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.


  1. Wish u all the best :) and nice info!!

  2. How was your EMDP interview?