The medical school interview is a not something most students look forward to. While the interview is important and you want to do a good job of presenting yourself, putting yourself under too much stress and over preparing will hurt rather than help you. Having an idea of what medicine interview questions to expect during the interview will help.
There are two basic types of medicine interviews.One is the standard type of interview and a style that is familiar. In this setting there are several key concepts to keep in mind.
The purpose of an interview is for the panel to get an idea of the type of person you are. You have answered many of the autobiographical questions during the formal application process. This is your chance to put a face to the application.
While you want to highlight your achievements, don’t be liberal with facts. This includes admitting you don’t know the answer to a question.
Be prepared, but don’t over prepare
One way to prepare for the interview is to review the institute’s website. You will find lots of information that can give you a glimpse into the types of questions you are likely to be asked. Also institutes look for well-rounded students. Be up to date on current affairs, including but not limited to medical news.
Don’t try to give the “right” answer
It is normal to try to give the “right” answer but often, there is no right answer. The question is instead designed to show how you think and how you explain your positions and reasons. One important thing to remember is that there are no “trick” questions. Don’t try to read something into a question that really is not there.
Ask for clarification if you need it
If you are faced with a question you don’t understand, make sure you ask for clarification before answering. Medicine is a field where misunderstandings can have serious consequences. You won’t lose points in your interview by asking questions.
Don’t become so preoccupied with your answers that you fail to carefully listen to the conversation. One of the purposes of an interview is to determine your communication skills.
The other type of interview, and one that is gaining in popularity since its introduction in Canada is the multiple mini-interview (MMI). The MMI has been compared to speed dating. Generally you will move from one area to another and meet with another interviewer. You may be asked hypothetical questions or asked to role-play. Most of those that have experienced the MMI style of interview find it less stressful and even enjoyable. Also since you are moving from station to station, if you feel that you did not do your best at one stop, you have a fresh start at the next. The same rules and guidelines apply to the MMI as a standard interview.
Types of Questions
Whether you are in an MMI or a standard interview, the purpose is to learn more about you in a wide variety of areas. Thinking about the type of information you will likely be looking to provide and your answers, will make the entire process flow smoothly. You’ll find you have less stress and that the entire process is fairly pleasant.
These questions are sometimes the hardest. “Tell me about yourself” or “Why should we select you from the hundreds of applications we have?” can be really difficult if you haven’t thought about the way you will answer them.
Medically Related Questions
These questions can cover anything from human cloning to Ebola or ethics. You are expected to have well-informed opinions, especially since medicine as a career demands more than just academic achievements.
They have your records so these questions will be more along the lines of your study habits, favourite classes, and why you chose a certain course of study. Social Questions – A career in medicine can be all encompassing. Medical institutes, however, look for students that have an interest outside of medicine. These questions also are designed to show how you relate to others and your leadership skills.
Medical careers can be stressful. Expect to be asked how you deal with stress. If you can give an example of a stressful situation and how you handled it, all the better.
“How would you…..” type questions are the norm. You really can’t prepare for these. However, do follow the advice above. Listen carefully to the question and take the time to formulate your answer. Remember this is not a trick question, you are showing your knowledge to a degree, but more importantly demonstrating your thought process and problem-solving ability.
Anything on your application or your CV is possible.
“What would you change about yourself?”; “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” and similar questions are common. The best advice again is to simply take a few seconds to formulate your answer.