24th November 2023
While many of us are busy making Christmas wish lists at this time of year, some prospective students have a different item on their list: a successful medicine interview. If you’re one of those eager students who dreams of becoming a doctor, we’ve got some valuable tips to help you prepare for your medicine interview.

1. Communication is Key: Connecting with Compassion

Communication is the cornerstone of medicine, as it bridges the gap between doctors and patients, ensuring effective care and understanding. During your interview, expect questions related to your communication abilities. Be ready to address the following:

  • Can you communicate clearly and appropriately with people from all walks of life?
  • How would you convey life-changing information to a patient and their loved ones?
  • Can you demonstrate strong written communication skills with examples to support your claim?

Remember, real-life examples that showcase your ability to communicate with empathy and clarity will strengthen your interview performance, including how you communicate during the interview itself.

2. Coping With Pressure: The Balancing Act

Medicine is a high-pressure profession, where lives depend on your decisions. Interviewers will assess your ability to manage pressure and prioritise patient safety. Consider the following questions:

  • How would you cope with balancing conflicting pressures without compromising patient safety?
  • What strategies would you implement to safeguard your own well-being and mental health?

Prepare concrete examples with evidence and explanations to illustrate your capacity to manage the immense responsibility that comes with being a healthcare provider.  Remember that sometimes there’s no right answer when it comes to prioritising so being able to justify your reasoning is key. 

3. Problem Solving: Solving Medical Mysteries

Diagnosing and treating medical conditions often resemble solving intricate puzzles. Your problem-solving skills will be put to the test during your medical career. For your interview, think about the following:

  • What skills do you possess that can help you process complex medical information and arrive at accurate diagnoses?
  • Have you ever been a part of a team?  What was your role and how did you work together to achieve success?
  • Share examples of problem-solving situations, whether they are clinical, academic, or personal.

Interviewers want to see your ability to approach challenges with creativity, tenacity and analytical thinking.

4. Insight and Integrity: Learning from Mistakes

In medicine, there’s no room for perfection, and mistakes will inevitably occur. Your ability to manage adversity with integrity and a commitment to learning from errors is paramount. Be prepared to discuss the following:

  • How would you react when something goes wrong in a medical context?
  • Can you demonstrate a willingness to learn from your mistakes and adapt your approach?
  • Share your strategies for continuous self-improvement.

Remember, honesty and the ability to learn from setbacks are qualities that will earn you respect and trust in the field of medicine.

5. Passion for Medicine: The Driving Force

Passion and commitment will be your driving forces during the most challenging times in your medical career. During your interview, express the following:

  • What motivates you to become a doctor, and why is medicine your chosen path?
  • Share your personal journey and experiences that have led you to this moment.
  • Discuss your resilience and determination in the face of potential setbacks or rejections.

Let your passion for medicine shine through in your answers, as it’s the fire that will keep you dedicated to the well-being of your future patients throughout your medical career.


It’s not too late to add a 5th Choice!

Choose a Pathway to Medicine at Swansea University Medical School

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6. Dress to Impress: Ask Santa for a Tie in Your Stocking!

First impressions matter. Dress professionally and arrive in plenty of time for your interview. Ensure you have done sufficient preparation: 

  • Why not try researching recent developments and ethical questions in healthcare? 
  • Organise some mock interviews with friends or family members ensuring you feel comfortable answering common interview questions. 

Remember, if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

7. Be Yourself: Stay Calm and Confident

While it’s essential to prepare and be professional during your interview, don’t forget to be yourself. Interviewers want to get to know the real you, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through in your answers.

8. Make Your UCAS List And Check It Twice

A great way to feel confident entering your medicine interviews is to go in with the knowledge that you have alternative options available to you. Make the most of the fifth choice slot on your UCAS form by adding a degree that will help you achieve your ambition to study Medicine in the long run. 

At Swansea, our Pathways to Medicine have been specifically designed to give medicine applicants a back-up, as well as providing the opportunity of a guaranteed interview for our Graduate Entry Medicine programme. Don’t hesitate to explore all the possibilities and be open to new experiences. Remember, there is not just one path to a future in medicine. 

Good luck, and may your Christmas wish for a successful medicine interview come true!


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