17th January 2020
These are the most common mistakes made during Medical School interviews – with tips on how to avoid them.

Not Researching The University

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is turning up to your panel or MMI interview without properly researching the University. That’s because you’ll probably be asked why you want to study there – and you need a good answer.

You should know the specifics of the course structure, whether it’s traditional or integrated, the teaching style, any extra-curricular clubs you’re interested in, and the University’s research profile.


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Not Presenting A Good Impression

First impressions count. Usually, you’d be expected to introduce yourself confidently and shake your interviewer’s hand – but as we’re preparing for online interviews this year, the rules are a little different.

For remote interviews, you still need to dress smart and you should look directly into the camera to give the impression of strong eye contact. Focus on the screen – don’t look around as you’ll seem disinterested.

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 realistic understanding of studying Medicine. Tell them you understand that whilst it’s extremely rewarding, the journey will be long-winded, hard work and stressful – it’s not a career to be entered into lightly.

Not Understanding Hot Topics

There’s a strong chance you’ll be asked about the hot topics happening in the NHS, and what you think about them.

Keep reading the health and NHS sections on the news, especially in the weeks preceding your interview. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for weekly interview content – and read our hot topics section for more detail on the current issues you’re expected to understand. 

Not Knowing The Four Pillars Of 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. 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. 

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.

Give them a reason to believe you. Back up every statement with an example from your Personal Statement or work experience

Sounding Rehearsed With Your Answers

Interview preparation is the key to doing well – but learning answers off by heart isn’t. Sounding too robotic or rehearsed when you answer is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

Instead, focus on learning frameworks and strategies to answer different kinds of questions. Practice interview questions, but don’t memorise your answers.

Forgetting Your Application

Review what you wrote in your Personal Statement. There’s nothing more embarrassing than forgetting a detail that you’ve included in your application when asked about it during the interview.

Not Knowing Why You Want To Be A Doctor

Perhaps the biggest mistake of all is not knowing your ‘why’. Why do you want to become a Doctor? If you don’t know this, you’re setting yourself up to fail.


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