It’s currently November, and you know what that means… Medical School Interview Season! (WOOOOO!) I posted a story recently on instagram asking for your top questions on medical school interviews. I’ve chosen the five most common for a question and answer right here on the blog!
Interview Question: What are the best resources to prepare for my medical school interview?
The absolute best resource? Obviously this blog and YouTube Channel… So make sure you subscribe and hit that little bell because over the next few weeks there will be a tonne of interview videos coming out!
Okay, on a serious note, I will breakdown the best interview resources out there. Let’s split these into three categories: Video, Written and Paid.
The best video resources for medical interviews?
The best videos are of course found on youtube. There are a lot of videos on medical school interviews and many of them are fantastic. I think that this year the best videos I have personally seen have been coming from two Accounts: Journey2Med and Ollie Burton. Make sure you go check them out!
The best online written resources?
Medic Portal has become a bit of a powerhouse when it comes to medical applicants, but I am only comfortable recommending them with a word of warning. Use their free online resources, DO NOT pay for their courses. The are HUGELY overpriced and too generic. Use their blog posts and tip articles, DO NOT pay for their ‘premium’ content.
The best paid resources for medical interviews?
I did not use any paid for interview prep when I applied.as such, I don’t feel comfortable endorsing any third party interview prep courses. I will however say that if you choose to pay for an interview course (either group or one to one), you want to attend a course run by someone with experience teaching and coaching, not just someone who claims having gotten offers themselves they are qualified.
Personally, I am involved in running some online interview preparation courses, so if that is something you are interested in please get in touch. I will repeat though, these are not necessary to successfully interview, but they do make preparation easier.
Interview Question: What is your number one tip?
My number one tip in medical school interviews is fairly simple.
DO NOT LIE.
Or, with a more positive spin, Be Honest.
What does that mean? Well I mean be genuine. If you are asked a question about an experience, about your opinion or about your motivations, don’t just make something up.
Thinking on your feet is obviously a very strong skill and is very desirable in doctors and medical students. If you don’t have a prepared answer for a question, you cannot just make something up. Asked about a time that you demonstrated leadership, but haven’t already made a little plan about how you might answer that question? Then you need to genuinely have a think.
If you pull something out of your backside the interviewers will know and you will be marked down.
Medical students are (or should be) held to very high professionalism standards. Remember, an interview is not an interview for a job as a doctor, this is an interview to see if you will make a good medical student.
Honesty is part of that. Show them you are honest and accountable.
Interview Question: What should I be doing to prepare?
There are a loads of ways you can prepare for medical school interviews. That can be a blessing (horses for courses and all that), and a curse (how do you know you are doing the right thing?).
The first step everyone should take is pretty obvious and easy, you’re already doing it by reading this blog post and watching the video above! Immerse yourself in interview things, watch interview tips on YT instead of normal TV. Listen to podcasts on health news instead of music on your way into school. Subscribe to my YouTube channel! (Shameless, I know. But I figure if you’ve read this far already!)
Next, start to plan some answers to common questions. There is a saying in medicine that applies to interviews too: common things are common. If people go on about the questions a lot, they probably come up a lot.
I’m talking about the “why do you want to study medicine” questions or the “why have you applied to this medical school” or the “why medicine and not nursing” questions. You can start to have a think about these questions and how you will answer them. Write down some answers, then film yourself answering them and review.
Lastly, start physically preparing for the interview. What are you going to wear? How will you get there (for an in person interview). What device will you call in from? These things are important as they will make you VERY stressed if you haven’t planned them before the interview.
Interview Question: What one question will definitely come up?
There is no ONE question that will definitely come up. However, you can assume that one of your medical schools will ask why you have chosen to apply to that medical school over the other 30 in the country. Start thinking about your answer to this.
Interview Question: Will interviews be different this year?
Most medical school interviews, if not all, will be taking place online this year, and so it will be a very different experience for may applicants.
In previous years medical interviews have happened almost exclusively in person.The global health crisis has to be taken into account though, so medical schools will hold both panel and MMI interviews online.
There will be a specific video on preparing for online interviews, but in the meantime you can check out journey2med’s online interview tips here.