June 18, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Most medical school interview tips will talk about making sure you turn up for the interview on time, dress smartly, shake hands firmly, speak clearly and be polite to everyone in the room. While all of that is important, there is something that is even more important at a med school interview- what are you going to say in reply to those tricky questions that invariably get asked at these types of interviews? Most medical students will readily admit that the interview was the most stressful part of the application for them.
One thing is for sure, if you walk into an interview room without doing your prep work, you are going to regret it if your mind goes blank when you are asked a question. While there is no way of knowing exactly what the interviewers are going to ask you, there are a few questions that are almost always asked and preparing for those can help you give a pretty impressive interview.
This can be the trickiest of all questions but you can be almost 100% sure that it will be asked. What should you say about yourself and more importantly, what should you not say? The key to answering this question is to learn how to concisely summarise your best qualities and apply it to the context of medicine. Emphasise only those qualities that are relevant to medicine and tell the interviewers why you think these qualities make you most suitable for a career in the medical field. Sell yourself in a positive and genuine way, without being arrogant.
You may or may not have a five-year plan in place at this stage. Not everyone has and even for those who do, plans may change. That’s okay. The interviewers are not looking for plans that are set in stone. They just want to ascertain if you’ve really given some thought towards your career choice. While you may not have a clear vision about where you may be in five or ten years, you should try and put together a reply that should convince the interviewers that you have some vision about your career path and how you intend to get there. On the flip side, even if you are convinced that in ten years you are going to be world’s best heart surgeon, at the interview, you may want to tone down your reply a little. Coming across as arrogant will not be endearing to the interviewers.
This is not the time to mention that you’ve applied to five other schools and this school is your last preference. Instead, before going to the interview, do your homework on that school. Find out all you can about their curriculum, their method of teaching or a particular specialty that the school offers, which you are keen on pursuing. Explain why you believe it is the best place for you to develop your skills and passion.