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15th January 2021
Katarzyna Minta wowed University of Aberdeen during their Medical School interview and was offered a place. In this blog, they share how they prepared for their interview so you can benefit from their experience.

By Katarzyna Minta

Aberdeen uses MMI interviews which meant I had to impress the majority of interviewers and be able to adapt to different scenarios/stations! Here is how I did it:

I Researched Aberdeen Medical School

Getting to know the Medical School inside out is the key here. Aberdeen offers lots of different and unique opportunities, such as early patient contact or the opportunity to attend the remote and rural placement in Inverness.

I found out about some special aspects of the course at the University of Aberdeen from the official website. It gave me a great insight into some distinguishing features of the Medicine programme and structure which I could potentially speak about during my interview.

I Have Made A List Of Doctor’s Top Qualities

In order to prepare for every station in the most effective manner, I have made a list of Doctor’s top qualities such as leadership, communication skills and empathy. I also made another column with some examples from my work experiences and reflected on them.

This list helped me structure my thoughts in a coherent manner. As soon as I wrote down a few qualities supported by reflections from my work experience, I was prepared to adjust these to any question that I was faced with during my MMI which made my answers more interesting and well thought out.

I Practised A Lot

In order to reduce the stress before the interview, I believe that practising different questions and recording the answers would help me focus on my weaknesses instead of my strengths. You can practise either in front of your mirror, with family or friends, or by recording yourself on a video. Treat these like mock interviews and make sure you observe your verbal and non-verbal communication skills, as they are both equally significant for the interview. Make sure to adopt a structure to your answers in order for you to provide clear and coherent reasoning in your answers.

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I Was Conscious About My Stress

It’s normal to feel stressed on the day of your interview. It’s important to be aware of your stress levels so that you can understand how to control it better. For me, I felt less stressed when I practised for my interview regularly.

On top of that, it’s important to remind yourself that everyone is in the same boat and everyone feels stressed. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of not being able to provide coherent answers to the questions.

If one station doesn’t go well, it’s important not to get too bogged down on the previous station. As hard as it sounds, try and go to the next station with a clear head instead of thinking of what mistakes you made.

I Prepared For Specific Timings

For MMI interviews, you usually have one minute of reading time before entering the station. Make sure to use this wisely and structure your answer in your head beforehand, so that you are able to present your reasoning when you enter the station.

MMIs itself are usually only a few minutes long, which is why it’s important to adopt a specific structure and practise presenting your answers in line with these strict timings. If you don’t practise enough, you may find yourself running out of time on the day of your MMI interview. Knowing the specific timings, it is important to make sure you demonstrate the most significant points that you would like to talk about and do not go into too much detail.

I Researched MMI Stations

For my MMI interview at the University of Aberdeen, I researched the official website in the hope of pinpointing some MMI stations which could come up on the day. From the official website, there are six main topics that could come up in your MMI:

  • motivation to study Medicine
  • critical thinking and problem solving
  • core qualities of a Doctor
  • teamwork
  • professionalism
  • Personal Statement

I was able to tailor my interview preparation in line with these topics, which helped me narrow my interview prep.

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