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1. Know how to prepare for Lancaster
Lancaster tend to give at least two weeks’ notice before your interview and this is a fine amount of time to prepare, so don’t worry that you won’t have enough time!
Whilst waiting to hear back from the universities make sure you are keeping up to date with news stories to do with health and medicine. You can read more on NHS Hot Topics 2018-19 here.
Lancaster sends you an interview pack before your interview, so make sure you read this carefully and prepare accordingly. They send you this so you can be as well-prepared as possible, so don’t leave reading it until last minute!
Lancaster have a larger number of stations than most universities, but don’t let this put you off, it means you have got more of a chance of impressing them. If you mess up in one station, forget about it and just move on to the next station – don’t let it spoil the rest of your interview.
Most stations will be around five minutes long. Don’t be put off by any silences – it’s better to take your time and think carefully about what you’re going to say rather than rushing straight into saying something.
The interview is not about assessing your scientific knowledge – your academic results will do this. You may be asked questions about your work experience, any voluntary work you have undertaken, your suitability for a medical career or any key attributes you have.
You will be given a score for your performance at each station and the station scores are added together, and you will be ranked according to their overall MMI score.
Lancaster want to see if you will work well on a Problem-Based Learning course, so make sure you research it well. Find out how exactly Problem-Based Learning works and think of any key skills that you have that you could use to show you will work well with a Problem-Based Learning curriculum.
PBL is probably something you haven’t experienced before but try and think of situations which could be similar to the PBL environment. Think about what worked well and what didn’t and use this to be able to reflect back on any group work you have done.
Try and speak to medical students who have used a Problem-Based Learning curriculum and see if they can offer any insight into what it is like, what works for them and what doesn’t. The more information you can get about a PBL course, the better!
You will have a Problem-Based Learning group activity at Lancaster and this is a great chance to show how well you can work in a team. This will be a twenty minute station assessing your suitability for the PBL curriculum.
Don’t think you need to be really knowledgeable on the topic – that’s not what it is about, so don’t worry if you don’t know much about the scenario. Instead, focus on your communication skills – both verbally and non-verbally.
There’s no point having good ideas if you can’t communicate them well. There’s also no point in speaking well and articulating yourself well if your non-verbal communication isn’t good, so hand gestures and posture is just as important.
Interact well with the people in your group and give everyone a chance to speak. Build on each other’s ideas rather than just giving your own opinion. If you feel someone is being overpowering, don’t try and match them as this will reflect badly on both of you!
Just be yourself – vocalise your ideas but remember to give everyone else the chance to speak as well. Good luck!
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