Many universities still use a traditional format for their Medicine interviews – so you may need to make this part of your interview prep. This type of interview is good because they give you enough time to establish a rapport with your interviewer and really showcase why you’re a great candidate – but you may find them more intimidating than MMIs.

Which Medical Schools Use Traditional Interviews?

The following Medical Schools will use traditional interviews in 2021/22:

  • Barts (Queen Mary University of London)
  • Bristol
  • Cambridge
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • UCL
  • Dundee
  • Glasgow
  • Keele
  • King’s College London
  • Oxford
  • Sheffield
  • Swansea

Will My Traditional Interview Be Virtual?

The majority of Medical Schools are holding online interviews for 2022 entry, and it’s more likely than not that your traditional interview will be virtual.

Read more in our guide to online interviews.


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What Is A Traditional Interview?

Traditional interviews are question-focused, rather than task-based. Instead of having to role-play a scenario or communication task, you’ll be asked a number of questions that you need to answer.

The interview may feel more like a conversation between you and who you’re being interviewed by, 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.

Who Will Interview Me?

In a traditional medical interview, you are often interviewed by a panel made up of a number of people who are linked to the university. You could be interviewed by a GP or Nurse, a Lecturer or Admissions Tutor, a Junior Doctor or existing Medical Student – or someone else altogether.

How Long Does A Traditional Interview Last?

The length of your traditional medicine interview will vary, depending on the different Medical Schools you interview at. It is likely your interview could last for around 20 to 40 minutes.

What Questions Will I Be Asked?

The questions you’ll get asked at a traditional interview will vary by Medical School, and for each candidate. They are never released ahead of time, and you’re not allowed to discuss the questions after your interview.

However, Medical Schools are really good at giving you a clue. Usually, there’s information on their websites about what they’re looking for from the interviews, and what topics the questions will cover.

Common themes come up every year, so it’s possible to prepare your answers in advance. Our Interview Question Bank has over a hundred questions and example answers that you can practice for free.


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How Can I Stand Out In A Traditional Interview?

If you can give spontaneous, well thought out answers then you’ll perform better than if you give robotic, rehearsed answers. It’s better to convey genuine interest and passion.

It’s important to practice how to make your key points – but you need to prepare in a way that lets you keep your responses organic and engaging.

Tips To Prepare For Traditional Interviews

  • Make sure you’re familiar with your Personal Statement. Be prepared to answer questions about anything you mention in it, especially voluntary work or work experience placements
  • Do your research. Know what the Medical School is looking for in its applicants and what they want you to show in the interview. You can find this on their website
  • Understand the course. Research their teaching methods and be ready to discuss why wanted to apply to the course, or why you would suit this style of course
  • Familiarise yourself with virtual interviews. Make sure you can work the technology and practice virtual interviews so you’re comfortable with the format.
  • Check our guide on how to prepare for Med School interviews
  • Consider working with a Medicine Interview Tutor to refine your performance
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