This may be a good preparation technique if you’re a visual or linguistic learner. Take a look at our Interview Question Bank and make a large mind map for each topic. This can be a good way to plan your answers and collect your ideas in one place. Here are a few examples of how these could work:
If you’re preparing for an MMI, this will be great communication practice – and is great if you’re an auditory learner. Try explaining an activity to a friend or family member as if you were teaching them for the first time. Here are a few ideas:
With a group of friends, or with your family, you could also make a bank of these types of questions, toss them into a hat, and each take it in turns to explain your card to the rest of the group – this might be a fun way to prepare, and you’ll be able to practice your communication skills at the same time!
Another fun way to prepare for creativity questions may be to do a similar thing and pool together a group of questions to put into a hat, such as:
The group can then take it in turns to explain their reasoning – and you could then look at Creativity Questions for our detailed answer guides to see if you were on the right lines!
This may a good technique if you’re struggling to apply your work experience to different scenarios. Go through your work experience diaries with a highlighter to find the key points, such as specific patient interactions or observations. After this, you could go through the Interview Question Bank and organise your experiences under different headings to help you tackle these questions in an interview. For example:
This is an ideal way to practice verbalising your answers to a friend. You could make flashcards with an example of a common interview question on one side, and some key bullet points of things you’d like to mention for this type of question on the other. These could take the following forms:
As interviewers are looking for natural responses (and the questions will always be different), it’s very important not to memorise your answers, but jotting down a few key ideas for each topic may be a good way to get started – and you can then practice using these cards with a friend. They can prompt you with the card’s bullet points if you’re stuck – and eventually, you’ll have a good bank of examples and ideas to draw on in your real interview, and can tailor these to fit the question.
A good, active way to prepare for questions on Depth and Breadth of Interest or NHS Hot Topics may be to go through dedicated pages and try to find a particularly interesting news article for each topic.
You could print each article and go through it with a highlighter to pick out the key points. Once this is done, give the article to a friend or family member to read, and then explain it aloud to them, making sure to mention the key debates and recent developments in your own words. Another good way to weave this research into your interview practice is to ask your friend to test you on a range of ‘hot topics’. Here are three example questions:
As mentioned above, while it’s obviously important not to learn these articles or answers off by heart, this can be a good technique to practice talking about what you’ve read aloud and linking your research to a current debate.
The STARR technique is great to use when you’re asked a question such as ‘tell me about a situation when you saw good leadership skills’ or ‘give us an example of when you worked in a team and it was successful’. This doesn’t need to be repeated for every answer, but it can be very helpful to get you started if you’re struggling to structure your answers. This is the STARR technique:
For example: you were one of the organisers of your school’s medical society
For example: to organise a medic to deliver a talk at your medical society
For example: you contacted the medic, arranged the logistics and planned the event with your team
For example: the team behind the medical society learned excellent organisation and communication skills while running the event, it was an incredibly useful talk for the society’s members
For example: the event was very important in connecting the medical society members together and you learned the importance of teamwork and communication within a team – and that this is especially important for working in Medicine
To get to grips with this technique, you could jot down a few answers to questions from the Question Bank. This will work particularly well if you’re a visual or linguistic learner. Try plotting a few answers in this style.
To practice verbalising this, you could write the above STARR points down on a card and give this to a friend (you could use this in conjunction with the flashcards you may have made in Point 1) so they can prompt you during your answers to give an example or to reflect on your actions. By practising in this way, you’ll become familiar with this structure and can implement this in your real interview.
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