Simple but effective tips on how to prepare for your upcoming medical school interview - Part 2November 27, 2014
Things to do in advance of your interview date
Visit the school campus
Most medical schools hold open days where potential students can check out the campus and the school facilities. It is a good idea to check and attend open days of all schools you apply to. It will give you some insight into what you can expect should you succeed at the interview and join the school. Check out the ambiance and culture at the school. Is it upbeat and casual or is it formal and traditional? Does it fit in with what you are looking for?
Not only does a school tour help you form a definite opinion about the school but it also gives you a lot of talking points at the interview. You can talk about what impressed you the most or what you liked the most and what triggered your decision to seek admission into that particular school. Interviewers usually like that you have taken the trouble to find out about their school to see if it is a good fit.
Keep everything ready so you can make it on time for your interview
It may seem like trite advice but it’s amazing how many little things can go wrong at the last minute that will result in you reaching the venue past the scheduled time. Check out the route to the school and figure out how you are going to get there and what time you need to leave home. If it involves catching a bus or train, find out the timings and frequency so you are not caught by surprise on the interview day. Make sure you have all of your documents filed and ready to carry along with you. Do this the night before. Keep your clothes ironed and ready to wear in advance. The interview day can be stressful and you do not want to be fiddling with these trivial things. You have other more important things to think about.
Things to do during the interview
- Be honest with your replies – the worst thing is to be caught out in a lie
- Be earnest – you want your passion to show through
- Smile – you want to come across as having a likeable personality
- Speak about your achievements – they won’t know unless you tell them
Things not to do during the interview
- Do not give one-word answers. Even if you are nervous, try to stay calm and think of something interesting to say. One-word answers imply that you are not really interested or you don’t think it is worth answering.
- Do not ramble on about things. Just because you aren’t giving one-word answers doesn’t mean you need to launch into a one hour monologue. You have limited time in an interview. Stick to the point and talk about the most important facts without beating around the bush.
- Don’t be negative about life. Remember that you are getting into the medical profession and it is important to have a positive outlook.
- Don’t be arrogant and definitely don’t use slang, no matter how casual the interviewers may seem.