Interview Preparation Part ThreeMay 15, 2014
Tell Us About Yourself…Part Three
Continuing our series on commonly asked medical school interview questions.
Questions Based On Your Application
Your personal statement, resume, letters of recommendation and all other documentation that you would have sent along with your application are fair game for questioning and will provide plenty of materials for the interviewing panel to base questions on. The interviewer may ask you to elaborate or discuss any point that they find intriguing or questionable.
– In your personal statement, you have mentioned… can you tell me more about it?
– You’ve mentioned you’ve done some volunteer work. What did you take away from your volunteer experience?
– Have you prepared for this interview? How?
– Why do you want to enrol in our school?
– Is our med school your first choice?
– How many other schools have you applied to?
– We’ve received applications from thousands of students; tell us why we should choose you.
– How many other interviews have you been to?
– How would you like to be remembered?
– What would you do to attract more physicians to rural areas?
– What would you do if you do not get accepted into any medical school?
Before You Leave…
As the interview draws to an end, most interviewers will want to know your thoughts on how you think you have done and if you have any questions. Expect these two concluding questions:
– How do you think you fared in this interview?
– Do you have any questions for us?
As you go through all of these questions, it is sure to evoke a mixed reaction from you. Some of the questions are relevant to a career in medicine, whereas others may seem way off base. Why would anybody ask these questions at an interview for medical school?
What Are Med Schools Looking For?
Every medical school has a limited number of seats and in any given admission year, the applications that any school receives far outweighs the number of seats available. Moreover, most of the applications come accompanied by stellar academic records and glowing reference letters. Making sure they select the right applicants can be a real challenge and the interview questions are usually varied so that they cover all bases to ensure that the school does not overlook any deserving student because of an error in judgment.
So what exactly are the interviewers looking for and what do they hope to achieve with these questions? Several things.
Medical schools want to make sure you are committed to medicine as a career and are passionate enough about it to seek additional information independent of any organised infrastructure. They also want to ensure that you have the fortitude and the academic acumen to complete the course and not quit midway because you cannot handle the rigors of the course. Most importantly, they want to make sure that the students they choose have what it takes to be empathetic and compassionate professionals while also being objective enough to understand the various nuances of any dilemma that they may be faced with. Making sure your answers clearly demonstrate these qualities is the key to acing your med school interview.
Read ‘Tell Us About Yourself… Part One’ and ‘Tell Us About Yourself… Part Two’ for more med school interview questions and ‘Tips For Acing Your Interview’…Part Four for tips on how to win over your interviewers.