The following Medical Schools typically use panel interviews:
Southampton holds selection days where candidates will face a panel interview followed by a group discussion.
Last year, most panel interviews were held online because of restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
For 2023 entry, some Medical Schools will continue to conduct their panel interviews online, while some will return to in-person interviews at the university. When you receive an invitation to interview, check the details carefully.
Panel interviews are question-focused, rather than task-based. Instead of having to role-play a scenario or communication task, like in MMIs, you’ll be asked a number of questions by a panel that you need to answer.
The interview may feel more like a conversation between you and the panel, rather than a series of back-to-back questions.
Plus, you’ll have longer to think about and elaborate on your answers than you would have in an MMI. These are strengths of the traditional medical interview format.
In a Medical School panel interview, you can expect to be interviewed by a panel made up of people who are linked to the university.
You could be interviewed by a GP or Nurse, a lecturer, an Admissions Tutor, a Junior Doctor or a current medical student – or someone else altogether.
The length of your panel interview will vary, depending on the Medical School. It is common for panel interviews to last somewhere between 20 and 40 minutes.
The questions you’ll get asked at a panel interview will vary by Medical School, and could vary between candidates too. They aren’t generally released ahead of time, and you aren’t allowed to discuss the questions with other candidates after your interview.
However, Medical Schools are good at giving you clues about the types of questions you could face. There is usually information on their websites about what they’re looking for during interviews and what topics may be covered.
Some common themes come up every year, so it’s possible to practise and think about your answers in advance. Our Interview Question Bank has over a hundred questions and example answers that you can practise for free.
If you can give spontaneous, well thought-out answers, you’ll perform better than if you give answers that seem robotic and rehearsed. It’s better to convey genuine interest and passion.
It’s important to practise answering questions – but you need to prepare in a way that lets you keep your responses organic and engaging.
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