How to excel at your medical school interview

August 8, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Gap Medics placement students group together for a picture after climbing Gangilonga Rock. Along with your grades, MCAT and letters of recommendation, your personal interview will also be considered when you apply to medical school—but you don’t have to stress out over how to impress medical school admissions committees. With a little thought, practice and confidence, you can excel at your interview. 

Why it’s so important

Your medical school admissions interview is a very important part of your application for a variety of reasons. Although admissions panel members will read about you, meeting you in person gives them another perspective. An interview gives you the chance to set yourself apart from other applicants. You can explain what makes you a standout candidate and tell your unique story. Interviews are much more personal than an application. If you are a little deficient in some admissions requirements, such as MCAT scores, your personal interview is a chance to show what makes you a good candidate.

How to stand out

There are many things you can do to ace your medical school interview. Your first step is to be well prepared. Although you don’t want to sound stiff and too rehearsed, practicing for the interview may be helpful, especially if you don’t have much experience interviewing.

Think about what type of questions you may be asked. For example, you may be asked to talk about what made you interested in becoming a physician or what type of doctor you want to become. Practice how you would answer typical interview questions.

Talk about research projects you participated in, volunteer work you did and any medical experience you have. Add in any unique information that you feel is relevant to becoming a physician. Consider what skills and strengths will make you a good doctor.

Don’t just say what you think the admissions committee wants to hear. Sure, you want to practice what you will say, but that does not mean you should be phony. Members of the medical school admissions panel will see right through insincerity, and you won’t score any points for being fake. 

On the day of the interview, make sure you are on time. Nothing shows a lack of responsibility more than showing up late for an interview. It is also essential to dress the part. Choose an outfit that conveys professionalism. Make eye contact, be friendly, and don’t forget to smile.

Hopefully, you are excited about becoming a doctor. Making it all the way to a medical school interview is something to be excited about. If possible, try to convey your enthusiasm for the profession without going overboard. You want to let the admissions committee know you are excited to start your medical training, but you also want to remain professional. 

If you are given the opportunity to ask questions, don’t be afraid to ask something that is on your mind. A medical school admissions panel wants to make sure you are a good fit, but you should also try to determine if the school fits you.

Lastly, don’t worry about being nervous, it will only make you more stressed. It is normal to feel a little tense before a medical school interview. Take a deep breath, do your best to relax, and be yourself.