Published on 18th December 2015 by Roya

When do the interviews take place?

Generally, the Imperial Medicine interview process begins in January, and lasts until the end of March. This means you could be waiting a long time to hear whether you’ve been invited to an Imperial Medicine interview. I waited until mid-February! Candidates are normally interviewed late afternoon, giving them the opportunity to go on a tour of the campus by current medical students beforehand. The tour is really helpful. You get to see the place for yourself and hear from medical students (like me!). We can give you a better idea of what Medicine at Imperial is like than any glossy prospectus!

After the tour, it varies how long you have to wait until your Imperial Medicine interview. It could be 30 minutes or 3 hours. Come interview time, you will be called by a current medical student, who will take you to your interview. This student will actually be one of your interviewers. Your Imperial Medicine interview panel can vary anything from 4 to 6 people, it really depends on who is available. The panel consists mainly of tutors and lecturers from the medical faculty and one medical student. It can be a little daunting to walk in and sit down with a row of 5 people in front of you asking you questions but in reality the interviewers are generally very nice.

The Imperial Medicine interview lasts on average about 8 minutes. 8 minutes? Yes that’s right, 8 minutes. You may read this and at first panic. I have to sell myself to Imperial in just 8 minutes? Well roughly 75% of those invited to an Imperial Medicine interview are given an offer. That’s quite a high percentage. What this means is Imperial really want to make you that offer, why else did they give you the interview? They’ve looked at your grades, your BMAT and your personal statement. And guess what, they like what they’ve read. The Imperial Medicine interview itself is really about seeing whether the person the interviewers have read about is the same person sat in front of them.

What will they ask me at the Imperial Medicine interview?

You can expect your typical “so why do you want to be a doctor?” and “why Imperial?” style of questions. The panel will have a copy of your personal statement. Expect them to pick up on any details you mentioned. For instance, “I see you did a placement in this department, that’s interesting, could you tell me a little more about what that was like?”

There are a few other specific questions you’re likely to face. Leadership is a quality most medical schools want to see in applicants, Imperial is no exception. For most candidates, it will be something along the lines of “Could you tell me about a time where you lead a team in a stressful/difficult situation? How did you deal with this?”

Essentially, what they’re looking for is your ability to work on a team, lead a team and deal with stress.

You can also expect and ethics based question. This isn’t going to be anything too difficult. In your Imperial Medicine interview, they may give you a particular scenario. Or, they may ask you about an ethical issue you’ve come across recently. The best piece of advice I can give here is: don’t make any sweeping statements. Medical ethics is often about appreciating both sides of an argument and realising that most of the time there is no clear answer.

I mentioned there will be a medical student on the Imperial Medicine interview panel. There’s a reason for this. You can expect this student to ask how you’d like to get involved with university life. They’re wanting to know what you can contribute to Medical School life. Here you can talk about what societies and clubs you’d like to be a part of at university.

The panel will also mark you on how you came across at interview. This involves your verbal and non-verbal language. The two main things they will assess here is your ‘maturity of character’ and how anxious you were. The Imperial Medicine interview panel will then decide whether to reject you, make you an offer or put you on the reserve list.

General tips

Don’t panic! As I said the Imperial Medicine interview is very laid back. They’ve invited you to interview for a reason, so be confident in yourself.

Don’t overthink! They’re not trying to trick you out, the questions are straightforward so give straightforward answers.

Do prepare! Certain questions you can anticipate so consider what you’ll answer will be.

Don’t learn these answers word for word! This goes for any medical school interview. It really doesn’t look good if it looks like you’re just reeling pre-learned answers off the second they ask you a question.

Do read into the Imperial course and research at Imperial! Not only does the medical school want you to have an informed view of what life as a doctor involves, but also what the next six years of study involves. Imperial is heavy on research across the University, so have a read into exactly what has been going on at Imperial recently.

My final tip then would be to believe in yourself. This sounds really cliché but it’s true. You’ve come so far and overcome so many obstacles along the way. The Imperial Medicine interview is the final, hurdle so don’t fall down now. As I said, you’re at the interview for a reason, so be confident and show them they were right to invite you to talk with them. I’ll stop my little motivational speech there.

To all those with an Imperial Medicine interview coming up, good luck! And to all those still waiting to hear back, hang in there!

Uploaded by Daniel on December 18th, 2015


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