Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Interview tips

So for interviews, the medical school that you have chosen to apply to, will have posted certain criteria they look for in their applicants - this will be in their admissions policy. ALWAYS look there to see if you are suitable for their course, sometimes they hid key pieces of information in there that is not on their website. So check here to minimise the chances of rejection in addition to doing loads of research. This is strictly what they will apply their questions on, and if you know it well, you'll be able to spot what they are looking for in their questions so you can "sell" yourself in a way that shows them you ARE what they are looking for.
Here is an example by using Bristol's criteria:
Criteria for assessing the candidate's performance at interview:
a) Why they wish to study medicine and attributes
b) Ability to communicate
c) Self-confidence and enthusiasm
d) Evidence of extramural activities
e) Awareness of current developments
f) Ability to develop coherent stance on a topical subject
g) Informed about University and course
h) Informed about career
i) Overall impression created by candidate.
This is what they will base their questions on. You can definitely tell what they are looking for in their questions (I did during mine). As long as you answer in a way that shows these things, you are doing really well. So here are my best tips:
  • Definitely know why you want to do medicine - be enthusiastic and genuine but obviously if you really want it, it will show!
  • Be prepared to discuss your work experience - examples too; be reflective
  • Prepare two or three medical/health stories in the news recently that you can discuss at length just in case (BBC News and the Guardian are brilliant!!) so do some extra research alongside the news story.
  • Discuss extra curricular - It would be fantastic if you could link what skills you've learnt from your extra curricular activities to how you could use them whilst being a doctor.
  • Make sure you know their course inside out! They asked me why Bristol (typical question) and then they asked what how the course is laid out ie what happens during the five years
  • Make sure you know what happens after medical school too ie, FY1/2 >>> SpT/CT etc etc; they asked me why do we do the foundation years and how long it takes to become a GP and paediatrician. So it would help if you knew about the progression to becoming a consultant after medical for really popular specialities such as GPs or paediatricians. You never know what specialist doctor could be interviewing you! (You'll find out on the day)
  • They also ask an ethical question; my question was on organ donation. So prepare and know typical ethical issues and be prepared to discuss pros & cons and even alternative solutions! So maybe things on organ donation, consent, compentency etc. If you have the popular 150 interview questions by ICS Medical they have some great ones in there.
  • Don't forget to SMILE!!!!

But overall, Bristol are extremely, extremely friendly and made me feel so at ease and comfortable. So don't worry and go in there confident (but not over confident, no one likes a cocky prick) and your passion will shine through. I hope this was really helpful.

Overall my advice would be make sure you do research CAREFULLY what medical school you are interested in and what THEY are looking for in an ideal candidate. They will usually post such information on their website if you can't find it do not hesitate to go on The Student Room or just google it up! Because they will tend to ask you questions based on their criteria and if you miss this information, it can come with consequences.

Ok so its been a longgg while!

Wow, it has been a while right?! 

The last time I posted was the 11th January, posting about the interview invite to Bristol and it is now the 6th March (the day before results day) and a lot has happened since then!

Plus I've had over 9000 views on this page! The last time I checked it was like 3000+! I'm really grateful, so thanks for reading! Even though I haven't been posting often. January and February were quite hectic to be fair and I didn't have enough time to post!

Heres a quick overview what happened in January and February:

  • Bristol interview on the 28th January! - Went very well to be honest, and I will be posting up some interview tips in the next post (as requested). The interviewers were very friendly and made me comfortable! I won't be hearing any news until mid-April since I've been put on the hold pile but at least there is hope! I can only hope and pray I do get good news in April! Wish me luck!
  • I quit my job at the GP, to be honest it was long and draining. It also took away time from my revision and studying, I was behind in nearly all my classes and wasn't doing as well as I should have in my class tests but I'm back on track now! If you're applying for medicine, I wouldn't advise having a job in this period even though money is something we need as teens, your grades are way more important and of course you want to do well to get into medical school! I couldn't handle it and had to choose between my grades and money and obviously I chose my grades which is sad because I need moneyyyy! But I guess it works out for the greater good, right?
  • I got rejected from Leeds for medicine a few days ago (4th March) and to be very honest, I was sort of pleased because Leeds is a long way from London, and I wouldn't be able to see my friends or family very often. I wasn't really into their course structure anyway, which is really silly. I shouldn't have wasted such an option.
  • I have an interview at Kings College London for their extended medical degree programme, which is 6 years in length (as opposed to the normal 5 year degree). Its on the 11th March which is really close! Its an MMI (Mini Multiple Interview) set-up so I'm really worried how that will pan out as I don't even know how to prepare for it as I've heard some really scary stories about the MMI.
I'm really grateful I've had two interview invites for this  UCAS cycle, I'm really lucky!! I just hope I've done well enough to get an offer this round. 

Good luck to those who have to pick up their results tomorrow!

Satta x