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25th January 2017
These panel interview tips are written by a Med Student who aced their interviews and has shared their very best advice with us to help you prepare for your interview. You may find our Interview Question Bank a helpful tool, too.

Words by Ben Fox

Confidence Is Key

Appearing confident is an important element of succeeding at your interview. Don’t worry if you don’t actually feel confident – you can project this with a few tweaks of your body language. Whether you’re preparing for in-person or online interviews, confidence is key.

Tips for projecting confidence:

  • Make eye contact – or look directly into the webcam
  • Lean forward to show you’re engaged
  • Speak slowly and clearly
  • Don’t be afraid to pause to collect your thoughts
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Learn The Panel Interview Structure

The Medical School may send lots, little, or absolutely no information to you regarding your interview. Regardless of the volume of information given, you should bear in mind the structure of a typical panel interview, which is generally set out with questions (in no particular order) on:

  • Your desire to be a doctor. You’ll be asked background and motivation questions to assess this. 
  • Your skills. You’ll be asked to give an example of a time when you’ve demonstrated a certain skill – or to discuss what you’ve learned or gained from a specific experience. Work experience questions usually cover this.
  • Your ethical understanding. You could be asked your opinion on a hot topic or given a scenario to discuss, and you’ll be asked ethics questions.

Adress Each Interviewer

Some panel interviews will have their own “Good Cop vs Bad Cop” panel interviewers, who will do their best to intimidate you. But don’t be drawn to the interviewer who seems to warm to you the most; it’s key to distribute your concentration across the panel to give an equally positive impression.

For online interviews, this is a little harder to convey – but you can move your head as you look into the webcam or nod while each person speaks.

Arm yourself with facts

Medical Schools will expect you, as a minimum, to know the basic “pulling factors” that differentiates them from other schools. If, however, you can pull together some of the lesser-known details, such as specific research the university carries out, that will go far further than the basics.

Having this depth of knowledge of the Med School proves your extensive research into your medical choices, and will only add to the increasing number of tick boxes you will have next to your name.

Be yourself

Don’t memorise answers or pretend to have a different personality – interviews can see right through this! Instead, focus on learning strategies to answer questions and you’ll be able to take anything in your stride.

Make sure you look through our Interview Guide for lots of free resources to help – and think about an interview course or interview tutoring if you’d like to learn the best interview strategies.

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