Shadowing a Doctor

October 20, 2014

Two gap medics students waiting on one of the wards in a Tanzanian hospital. Having submitted your medical school application, you have received the eagerly awaited news that you have been invited for interview. Whilst this is a fantastic step in the right direction, bear in mind that your interview will be the deciding factor.

In preparing for your interview, make sure that you avoid these extremely common blunders. Yes, they may seem obvious but you will be surprised at how often these scenarios actually occur.




  • 1. Don’t arrive late

Do you know exactly where you interview is being held? University campuses vary in size but on the whole, they are all big to say the least! Don’t leave it until the morning of your interview to try and decipher which building you need to be in. Being late for you interview definitely doesn’t give the desired first impression.


  • 2. Don’t show up for interview without doing in depth research of the institution

In attending your medical school interview, you should be clued up on all of the information that they make available to you on their website or in their prospectuses. A lack of research and knowledge about the school and course will come across in your interview. This often becomes apparent through asking ill-informed questions, the answers to which are readily available through their website. 


  • 3. Don’t go off track

Perhaps the most common blunder to avoid is going off on a tangent and rambling when answering questions. There is no harm in taking a minute to consider the question before you answer or asking for clarification on the question should you not fully understand. Keep your answers to the point and on topic.


  • 4. Don’t drop your guard

Admissions tutors were impressed with your application but you shouldn’t let this make you too overly confident. You must still prepare thoroughly for your interview, considering carefully the types of questions they may ask and the answers you will give. Having come this far, you can’t afford to be vague and unprepared!


  • 5. Don’t forget what you wrote in your application

Admissions tutors will have your application in front of them at your interview. You have made it this far because what you have written has caught their eye and there will be aspects of your application that they will want to know more about. Ensure that you know your application inside out when attending your interview and think about what they could possibly ask you to elaborate on. Inability or hesitation to respond as you can’t remember what you wrote could lead the interviewers to question the validity of what you have stated.


Your interview is your one opportunity to sell yourself and your passion for medicine. Keep the above points in mind when preparing so you can be sure to avoid them. Prepare fully, do your research, practice possible questions with friends and family and most importantly, stay calm and be yourself on the day.


Good luck!