How to Prepare for Medicine Interviews

 

MEDICAL INTERVIEWS OVERVIEW

Why do universities conduct medical interviews?
While your academics and personal statements give the universities some insight into your ability to succeed in university, they do not paint a complete picture. By conducting interviews, medical schools can gain a better insight into whether you are suited to become a doctor. 

How do I get a medical interview?
Most medical schools receive far more applicants than they can actually interview -- let alone admit! As such, your academic results (i.e. your A Levels, IB, or equivalent) and your standardised test scores (i.e. BMAT or UCAT) are often the first benchmark universities use to select whom to invite for an interview. It is thus paramount that you do well in your academics! You can contact IvyPrep to learn more about preparing for the BMAT and the UCAT.

What formats of medical interviews are there?
There are two main formats of medical school interviews.

  1. Panel interviews. In this format of interview, you are given 15-30 minutes to speak with a panel of interviewers. The interviewers you face can range from admission tutors, professors, to even current medical students.
  2. Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI). As the name suggests, this format of interview consists of multiple stations (around 6-10), and you are only given a short amount of time at each station (typically around 5 minutes). You will be given a variety of tasks at each station, ranging from answering simple interview questions, role-playing, or even conducting a physical demonstration.

Traditionally, these interviews were conducted in-person in the U.K., meaning that candidates had to fly to the U.K. to complete the interview. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many universities have now switched to remote online interviews. For the most updated information, refer to the university website or speak to an IvyPrep consultant.

Medical school interview details
The following list is restricted to the Singapore Medical Council approved universities, and is accurate for the 2020 admissions cycle. Information about the 2021 admissions cycle will be included when more information is available. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all U.K. medical schools conducted interviews remotely for the 2020 admissions cycle. As the COVID-19 pandemic situation continues to evolve, we recommend that you check the university website for the most updated information.

 

University

Interview format

University of Birmingham

MMI

University of Bristol

Panel

University of Cambridge

Panel

University of Dundee

Panel

The University of Edinburgh

MMI

University of Glasgow

Panel

University of Leicester

MMI

University of Liverpool

Panel

King's College London

Panel

Queen Mary University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry

Panel

University College London

Panel

St George’s University of London

MMI

The University of Manchester

MMI

University of Nottingham

Panel

University of Oxford

Panel

The University of Sheffield

Panel

University of Southampton

Panel

Imperial College London

MMI

Cardiff University

MMI


Medical interview strategy
General interview tips

  1. Dress well. A good first impression is paramount for a good interview performance. Regardless of whether the interview is conducted online or in-person, dress as you would if you were a doctor -- that is, business casual at the minimum.
  2. Know the interview format. This is a no-brainer. Don’t prepare for an MMI when the school you are interviewing for conducts panel interviews! Make sure to keep abreast with the latest information about the interview format. Check the interview invitation email or the school website to find out more.
  3. Know what will be asked. Some universities release information about the questions that will be asked in the interview, either on their website or in the interview invitation email that they send out. Take the time to prepare for these questions before your interview.
  4. Know your school. Since the UCAS personal statement is tailored to all the medical schools you apply to, the medical interview is the only opportunity for the university to ask school-specific questions. Make sure to read up about the university you are applying for! 
  5. Know the type of questions you may be asked. Try to systematically cover all the different types of questions that can be asked in an medical school interview, as well as the answering strategies for each type of question.
  6. Practice, practice, practice. Polish your interview skills and answer questions confidently!


Online interview tips
With the travel restrictions associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is highly likely that universities will continue with remote online interviews, at least for international applicants. Here are some tips specifically for online interviews.

  1. Familiarise yourself with the program being used for your interview. There are a litany of video-conferencing platforms available: Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, etc. In your interview invitation letter, your university should give you information about which platform they will be using. Take the time to get acquainted with the platform being used so that you are not fumbling around on the day of your interview.
  2. Use a wired connection if possible. Wired LAN connections are less prone to disruptions than wireless connections. Try to acquire a LAN cable to connect to your computer to reduce the possibility of laggy connections.
  3. Find an appropriate room to have your interview. A room with a plain background is best, although any background that is not too distracting is fine. Avoid using virtual backgrounds, as these can be distracting. Make sure to also have the interview in a quiet location to minimise possible disruptions.