 2022 entry, interviews will be conducted online."
Aston Medicine “All MMI’s for 2022 will take place online.”
Cambridge Medicine “All interviews for 2022 entry (or deferred entry in 2023) will take place online.”
Dundee Medicine “Interviews will take place online on pre-scheduled dates.”
Edge Hill Medicine “Interviews for September 2022 entry will take place virtually via Microsoft Teams.”
Glasgow Medicine “For 2022 entry, as a consequence of the Covid pandemic, interviews are being conducted online via Zoom.”
Imperial Medicine “This year, shortlisted candidates will be asked to upload recorded Multiple Mini Interviews online.”
KCL Medicine “Interviews for the 2021/22 admissions cycle will be conducted remotely with a panel of two interviewers.”
Leicester Medicine “Interviews will be online this year.”
Liverpool Medicine “For Entry 2022 on-line semi-structured interviews will be offered”
Newcastle Medicine “It has now been confirmed that we will be continuing with virtual panel interviews for 2022 entry.”
Oxford Medicine “In 2021, admissions interviews will be held online”
Plymouth Medicine “In response to the Covid-19 outbreak and in the interest of keeping applicants, interviewers and staff safe, we will be completing all interviews in the 2021 admissions cycle online.”
Queen Mary Medicine “Interviews normally take place at the Whitechapel campus between January and March, however, for 2022 entry these will be held online.”
Sheffield Medicine “we shall conduct structured online panel-based interviews between November 2021 and February 2022.”
Southampton Medicine “For 2022 entry, the selection day will be held online.”
St Andrews Medicine “For 2022 entry, interviews will be held online using Microsoft Teams.”
UCL Medicine “Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, we will be running our panel interviews online this year.”
UCLAN Medicine “Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, interviews will be structured panel interviews conducted online”

In-Person Interviews

2 Universities have confirmed that they are hoping to run interviews in person, but this is likely to change if restrictions are imposed.

School  
Brighton and Sussex Medicine “Interviews usually take place on the Keele University campus. However, in the event that travel restrictions are imposed as part of the country’s ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we reserve the right to conduct interviews remotely via video conferencing”
Keele Medicine “If Covid-19 restrictions are still in place, admissions days will take place remotely via Zoom.”

Unconfirmed style of Interview

20 UK medical schools have not yet confirmed whether they will run their interviews online or face-to-face, and are likely waiting for more information regarding restrictions due to the pandemic.

This includes Bristol medicine interviews, Edinburgh medicine interviews, Leeds medicine interviews, Manchester medicine interviews and St George’s medicine interviews.

Once confirmed, we will update this page - so bookmark and check back!

INTERVIEW DATES

Going through the medicine application process can bring up many questions. When will I receive interviews? When will interviews be held? When will I receive an offer or rejection?

The short answer is - the timeline for interviews varies depending on the Universities that you’ve applied to, and the features of your medical school application.

  • • For Bristol medicine interviews, Glasgow medicine interviews and Southampton medicine interviews, the schools rank applicants based solely on UCAT once the minimum entry requirements are met, so those with a higher UCAT score are called to interview first.
  • • Some Universities such as King’s College London use a combination of UCAT score and academics such as GCSEs. Other Universities take a holistic approach to viewing your UCAS application, making it much harder to predict whether you will be in an early or later round of interviews.

When are interview invitations sent?

The earliest interview invites are usually sent from mid-November. For those expecting a KCL medicine interview interview, invitations are sent from mid-November. For both the Oxford medicine interviews and Cambridge medicine interviews, invites are from mid-November to give sufficient notice for the interview dates in December. Both Manchester medicine interview and Liverpool medicine interview invitations are sent from mid-November.

However, if you haven’t received an invite by the new year, don’t worry! Many other Universities send offers on a rolling basis, meaning that you could receive one any time from November to February! For example, Newcastle medicine interview invitations are sent between December and January. UCL medicine interviews are sent in batches on this rolling basis, from December.

When are interviews held?

Medical school interviews are held any time from November to May, with the majority being held between December and January. When these will be, completely depends on the Universities that you have chosen.

A large proportion of schools hold interviews over multiple dates. The earliest KCL medicine interviews will be in November, and run all the way until May. Bristol medicine interviews will run from December to April, in multiple batches.

Alternatively, some Universities choose to hold their interviews on a few set days. For example, Oxford medicine interviews are held on a handful of days in December. Likewise, Warwick medicine interviews will all be over a few dates in December. Cambridge medicine interviews are held over a three-week period in December.

When will I receive offers?

Once the interview process is done, there is an (anxious) wait to be sent offers via UCAS - the culmination of your hard work to allow you to study medicine! What can help you during this waiting period? Well, the knowledge that medical schools send out their offer decisions at different times - and finding out when to expect offers from your chosen medical schools.

The earliest offers in previous years have been in December for some high-perfoming candidates at schools that make offers in batches, such as Manchester. Oxford and Cambridge medicine offers are sent out by early January for all applicants. UCL medical school aims to notify applicants of the outcome of their interview within four weeks of the interview. Most other medical schools, such as Newcastle, Sheffield, Liverpool and Leicester will notify candidates in March. KCL medicine offers can be issued up until the end of May.

The Interview format

Multiple Mini-Interviews (MMIs)

Multiple Mini interviews (or MMIs) are a common type of medical school interview format.

  • • They allow medical schools to assess for a breadth of competencies and personal qualities that are expected of a good doctor.
  • • They consist of a number of stations (usually between 4-8) of a set length, with questions or tasks to complete. After completing each MMI station you move straight onto the next and follow a pre-arranged circuit, until you have completed all of the stations.
  • • For 2022, it is likely that many MMIs will run virtually.

Because MMIs usually function as ‘mini interviews’, they contain a wide variety of different question types, ranging from motivation and skills based questions, to roleplays with professional actors, and even task-based or picture-based stations.

The key point to note for your preparation is that MMIs differ between different Universities. They can differ in the number of stations, the length of stations, and the types of interview questions or tasks given. For example, Bristol medical school has used MMI interviews for many years but it does not usually contain a roleplay. Queen’s Belfast medicine interviews usually consist of multiple scenarios and role play stations. Keele medicine interviews have recently had a video station and KCL medicine interviews often contain a picture station.

It is important to be well prepared and informed about the number, length of stations and common interview questions at your chosen Universities, simply because they vary so much.

To help with your preparation, we host MMI mocks that are tailored to each medical school, using past questions collected over previous years and the insights of our experienced coaches. The variation between schools is also why many of our applicants will choose to come to a Mock MMI circuit for each of their chosen Universities. It makes sense - as for example, the MMI experience at Leicester will be very different to the one at Manchester! You can save by purchasing two MMI mocks at once in our bundle deal.

MMI Interviews for 2022 entry

  • Aberdeen medicine interviews
  • Anglia Ruskin medicine interviews
  • Aston medicine interviews
  • BSMS interviews
  • Cardiff medicine interviews
  • Edge Hill medicine interview
  • Exeter medicine interviews
  • Hull York medicine interview
  • Imperial medicine interviews
  • Kent and Medway medicine interviews
  • Lancaster medicine interviews

  • Leeds medicine interviews
  • Leicester medicine interviews
  • Lincoln medicine interviews
  • Manchester medicine interviwes
  • Plymouth medicine interviews
  • Queen’s Belfast medicine interviews
  • St Andrews medicine interviews
  • St George’s medicine interviews
  • UCL medicine interviews
  • Ulster medicine interviews
  • Warwick medicine interviews

Panel Interviews

Panel interviews are another common type of medical school interview, and are often seen as the more traditional format. They have become more common since many Universities changed their format to online, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a panel interview, you are usually interviewed by 2-3 people, who may be practicing doctors, teaching staff, scientists or senior medical students. You remain with the same 2-3 interviewers throughout the interview, giving you more time to build a rapport and showcase your personality.

Just like with MMIs, not all panel interviews are the same! They can vary in the number of interviewers, the length of the interview and type of questions asked. For example, Barts and the London School of Medicine’s 2022 interview is a panel with two assessors, lasting for 20 minutes, consisting of personal questions and analysis of an article. In contrast, Sheffield medicine interviews for 2022 are in panel format, with two interviewers covering eight sections, with questions sent out in advance to applicants.

It is more common in a panel interview for you to be asked questions on your personal statement as the interviewers have a longer time with you. Read our section below for advice on preparing to be questioned on your personal statement.

Panel Interviews for 2022 entry

  • Barts medicine interviews
  • Cambridge medicine interviews
  • Dundee medicine interviews
  • Glasgow medicine interviews
  • KCL medicine interviews
  • Newcastle medicine interviews
  • Oxford medicine interviews
  • Sheffield medicine interviews

Asynchronous Interviews

Asynchronous is a newer type of medical school interview, which has been used by a few schools since the COVID-19 pandemic required interviews to be moved online. ‘Asynchronous’ means ‘not occuring at the same time’. These interviews involve applicants being given the questions in advance, video recording their answers during a time slot, uploading these videos to a platform and the recordings are then reviewed by the admissions team at a later time.

If you are expecting an Imperial medicine interview, the University has confirmed that the first stage of their interviews for 2022 entry will be an asynchronous MMI format. This will enable candidates to record themselves remotely, and the interviews will cover a variety of domains including teamwork, communication skills, ethical issues and contribution to the University. The full information is available on their website.

Interview Question Types

There are many questions that can be asked during your medical school interviews, covering a wide range of topics. Remember that medical school interviews are not designed to test your medical knowledge, rather they are used to look for candidates with the skills and attributes required of a good future doctor. The first step to success is acknowledging that you can prepare for the questions and answers - but knowing how to do this well is important!

This comprehensive guide will go through these common questions alongside our best interview tips, allowing you to prepare for them all to stand the best chance on your interview day!

Most Common questions

There are a variety of common question types that come up in most medical school interviews, that you should be very familiar with and spend time preparing for.

Common MMI questions

Multiple mini interviews (MMIs), often have common question types that differ from other interview styles. Due to the fact that you spend a short amount of time at multiple stations, MMI stations are often varied and include some non-traditional question types such as roleplay, picture, video and task-based stations. These stations can feel very unlike any interview you will have done before, so it’s important to prepare and practice for them in a realistic mock setting.

If you have applied to medical schools that use MMI interviews, then you should be prepared for the variety of question types that come up.

  • • Have you revised your knowledge of medical ethics?
  • • Are you aware of current issues affecting health professionals/the NHS?
  • • Have you practiced roleplays?

Common Panel Questions

In a Medical school Panel interview, the questions asked tend to be more traditional. In these interviews you can expect to be asked personal questions around your motivation, experiences and skills, due to being with the same 2-3 interviewers for the duration. Some Universities will also use your personal statement and ask you questions related to this - so it’s important to revise what you have written, before booking a panel mock interview!

Why Medicine?

‘Why do you want to study medicine?’ is probably one of the first questions that you expect to be asked. It is a motivation question designed to understand your reasons for wanting to become a doctor.

In answers to this question, interviewers are looking for well-thought out reasons that demonstrate a realistic understanding of a career in medicine, and reasons that are personal to you. It is important that your reasons are specific to becoming a doctor rather than any other healthcare professional.

You should expect to be asked this at all of your interviews and so thorough preparation for this question is key!

Ethics Questions

Many applicants are very nervous at the prospect of the roleplay station and the thought of acting in front of a professional actor and examiner! It is completely understandable, however role play stations are a very effective way of testing your interpersonal skills, and this is why they are common stations in MMIs. For example, Queen’s Belfast medicine interviews often have multiple roleplays in their MMI.

You may at first think that you can’t revise knowledge for roleplay stations, however there are some common types of role play scenarios that repeatedly come up.

Role Plays

Many applicants are very nervous at the prospect of the roleplay station and the thought of acting in front of a professional actor and examiner! It is completely understandable, however role play stations are a very effective way of testing your interpersonal skills, and this is why they are common stations in MMIs. For example, Queen’s Belfast medicine interviews often have multiple roleplays in their MMI.

You may at first think that you can’t revise knowledge for roleplay stations, however there are some common types of role play scenarios that repeatedly come up. We advise preparing for a role play station by familiarising yourself with these common scenarios, and then practicing with a mock MMI circuit in front of an actor!

Motivation/Medical School Knowledge

Motivation questions are asked to try to understand your reasons to apply to medicine and the particular medical school that you are interviewing at. ‘Why do you want to be a doctor?’ is a very common one, but you should also be prepared for others.

‘Why do you want to study at X medical school’? Is another common motivation question.

  • • Admissions tutors are looking for applicants who are passionate about their particular University and will contribute well to University life.
  • • You need to show your passion with reasons that are personal to you and also personal to the University.
  • • Take a look at what the medical school offers - it may be helpful to think about reasons that are related to the course structure, the University and the city that you will live in for 5-6 years as a medical student!
  • • It would be good to reference if you have been to the University before through open days or have visited the location.
  • • Try to make sure that your reasons show your personality and interests - you may be interested in a particular society or feature of the city.

Work Experience/Insights

When asking you about your work experience, interviewers want to see that you have a realistic understanding of the career. These questions can appear both in MMIs and panel interviews, and some Universities may even ask you about a particular experience that you wrote about in your personal statement - so remember to re-read this!

To answer these questions well, you need to demonstrate personal insight into a career as a doctor. A good answer won’t just detail what you saw on work experience, but you need to show what you learnt from placements and how this impacts your motivation to become a doctor.

Situational Judgement (SJT) Questions/Duties of a doctor

You’ve probably heard of the SJT if you sat the UCAT, but these scenario-based questions also come up at medical school interviews!

As the name suggests, you will be asked for your judgement and how you would respond to certain situations. You may encounter similar situations as a medical student or a doctor, and these questions are designed to test your ability to prioritise, make decisions and justify your actions.

  • • You can tell when you have been asked an SJT question in the interview, as you will be outlined a scenario and asked “How would you respond?” Or “What would you do?”.
  • • Common themes that come up in these scenarios are communication, teamwork, clinical seniority, honesty, integrity, patient safety and confidentiality.
  • • The key to answering SJT questions is to have a well-structured answer that goes through your response step-by-step, in order of priority and the reasons why you have chosen to do each step. This can be difficult to think of on the spot!
  • • We teach a simple structure to help you to answer SJT questions (and many more common question types) in our Live Online Interview Course.

NHS Hot topics

Medicine and healthcare is a constantly evolving field, and it is important for future medical students and junior doctors to keep up to date with healthcare news and topical issues. You can be asked questions in your medical school interview about current healthcare issues such as privatisation, the COVID-19 pandemic and the problems facing the NHS.

Without a strong foundation of knowledge to prepare for these questions, they may catch you off guard, so it’s important to read around current healthcare issues.

What do you think are currently the biggest issues for healthcare in the UK? Make a note of them and plan some model answers for potential hot topics questions. You may want to look at good sources for healthcare news to help with your revision.

Prioritization tasks

Prioritisation tasks can be a bit of an unexpected interview question, but prioritisation is an important skill to have as a future medic, to aid in decision making and with the workload of the job!

For these question types, you will usually be given a list - this could be a list of items, of actions or tasks and you will be asked to prioritise them. You may be asked to choose the three most appropriate or important items on the list, or rank them in order of importance.

St George’s MMI interviews often have a prioritisation task, and Anglia Ruskin MMI interviews have also had these tasks in previous years.

Picture stations

Imagine entering your next MMI station, taking a seat and being shown… a picture of a building, or a landscape, or an old oil painting!

Did you know that you could be given a ‘picture station’ in your medical school interview? KCL medicine interviews have used picture stations in their MMIs for many years.

  • • In these stations, you are asked to describe a picture to the interviewer, which could be followed by further questions.
  • • These stations, although they may seem abstract at first, are designed to test a multitude of key skills needed for med school! Interviewers will be looking to see your observation skills, and ability to communicate these observations in a clear manner.
  • • There may be follow up questions designed to test your critical thinking.
Are you unsure if you’re likely to get a picture station in your MMI? When you book a mock MMI with us, we use real past interview questions from your chosen University, so will be sure to give you a picture station if used by your school.

Calculations

Calculation stations can appear as part of some University’s MMI assessments. Keele medical school sends out a pre-admissions maths test, designed to test numerical skills. These stations are to ensure that you have a minimum mathematical ability to be able to successfully train as a doctor, for calculations such as drug dosages.

You do not need to have studied A level/Higher level maths in advance of these tests as higher-level Maths is not a requirement for any UK medical school.

If you have applied to a medical school and are worried about a calculation station or pre-admissions Maths test, you can book a 1-1 tutoring session with us to specifically work on your numerical skills to ensure that you are well-practiced for the day.

Data interpretation

In a data interpretation MMI station, you will be given a piece of data, usually a table, chart or graph, and asked first to interpret it, and then various follow up questions.

  • • You are likely to be asked to summarise trends, draw conclusions and may be asked follow-up questions on why these trends may be occurring.
  • • These questions are designed to test your ability to interpret data, which is an essential skill for a doctor when interpreting patient symptoms, charts and test results!
  • • The follow up questions can be tricky and are looking to test your ability to critically think on the spot.

The best way to prepare for these stations is to practice interpreting different types of data in a realistic mock MMI circuit.

Sciences/Oxbridge questions

Oxbridge medicine interview questions are known to be tricky and are designed to test your critical thinking and problem solving skills. Oxbridge medicine interviews are scientific, but are designed to test your knowledge and abilities beyond the A level and BMAT syllabus to see how you think laterally.

They can be intimidating, but we at the MSAG have a group of successful Oxford and Cambridge medical students to guide you through these interviews. Book a mock Oxbridge panel interview where you will be interviewed by at least one current Oxbridge student and tested on Oxbridge-style critical thinking questions!

BEST RESOURCES

Our most popular interview prep resources

So now that you have great personal insight into the interview process and what it takes to get a good interview score, where do you go from here? At the MSAG, we have been helping applicants with their UK medicine interviews for 13 years. Most interviewees who we work with use the following resources to aid their preparation, and with a high success rate of receiving an offer, it’s a tried and tested method.

Live online Interview Course

Our Live online interview course is where most of our applicants begin their interview prep. The 8 hour long course will teach you how to successfully answer the most common medical school interview questions that can appear in both MMI and panel interviews. These are:

  • • Motivation

  • • Example-type skills-based questions

  • • SJT/Duties of a doctor

  • • Ethics

  • • NHS and hot topics

  • • Role play

  • • MMI special stations (picture, data interpretation, calculation and video stations)

You will be taught by a variety of our expert tutors ranging from current first year medical students to senior doctors, who have all once been in your shoes and successfully passed their interviews!

Mock MMI circuit

Once you have learnt how to structure your answers to the most common interview questions, it’s time to put this into practice! Most successful medical students will tell you that practicing for interviews is what makes all the difference in getting that offer.

An MMI is a unique setting for an interview, and with multiple interviewers across multiple stations, it’s very hard to replicate at home with family and friends. This is why, if your chosen medical schools use an Multiple Mini Interview format, it’s important to sit a realistic MMI mock where you can experience multiple stations, different interviewers and moving between them.

In our mock MMI circuits, we use real past interview questions from your chosen Universities to best mirror the style that you can expect on the day. This means that if your chosen medical school has many roleplay stations, you can expect this in your mock MMI. Likewise, if your school has no roleplays, you won’t have one in your circuit! We aim to provide the most realistic tailored MMI mocks through using real-students experiences from recent years.

Mock Panel interview


Panel interviews can be practised more easily with family, friends or teachers. However, it is very difficult to replicate the feeling of being interviewed by strangers in the intense setting of a medical school interview!

We recommend practicing with a realistic mock panel interview, where you will experience being interviewed by assessors who have never met you before, and who have an in-depth understanding of what medical schools look for in successful candidates. The mock setting will be realistic, with both interviewers and the applicant recommended to wear formal dress.

For our mock panel interviews, we also use real past questions from your chosen Universities, collected from successful applicants who were recently in your shoes.

If you have an Oxbridge medicine interview, we run specialist Oxbridge mock interviews where at least one of the panellists is a current Oxford or Cambridge medical student, and are trained in the scientific style of questioning.

1-1 Interview tutoring

In the past, our students have used 1-1 interview tutoring to:

  • • Find out their weaknesses when previously they were unaware
  • • Work on specific question types that they struggle with, such as roleplay
  • • Replicate the interview setting by delivering answers to a trained coach
  • • Receive full interview teaching as a private 1-1 course
  • • Practice having a mini mock
  • • Improve communication skills - both verbal and non verbal

You may have received some feedback from a mock MMI circuit or a mock panel interview that you need to improve in a particular area - it could be structure, content or delivery. Or perhaps you are already aware of a weakness with a certain question type such as roleplay, and find it difficult to practice this realistically with friends and family at home.

For 1-1 tutoring sessions you will be matched with an experienced tutor, either a current medical student, qualified doctor or dentist who have been through a selective recruitment and training process.

Whether you want a couple of sessions before your interview date, or regular, long-term coaching, we will formulate a tutoring plan based on your current strengths and weaknesses that is completely tailored to you.

Best free resources

It is important to us at the MSAG that the barriers to entry into medicine and dentistry to those from widening participation backgrounds are lowered, creating a healthcare workforce that reflects the population that it serves. We offer means-tested reduced rates for all of our interview courses, MMI circuits and mock panel interviews for those applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds. If you qualify and would like to know more, please email hello@themsag.com

We have also drawn up a list of some high-quality free resources that can help you with your interview preparation!

The MSAG Free Online Interview Resource

The MSAG’s online interview course is a free resource for anyone preparing for their medicine or dentistry interviews. It is a blend of interactive video and text learning that covers the most common question types you can expect to see on the day. It is hosted on our state-of-the-art online platform, and was the winner of the 2019 PIEoneer award for Digital Innovation!

It consists of (with no hidden costs):

  • • 4.5 hours of interactive video content taught by experienced coaches
  • • 8 sections covered - including motivation, duties of a doctor, ethics, the NHS and more
  • • 19 lessons in total
  • • 8 mock interview questions with sample answers

Medical Schools Council Interview Prep Website

The interview prep website contains various videos and activities that explain what UK medical schools are looking for in candidates. This includes:

  • • What candidates can do if they don’t have access to practice sessions
  • • Dealing with nerves and anxiety
  • • The different types of interview, including the “structured interview” and “multiple-mini interview”

It only requires a quick registration to sign up and is completely free.

Royal College of Surgeons of England - Medical School Interview Questions

This is a great resource by the Royal College of Surgeons of England, which shows examples of over 20 interview questions, categorised by question type. You can click on the questions which will show the recommended points to include for a strong answer. Why not try reading these questions, planning out your answers before clicking and see what the model answer contains? You can then see how similar your answer was and if there’s anything vital that you missed!