You’ve already jumped over several hurdles to get to this point: sparkling GCSEs, countless extra-curricular activities, award-winning personal statement writing, the UCAS deadline…
You’re at the final hurdle – the Cardiff medical school interview. So: how do you prepare?
Cardiff University, like many other medical schools, has moved from the traditional panel interview to the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI). Before you panic, trust that this will work in your favour. You have several chances to get it right – even if you mess a station up, that’s not your interview down the drain. You can start afresh with each new station. But preparation is key, and hopefully the following 3 tips will get you started.
1. Read the email they send you…
They will send you an email with information about the Cardiff medicine interview, including an overview of the structure. This is GOLD. Don’t overlook the importance of this email! The medical school are on your side – they want you to do well! In order to give everyone a fair chance, they will give you all the information about the interview that they believe is essential.
Print off this email, highlight it, frame it… let it become the foundation of your preparation. If they tell you to ‘consider preparing’ something – prepare it like you’ve never prepared before.
2. Cardiff medicine interview: know the university
Cardiff University is in Wales. Obviously. But you would be surprised how many students completely miss this and have no clue about the Welsh NHS!
The significance of geographical variation in Wales is something that will affect the way you experience medical placements whilst at Cardiff University. Do your research!
Also, Cardiff University are one of the very few universities to still do dissection – this fact, along with the structure of the new C21 course, are features you will expected to know about. They want you to provide evidence of a desire to go to Cardiff University itself – so make sure you’re not left looking stupid when asked questions about the course. This goes for every interview – know your university!
2. Practise, Practise, Practise!
Practise is key for your Cardiff medicine interview. Have a go at answering the question: “What is your favourite food?” and get someone to time how long you can talk about it. How did you do? You probably won’t be used to answering a question for more than about 30 seconds. Maybe one minute if you’re super passionate about chocolate.
In this exam, you will be expected to provide a long answer (3 minutes) for each question. Examiners will be impressed by students who are confident at doing this. Practise answering questions in a systematic way, structuring every answer like a little essay. Have more than one point, explain each one and summarise at the end.
Don’t jump around the point, answer the question! This is an essential skill, and good communication skills are the focus of interviews like these. The best way to build your confidence with this is to practise, practise, practise! Don’t be disheartened if it’s hard to get used to – keep working on it and record yourself/ask family to interview you/chat to your teddy about your passion for Case-Based Learning. You’ll be just fine.
Finally, well done! You have got to this point in your application because you are more than capable. Just be yourself and have confidence in your ability. Preparation is key to develop this confidence. Everyone at Cardiff is routing for you, so give it your best shot and remember to practise!