Preparing for a HKU medicine interview but not sure where to begin? This page can help!

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) opted to make the switch to Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) for local Hong Kong students under the Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS). Essentially, the HKU MMI consists of a series of short one-on-one interviews.

Are you living in Hong Kong and want expert help with your medical school interview preparation? Whether you’re applying to medical schools in the UK or Hong Kong, our expert tutors can help you with your med school interview technique, face to face or via Skype.

HKU MMI: How Does it Work?

Interviewees travel in rotation to complete the whole cycle of interviews. At HKU, there are a total of four stations; each station is eight minutes long, with two minutes of preparation outside the actual interview room and six minutes for the actual interview.

While the MMI may seem much more daunting than the previous group interview, there are actually quite a few advantages of this new interview format. For one, group interviews tend to only  favour students who are naturally extroverted and dominant. Depending on the group, it can be challenging to voice your opinion or to stand out.

An individual interview, on the other hand, allows the interviewers to really pay attention and get to know you; how you perform is completely independent of other candidates. Some interviewers may even tailor follow-up questions based on previous answers to gain a more in-depth understanding.

Furthermore, the MMI is split into numerous stations; if you do not perform as well as expected at a certain station, you can have a fresh start at the next station.

Read more tips on the Hong Kong Medicine Interview>>

HKU MMI: What is Assessed?

The four main criteria that are assessed in the MMI at HKU are: communication in both English and Cantonese, critical thinking skills, ethical decision-making, and knowledge on current events including Hong Kong’s healthcare system.

Of the four stations, three are conducted in English, and one is in Cantonese which is the de facto language of the city. It is crucial to be able to speak Cantonese fluently at the interview, since doctors in Hong Kong mostly communicate with their patients in this dialect.

HKU MMI: What kinds of questions will I be asked?

Regarding the actual HKU medicine interview questions, here are some that were asked previously:

  1. [English] You accidentally make a scratch on another car while pulling out of the parking lot. Considering that you are in a hurry to go to an interview, what do you do?
  2. [English] Of the following three patients awaiting organ donations — a senior government official, a normal healthy citizen, and a relative — who would get the organ transplant first? Please justify your decision.
  3. [English] A 15-year-old girl recently got a tattoo on her arm, and her mother was extremely upset and angry with her when she found out. If you were the girl’s sibling, how would you resolve this conflict?
  4. [English] How should Hong Kong allocate its resources in the public healthcare system? What services should it prioritise? Why?
  5. [Cantonese] Hong Kong has recently proposed a household waste charging scheme, where households will need to pay a certain charge per litre (i.e. 11 cents per litre) for the disposal of municipal solid waste. What are your thoughts on this scheme?
  6. [Cantonese] What are your thoughts on the Basic Competency Assessment (BCA) and on the Territory-Wide System Assessment (TSA)?
  7. [English] Should Hong Kong allow foreign doctors to come and work? Why or why not?
  8. [English] A picture of a coffin is shown. What are your feelings and thoughts towards this photo?

See more medical school interview questions and answers>>

HKU Medicine Interview Tips

Brush up on medical ethics

For ethical decision-making questions in your HKU MMI, it would be useful to brush up on general ethical principles as well as those relating to medicine specifically (i.e. the four pillars of medical ethics: beneficence, non-maleficence, justice, and autonomy).

Personally, I found that the four pillars mentioned above were a great way to frame my responses — how does this decision show beneficence for the patient? What about non-maleficence? How does it demonstrate respect for patient autonomy? Is the decision just and fair?

The most important part of answering any ethics-based question is to justify your response — the interviewers want to hear your thought process and how you came to the conclusion, so be sure to share that with them.

Make sure you’ve read recent medical news

It is almost guaranteed that knowledge of current events will be asked about in your HKU MMI. Usually, these will questions on news in Hong Kong, however, it would be wise to prepare for questions on international happenings as well.

Events may not be medically-related, in fact, many of the Cantonese questions have not been related to medicine at all. For this station of the HKU medicine interview, staying up-to-date with the news is key; the best way to do that is to read or watch the news every day instead of leaving it all to one evening.

Fluency in communication is key

A HKU MMI can be stressful, and speaking fluently in two very different languages under nerve-wracking conditions can be challenging.

Reading aloud a short section of a book or an article in the newspaper everyday can really help to not only help to keep updated with the news, more importantly, it can improve fluency in communication.

Also, during the HKU medicine interview, there will not be a timer to indicate how much time you have left, so it may be worthwhile to practice your timing beforehand.

Take a look at the website beforehand

With regards to other preparation, it may also be helpful to take a look at the university website to better understand what the medical program entails and what studying medicine at HKU is really like.

Have a think about why you want to study medicine, why HKU is a good fit, and in turn, why you are a good fit for the school. It is absolutely not necessary to prepare word-for-word answers to potential interview questions; candidates can come off as not genuine and even robotic, and interviewers can tell the difference.

The interview is designed to get to know candidates better and to see whether they are the right fit for the program, so try to relax and just be yourself — you got this!

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