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2nd November 2020

Ellie Baird, the University Events and Student Enrichment Manager at The Access Project, shares her advice for Medical School interview preparation.

Please can you tell us a bit about yourself and your education experience?

I work for an organisation called the Access Project, which exists to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them access top universities. At the Access Project, we believe that every young person regardless of their background can make the most of education, unlocking their potential and creating a fairer society. I studied International Relations at the University of Sheffield and an MSc at SOAS.

How long have you been helping students with their medical school/university applications?

I have been working for the Access Project for 5 years and have been running a Medicine and Dentistry Society for the past 4 years.

How do you advise students to prepare for medicine interviews?

Practice! Interviews are tough, but the more times students can practice, whether that is with a teacher at school, a medical student or graduate, or just teaching something to a family member or friend, this will help build their confidence and get them used to talking about medical issues such as ethics. They should also stay up to date with medical news, as this can always be a possible question and it’s great to have up to date examples.

Is there any advice you’re giving them that’s different this year due to the majority of medical school interviews taking place online?

In term of online interviews, again I think practicing having an online interview is important, this will be different from any interview you have had in the past as you are by your screen rather than in person.

How much time do you recommend students allocate to preparing for their interviews?

It’s different for each student, but I would try and do a question, role-play or debate every day, whether that’s at school, over dinner or out with their friends.

What have you found is the best way to support students in getting ready for interviews?

Delivering mock interviews, providing past questions and ethical scenarios to research and just doing plenty of practice!

What do students find most difficult about medical school interviews?

I think it would be the unknown elements. Students not being used to the MMI structure, or unexpected questions.

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