Honesty is an essential quality for Doctors and medical students. Don’t bend the truth or exaggerate about your achievements, because you could be easily caught out at your interview.
Don’t say that you’ve read a medical book if this isn’t the case, and definitely don’t lie about hobbies or things you did for your work experience.
It might be tempting to make things up because you think it will make your application seem more impressive, but honesty is more important! If you are caught lying in your interview, this will be detrimental to your application.
If you have achieved something that is relevant to why you want to study Medicine and why you are well suited to becoming a Doctor, make sure it’s included in your Personal Statement.
For example, if you did some long-term volunteering or won a science prize at school, this is well worth a mention. Write about things that make you stand out as a candidate.
Not only will this help you to shine when your Personal Statement is read by Admissions Tutors, but it will also result in questions that you are happy to answer in an interview.
Anything you mention in your Personal Statement is fair game in an interview situation. Be prepared to face an expert in your interview, as you have no idea where your interviewers’ expertise or interests may lie.
This means that if you have mentioned a medical book or a paper in your Personal Statement, bear in mind that one of your interviewers might know about it in a lot of detail and want to quiz you.
The same goes for anything you write about your work experience. If you mention that you spent a lot of time observing coronary artery bypass surgery, be prepared to talk about this in more detail. If they ask you about it and you don’t know what to say, it will look like you either lied or didn’t learn much from the experience.
You will submit your Personal Statement several weeks or months before your first interview – and the things you write about in your Personal Statement, such as work experience, will have happened even longer ago.
For this reason, it’s important to review your Personal Statement and remind yourself of what you wrote before you attend any interviews.
Refresh your memory of any specific details that you included. For example, if you mentioned a book in your Personal Statement that you no longer remember very well, you might want to re-read important parts of it.
Go through your Personal Statement and come up with questions that you could potentially be asked in an interview. You should also ask someone else (like a friend, family member of teacher) to do the same because they will probably pick up on things that you didn’t. These questions will be good practice, even if they don’t come up in your interview.
For example, if you wrote about volunteering in a care home, you could be asked many questions such as ‘Describe a challenging situation you found yourself in and how you dealt with this’, ‘What skills did you build upon during this time?’ or ‘Tell me a little about how social care impacts the NHS’.
Don’t script your answers, because you don’t want to seem too rehearsed or robotic. Think about the key points you would make in answer to your questions and practise speaking aloud spontaneously.
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