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How to Excel at Your Medical School Interview  
How to Excel at Your Medical School Interview  

How to Excel at Your Medical School Interview

Use our guide to discover tips and how to prepare for your medical school interview. 

You’ve done all the hard work of meeting the pre-requisites and submitting your application and now you’ve been selected for a medical school interview. Congratulations! Being invited to an interview is a big achievement in itself and means you’re well on your way to being accepted into a medical program. 

Feeling excited but a bit nervous? Don’t worry, it’s completely normal and most prospective medical students feel exactly the same. To help, we’ve pulled together our guide on everything you need to know and how to prepare for your medical school interview. 

Why medical schools interview applicants?

Most medical schools use interviews as a way of evaluating your skills and suitability to study medicine and your potential to become a great doctor. Schools use different interview formats including panels, 1-2-1 sessions, and Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs), which consist of multiple short Q&As that test different scenarios. Interviews can take place in person or by video conference. 

Medical school interviews start at different times, usually depending on the individual school. Interviews can begin as early as November and run up until the end of March. If you don’t get an invitation by November, try not to worry too much. Some schools don’t send lots of invitations out until the new year. 

You’ll generally only be invited to interview if you pass the first stage of the academic screening process. If you make it this far, then you’re doing well already. You can take comfort knowing that on paper you’ve likely met the academic requirements, presented yourself as a good candidate, and are on the school’s radar. 

See the interview as your chance to bring your application to life and demonstrate that you have the skills and qualities to do well at medical school and become a successful physician. Although you’re being evaluated, remember it’s also an excellent opportunity to evaluate the school, take a tour of the campus where you might be studying and ask any questions you have. 

Preparing for your medical school interview 

Fail to prepare and prepare to fail. If you want to excel, it’s important that you know how to prepare for your medical school interview. Here are our top tips for nailing your all-important medical school interview prep: 

Dress professionally

As with any professional job interview, it’s important to dress appropriately. It’s generally safest to wear something neutral that isn’t too distracting to the interviewer so that they can focus on what you’re saying rather than what you’re wearing. Think of a dark-colored or neutral-toned suit or dress. 

Make sure you’re well-groomed and neat. Things like clean nails and groomed facial hair can make a big difference in how you come across. It’s also wise to wear comfortable shoes so that you can walk around campus and importantly make sure your phone is on silent and out of sight. 

Practice answering interview questions

When we’re feeling nervous it’s not unusual to get a bit flustered and forget what we’re talking about. It’s a good idea to think about the sort of questions you’re likely to be asked and practice answering these out loud with a friend, relative, or mentor. 

Rehearsing means you’ll have the information at the forefront of your mind and are likely to have the important points ready to recite. Be careful not to over-rehearse or memorize fixed answers though, as it could sound a bit wooden or throw you off if a slightly different question comes up. 

Do your research

Make sure you’ve researched the school, its mission, and the admissions requirements. It always gives a good impression if you know a bit about the school you’re applying to. It’s also a good idea to brush up on common ethics concepts and review your application so that it’s fresh in your mind. Keep any papers organized in a folder and keep a pen and notepad handy if you want to take any notes. 

Potential medical school interview questions

No two interviews are the same and each school will ask different questions, but there are some common questions it’s good to be prepared for.: 

1. Why do you want to become a doctor?

You’ll almost certainly be asked this question and it’s best to be genuine in your response. Try to incorporate personal attributes that make you a great future doctor, what clinical experience you have and why a caring profession is important to you. You might also want to share a personal story that explains what inspired you to study medicine. 

2. How do you cope with stress?

Doctors have to juggle a lot and at times deal with emotionally difficult situations. It’s important to frame your answer as positive and draw on how you’ve prepared, dealt with, and learned from stressful situations in the past. 

3. What do you think makes a good doctor?

This is your opportunity to show that you understand and have the traits that make a good doctor – qualities like communication skills, teamwork, leadership, resilience, and compassion. 

4. Why do you want to study at this medical school?

This provides an opportunity to show you’ve done your homework and highlight what you value about the school. Is it because it has world-class teachers, excellent clinical placements, or a great culture? Be genuine and positive about what appeals to you and why you think you’d be a good fit. 

Prepare questions to ask your interviewer

In any interview, it’s always wise to have a few questions ready to ask the interviewer. It shows you have a keen interest in the school, that you understand the course you’re applying for, and it helps you weigh up what the school can offer you. 

Try to ask thoughtful questions and ones that are not easily answered by a quick Google search that might give the impression you haven’t done your research. Here are some suggested questions to ask: 

  • What research opportunities are open to your students? 
  • Do you offer support and resources for stress management? 
  • Can you tell me more about the school’s commitment to diversity and inclusion? 
  • Are there scholarships, grants, or financial aid schemes available for this program? 

Ace your interview at St Matthew’s University School of Medicine

Follow our interview prep advice and you’ll be sure to ace any medical interview at top schools like St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine. 

If you’re accepted onto our four-year MD program, you’ll benefit from expert teaching staff, small class sizes, and personalized 1-2-1 learning. You’ll also gain real-world experience through our well-established clinical placement program and gain all the skills you need to become a successful doctor. 

Learn more about our application process and our admissions requirements. Join one of our informative events or webinars or contact one of our friendly team who will be more than happy to answer all your questions. Get in touch and find out how studying at St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine can put you on the right path toward a successful medical career

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