Medical School Interview Book

NOTE: New edition to be published early October 2020!

Medical School Interview Book overview

This book was written by the team behind the most successful Med School Interview Course in the UK, containing detailed information about how to answer almost 150 medical school interview questions. All of our questions are sourced from real medical school interviews.

This practical guide will not only help you prepare for commonly asked medical school interview questions: it will help you learn how to best structure your answers. We discuss panel style interviews as well as multiple mini interviews (MMIs) to help you prepare for every type of interview scenario. This book covers all types of questions, including when to discuss work experience and your personal statement.

It’s not just all about the questions: this book also covers what to wear, body language and some sample marking schemes from various schools, so you know what to expect.

You will learn how to add depth to your responses: how to show your motivation for medical school through each answer while demonstrating that you have strong communication skills and a clear understanding of what it means to work in the medical profession. The combination of the knowledge you need and the in-depth analysis of each question makes this your perfect guide to get you into medical school.

Learn how to approach different types of interview questions

  • Data interpretation questions: these stations are designed to see how well the applicant can analyse data and interpret it 
  • Article stations:students are given an article to read and then they get asked questions and/or have a conversation with the interviewer on the article
  • Calculation stations: for this station you will be expected to do math calculations, such as a drug dosage
  • Picture stations: applicants will be given a picture/photo and asked to describe the image
  • Medical ethics questions:for this station you will be asked for your opinion on an ethical scenario.  We provide techniques to answer those difficult ethical scenarios and lateral thinking questions!
  • NHS hot topics questions: during this station, you will be expected to discuss a topical issue or asked for your opinion
  • The GMC Duties of a Good Doctor: applicants will be expected to discuss GMC duties of a doctor or answer a scenario based on these principles
  • Example type questions: you will be asked to provide and discuss an example of when you have demonstrated or observed a key skill/scenario

    What to expect?

    As you can see, we help you prepare for your medicine interviews by giving you a very detailed approach on how to answer medical school interview questions. To help you with your answers, we will provide you with a variety of content ideas to help you form solid answers.

    In addition to showing you how to respond and what techniques to address, we also outline what you should avoid. This book will outline full sample answers that have proven to be ideal responses. Once you finish, you will be able to structure your answers to all interview question types to help you ace your medical school interviews!

    If you would like some more help, we offerfull-day courses, half-dayMMI practice circuits and1-1 coaching.  We are also proud of our award-winning FREEonline interview course!  

    For a preview of the book, read on!  

    Book excerpt: Why do you want to be a doctor?

    This chapter is all about common interview question but this is the most common one and therefore definitely one you should be well prepared for. Your reasons for wanting to become a doctor will be personal to you and the more specific you can make your answer the better. If you are struggling to think of ideas you might want to try brainstorming on to a piece of paper all of the different things about medicine that make you want to pursue it for a career. There are so many different reasons to choose from but here are a few reasons to get you started.

    • A love of human biology or science
    • Wanting a career that challenges you daily
    • To explore a career in medical research or teaching
    • Wanting a career that mixes both science and close contact with people
    • To make a difference to other people’s lives
    • To be dedicated to lifelong learning
    • Wanting to work somewhere with a strong team-working element
    • Wanting to work in a career with a great deal of variety

    Once you have decided on your reasons for wanting to become a doctor you need to develop your answer further by talking about why these things particularly appeal to you as an individual. Having done this you should add even more detail by linking these reasons back to your personal experiences for example, what you have seen on your work experience or what you have learnt from volunteering and why these experiences have drawn you to medicine.

    If you’re struggling to do this in your head then add to your brainstorm from earlier on to help collect your thoughts. This way you’re more likely to remember your answer at the interview and be able to present it with a more coherent structure.

    If you have followed the advice so far you will have already avoided one of the really common pitfalls when answering this question which is to give a long list of reasons without any further detail. It’s much better to stick to 2 to 3 reasons with time spent talking about why these reasons matter to you and also evidence of experience in that area.

    An alternative way to answer this question is to talk about a defining life experience that motivated you to become a doctor. If you have an event in your life that strongly motivated you then it is worth talking about here but make sure you carefully think about the event and describe what in particular it was that inspired you. For example, you may have first-hand experience of life with a disabled child and have seen how medical interventions can have such an impact on the quality of their life, which made you want to pursue a career that would allow you to provide that help to more children. If you don’t have a similar story don't worry, use the structure that we talked about above but definitely don’t make up an experience or try to make a standard medical encounter mean more to you than it really did.

    Finally, what about if you are a graduate? Well, I’d advise talking about it. If you’ve already applied to medicine before then talk about what extra skills and experience you have gained over the years that will help you to become a doctor and have further fuelled your desire to study medicine. If you haven’t applied to medicine before then talk about the journey you took to arrive at your interview.

     Do’s  Don’ts
    Do give 2 to 3 well thought through reasons. Don’t give a long list of reasons.
    Do use your experiences to back up your answers. Don’t make up answers because you think it will sound better.
    Do be specific when giving your answers. Don’t criticise other careers.


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    • When was the medical school interview book updated?

      This guidebook was published in 2018 with up-to-date information.