Bristol uses the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format. One station might be an ethical scenario, and another on work experience. Because there’s more than one station, you have to impress more people throughout all the stations than just one panel over a longer period of time.
This is why being relaxed in your Bristol medicine interview is so important – if you go into a station tense, you’ll take longer to show your true self and just why you’re so suited for a place! If you go in relaxed, the station will be much easier for you.
In the same way, if you have one awful station, it’s just one station – and that means very little when there are more stations ahead of you. You can do awfully in a few stations and still get an offer of a place if you ace the other ones! You’re naturally going to be weaker on certain questions than others, and that’s okay, because so is everyone else. Don’t let a bad station put you off your game for the rest of them because you’re bound to do better on the others.
2. Be yourself
If you’re naturally the sort of person that goes into everything with a smile, ready to make friends, be that person. If you’re more quiet and methodical, be quiet and methodical. The interviewers can tell when someone’s not being sincere and it will colour their opinion of you.
Your personal statement will have reflected who you are as a person and it’s on that basis that they’ve chosen you for an interview- so they already like who you are! They want to give you a place to study at Bristol – they’re just fine tuning and finding the people that really, truly fit.
If you don’t know the answer to a question in your Bristol medicine interview, don’t guess. Let them know you’re unsure and then try and think out loud – for a lot of questions they won’t be looking for a correct answer, they’ll be looking for your thought process. They want to know how you learn and how you process information, so if you’re considering both sides of an argument out loud they have a much clearer view of who you are and how you’d fit into Bristol.
3. Be prepared
You can roughly guess that the stations will include something about ethics, something about work experience, and something about your personal statement. If you know your personal statement inside out and have really reflected on your work experience, you’re already halfway there. They want to know that you can use what you’ve already learnt and apply it to new situations, whether that’s in terms of skills like confidence or knowledge itself in scientific scenarios.
They’re not going to ask you anything you can’t work out if you don’t already know the answer. For ethical scenarios, think through the more common ones and work out how best to communicate both sides of the argument. With your personal statement, know which bits of it demonstrate which skills and also work out which bits you feel more comfortable talking about.
If you can steer the interview towards talking about something you find interesting and know lots about, you’ll be more likely to show off the best version of you. The more you prepare, the more you’ll feel comfortable with the short time frame afforded to you for answering questions and considering scenarios, and the better you’ll be at communicating yourself clearly.