Medical School interviews can be the most daunting part of the whole application process but they don’t have to be. The more prepared and familiar you are with the idea and situation the less daunting and nerve-racking it will be. Here, we’ve put together top tips on what you can do to prepare for success in your medical school interviews.
If you missed Part 1 of these top tips, where have you been? Here’s the link to it: Top Tips On Preparing For Your Medical School Interviews: Part 1.
Remember, 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 if you haven’t already.
Depending on the medical school you are applying to, it is definitely useful to get people to test you on the basic sciences. If Oxbridge is where you are applying to and one of your teachers has been there, all the better. But for the actual clinical ones, if you know any doctors, just ask them the basic sort of questions about professionalism, ethics and questions about the NHS that will be second nature to all of them, because we get it drilled into us enough as students, let alone as doctors.
Do not be afraid to ask anybody who you think might be useful; they will often be more than happy to help if you just approach them, the practice you gain will definitely help. Verbalising it is a really important skill, and it will just make you so much more comfortable in the real thing if you have done it before.
When it comes to interviews, you have to prepare in a way that fits you. Rather than just revising all the common questions that get asked and some of the answers you could give, which is obviously important, you have to do all the other hard work too.
You need to have a really good think about what your weaknesses are when it comes to interviews. Are you a little bit on the arrogant side? Are you a little bit relaxed and may say something that comes across as too flippant, or too arrogant? Or are you on the other side of the spectrum and you really get very anxious when you are in an interview situation? In which case, you need to find a way to tackle that, it is not worth avoiding. It will make your life harder, in the long run as well as for an interview.
Find ways of working on it, get more interviews from parents' friends who you do not know very well, or parents' colleagues, even if it is just really basic questions like, why do you want to study medicine? They do not need to be a medic. It can help you replicate the stressful scenario of talking to someone you do not know very well and just forces you to work through that stress and put you in the correct mindset.
Constructive feedback after your mock interviews or just from family and friends is so valuable to your success in the real interviews. Some people find it really hard to take criticism well as you want to defend yourself, but when preparing for interviews and indeed for the rest of life, it is quite useful to leave your ego at the door. There is no need for you to get defensive if you do get critical feedback. Just put it all together and then take the bits of it you think you can feasibly work on and improve your interview skills.
Find out about where you are applying to. So, for example, if you are applying to Birmingham, do a quick Google search of fun things to do in Birmingham, as this gives you something to talk about. It is important to show you are familiar with the area.
It is important to keep up with the news and with current events, debates, issues and affairs in health and science. Simply following us on Facebook or reading the BBC health every day keeps you in the know and can give you topics to talk about.
That is where the preparation thing comes in because being spontaneous is good, but there are certain things you cannot be spontaneous about, like certain facts and current affairs and debates. Our Facebook page, BBC News, health articles and the student BMJ are all great to stay aware of some of the biggest health news. It is good to keep in mind certain things that you can talk about, this is an element of interview preparation which will definitely help.
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.
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