So, you got a St Andrews Medicine interview? Congratulations! You might be exceptionally nervous, or on the other hand, very confident. Either way, here’s 5 tips for you to succeed:
Preparation is absolutely key – this goes for any interview that you have. For a St Andrews Medicine interview, a good understanding of medical ethics is crucial. You don’t have to know everything about it, but it does help to have knowledge on the four Principles of Health Care: justice, autonomy, non-maleficence and beneficence. Going through each of these principles can help create a structured answer and keep you on track. St Andrews are heavily involved in ethics research, so be sure to impress them in this area.
At a St Andrews Medicine interview, they merit the things that you have done prior to medical school, and it’s fantastic if you can back-up answers with experiences you have had. Work experience is an aspect that they really care about – it’s not just something to tick a box. They want to know what you gained from it, and how it has impacted you. Being able to reflect on your experiences is key for any medical student or doctor, and this is emphasised at St Andrews. Reflection is a massive part of the course (especially post-placement), so demonstrating that you can do this well, will only be in your favour.
Smile! Obviously if you’re in a situation where you must break bad news, it’s probably best you don’t smile. However, in all other cases smiling is the best way to show you’re happy to be there! Show them that Medicine is what you want to do and that you want to go to St Andrews. The medical school staff are some of the most amazing people you will ever meet, and they want to admit students that are equally as passionate.
Being enthusiastic is important, but being yourself is more so. The St Andrews Medicine interview is not about testing your medical knowledge to see if you’re the next Nobel Prize winner – what really matters to St Andrews is that you’re a nice person. Be polite, be well-mannered but don’t be too formal! Being too formal in the role-play stations can block any empathy, and that’s a quality they want to see.
At a St Andrews Medicine interview, they like to throw in very unexpected stations – especially for role-play. Their scenarios are a little different to most medical schools, but they are brilliant. The most important thing in role-play is that you listen to what the other person is saying. Don’t dismiss anything that is alarming, and pay attention to their facial expressions – that can often indicate how they are feeling. Whenever you are talking to the actor be sure to acknowledge what they are saying and make plenty eye-contact – this will show the interviewer that you are actively listening.
It sounds ridiculous, but have fun at your St Andrews Medicine interview! It is a stressful time, but it’s also a time that you should enjoy. Don’t get too worked-up about the outcome of the interview, that can have an impact on your performance. Instead, walk in as though you already have the offer in the bag. You’ve been invited there for a reason, and that reason being your suitability for the St Andrews course. All you need to do is prove that you care, are passionate and can communicate with people. That’s as difficult as it gets.
Now, go show them that you’re the candidate they want!
Words: Kay McGillivray
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