I still remember the nerves I had in the run-up to my interview at UCL. I thought that I was going to crash and burn. It turns out, however, that my UCL medicine interview was the most relaxed interview I had. Speaking as a third year medical student there, here are my top three tips on doing well in your UCL interview…
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1. Know your personal statement like the back of your hand
At some point in your UCL medicine interview, you will be asked to talk about some of the stuff you have written on your personal statement. In theory, they could ask to expand on anything, so make sure you can talk about all the different things you might have done.
Thankfully, they tend to ask about things like work experience and extracurricular activities, and so it shouldn’t be anything too difficult.
To prepare for the UCL medicine interview, print off a copy of your personal statement and try and work out the areas you might be asked to expand on. If you’ve already talked quite a bit about something, chances are that they’ll ask you about something else!
2. Really think about what you wrote in your BMAT essay
In the same way you’re asked to expand on your personal statement, you will also be asked to defend your BMAT essay. To help you with this, the medical school will provide you with a copy of your essay to read while you’re in the waiting room.
If you’re one of the first to be interviewed, you might not have that long to think, and so if you can remember anything that you wrote about, research it in the days coming up to the interview.
That way, reading the essay on the day will be more of a refresher. For example, I talked about Geoffrey Rose’s ‘prevention paradox’, and so I made sure that I really knew what it was for my interview – and they did ask me about it, so were impressed that I could talk about it as freely as I did.
There might be times when you get grilled, or asked a question that you really do not have an answer to. My biggest advice, as with any medical school interview, is to stay calm. When they ask a horrible question, it is never to listen to your answer.
They know that you will struggle and they want to see how you deal under pressure, one of the key skills of being a doctor. Just take a breath and stay calm, because that is what you need to do as a doctor. Ask them to rephrase the question, take some time, and answer it as best you can. If you really don’t know, just tell them that. You won’t be penalised for not knowing something.
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