Hopefully, by now, your interview preparations are well underway, but if not, don’t worry! We have compiled a list of the most common mistakes to make at interviews, whether that be MMI or panel!
Mistake #1) Not researching the university
Turning up to your interview without having done enough research on that University is a recipe for disaster. Most likely, your interviewer will be a member of staff or doctor that went to that Medical School. No doubt they will be very proud of that school and will want to know what specifically about it has attracted you in the first place.
Prepare for this by having a good understanding and knowledge of the specifics of the course structure (particularly aspects that are unique to that Medical School – e.g. Nottingham has a BMedSci integrated into the 5-year BMBS), the University itself, surroundings and extra-curricular clubs you might want to join. All of this information will be easily accessible on the University’s website and will give you plenty to talk about when faced with the dreaded: ‘So why do you want to come here?’ question.
Mistake #2) Not making a good first impression
An applicant who’s dressed smartly, confidently introduces themselves and shakes their interviewer’s hand is far more likely to be looked upon favourably than an applicant who shuffles in and doesn’t make eye contact. No matter how sweaty your hands are; pull your shoulders back, smile and make eye contact while introducing yourself over a firm handshake. Just fake it until you make it!
Mistake #3) Being unrealistic
Studying and practising medicine is sadly not as glamorous and exciting as Grey’s Anatomy would suggest. Make sure you demonstrate to your interviewer that you have a comprehensive, holistic and most importantly, realistic understanding of studying medicine. Namely that whilst it’s extremely rewarding, the journey will be long-winded, hard work and stressful – not a career to be entered into lightly.
Mistake #4) Being unaware of current health topics
A common theme in interviews is to ask about current topics and issues that are happening in the NHS, and what you think about them. After all, you’re hopefully going to be working for them in the future! Don’t be caught short by ensuring you’re reading the ‘Health’ and ‘NHS’ sections on the news, especially in the weeks preceding your interview. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter or check our blog for weekly Medical News updates and breakdowns too!
Mistake #5) Not knowing the 4 pillars of Medical Ethics
Almost every single ethical question that you’ll encounter during your interview will require you to reason using one or more of the 4 pillars of medical ethics: Autonomy, Beneficence, Non-maleficence and Justice. Don’t jump into an answer with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, as most situations typically aren’t quite as black and white as that. Ensure you think out loud and consider all aspects of the scenario – all while using the 4 pillars to guide you.
Mistake #6) Not using examples
It’s all well and good saying you’d make the best doctor because you’re a brilliant communicator, work well in a team and can problem-solve. But without having anything to prove this– it’s all just words to your interviewer. Ensure that you back up every statement with an in-situ example from your personal statement or work experience.
Best of luck with your medical school interview!
Words by Monisha Gupta
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