Nervous about your medical school interviews? No problem, here’s part 1 of our top tips to get you fully prepared. Trust us, we’ve been there, we know what you’re going through.
These top tips can apply to the traditional interview format, the MMI format and the Oxbridge interview, so grab a notebook and pen and get started.
Write down all the different things you think they might ask, with some rough answers to each of them and relating them to your personal statement too, to really sell yourself in that moment.
First, establish what you are going to talk about, making sure you know what example you’re going to give, while staying conscious of the possibility of coming across rehearsed. If you're not sure what these are, our Brainstorm Box strategy would be a great help to you, check out our Medical School Interview prep online course to find out more.
Writing a list of questions is great practice such as:
“Why do you want to do medicine?”
“What's particularly attracts you to this medical school?”
“What did you learn during work experience?”
But do not memorise your answers word for word, just bullet point your answers.
If you write out a paragraph, it is tempting to just learn it and recite it; instead become familiar with the question, the type of answer you would give and the bullet points you have written.
If you compare this to your teacher in class, you can always tell when they stop reading the slides on the PowerPoint and start ad-libbing from their own experience, expertise and knowledge. Their style changes, the way they talk changes; invariably, they are more engaging.
You can gain practice in trying to be spontaneous with your answers by family and friends interviewing you or even ask to interview them giving them the same questions to answer. They usually quite enjoy it as your family and friends will give you questions you are not really expecting.
These mock interviews are not about answering the questions and getting the right answers, but practising how to be spontaneous for an interview, which is always a good skill. Our online Medical School Interview prep course includes a marking criteria that would be great to give to your mock interviewer as guidance, giving you better idea of where your strengths and weaknesses are.
One successful candidate reported:
“I mostly prepared for my interviews by asking lots of people to give me interview questions. I found a list of interview questions online, a list of around 100 interview questions and gave it to friends, family, my teachers and just said, right, can we have 20 minutes, just talk to me as if this were an interview, and I actively asked for a lot of critical feedback. I found it really helpful.”
Something that is incredibly important, is gaining feedback, before the interviews, from your friends and family. Ask them to listen to your interview answers and comment on your mannerisms and the way you look when you are talking, where you are looking when you are talking, your body language and etc.
Because they may not know what the interviewer is looking for from your answers, but it is definitely important to be able to familiarise yourself with some bad habits you might have been unaware of when you’re in full conversation mode.
The key to preparation is to make sure you are comfortable and confident. You can go over as many questions as you want, but particularly, when you are applying to Cambridge or Oxford, they are going to throw some unexpected questions at you.
The only way to really prepare for this is to put yourself in a mindset where you can think through what they have said and reply back in a concise and confident manner.
Even if you have not heard of something before or if you are not really sure of the answer, if you are confident enough in yourself and you can quickly assess and think things through, that is going to be your primary asset.
Enjoyed reading part 1? Continue reading for more tips on Part 2.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed and anxious right now? Please don’t worry, head over to our Medical School Interview Prep Online Course and we’ll get you signed up and guide you through this whole process step-by-step.
We have a huge bank of knowledge with mock interview questions and example answers, ‘My Brainstorm Box’ and other strategies to perfecting those interview answers.
We’ve been lending a helping hand since 2009. Medify’s here to support you, just reach out to us.