Last Updated on January 6, 2022

Start Feeling Prepared for your upcoming medical school interview:

Preparing for your medical school interview is a critical step in getting into medical school. It can be gruelling, but it’s one of the only times you get to show your personality and make your case for why you deserve to go.

A medical school interview can present itself in many different ways; some schools have face-to-face interviews where they bring you into their office or campus for a day, while others conduct the majority of their interviews over Skype or other video conferencing software. Especially during COVID, virtual interview formats, both synchronous and asynchronous have become commonplace.

Regardless of how your interview is conducted, you want to be prepared and look your best!

What do medical school admissions committees look for in an interview? According to Dr. Ana Maria Lopez, Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, “The medical school interview is the only opportunity you have to show your communication skills.”

Not only are communication skills important in the field of medicine, but they help admissions committees see your potential as a future doctor. A stellar interview can be the difference between an acceptance letter and a rejection slip, so it is important to be prepared.

There are many different types of medical school interviews that may or may not ask you the same questions. While it is important to be able to think and speak on your feet, it’s also good to know what they might ask in different formats so you can practice beforehand. The more confident and well-prepared you are, the better chance you have of succeeding!

Knowing what to expect in your medical school interview:

Knowing what your potential interviewers will focus on is crucial when preparing for an upcoming interview. Here are some common topics that people who work with admissions committees mentioned seeing in their candidates over and over again:

·          Why do you want to go into medicine?

·          Why do you want to go to our school?

·          What are your long-term goals?

·          How will you be a good doctor/student ambassador for our school if we accept you?

These questions give interviewers insight into who you are as a person. Some schools may ask more specific questions about particular practice areas, the healthcare field in general, or even science classes. It’s important to stay prepared and be ready with responses that can demonstrate why you would make an awesome future doctor!

Please note: The 3 major components of every medical school interview :

1- Communication Skills  – Demonstrates your ability to communicate effectively .  This includes speaking clearly and succinctly, asking thoughtful questions, and listening carefully.

2- Professionalism  – Demonstrates that you can work well with your peers and colleagues . This includes coming across as someone who would be a positive addition to their medical school class.

3 – Knowledge of the Medical Field  – Demonstrates knowledge about the healthcare field. It also shows an understanding for what it takes to succeed in medical school and why you want to become a physician.

Common interview formats for medical school admissions:

·          Sit-down interviews: These are done face-to-face or over Skype/video conferencing software where they look at your resume beforehand and go from there. This is usually by one interviewer, but sometimes more than one person will be present.

·          Panel interviews: Multiple interviewers at once, where questions are asked as a group and then answered as an individual. The interviewer or interviewers can take notes during the process and then discuss afterwards.

·          Rotating panel interviews: This is very similar to a panel interview, but each interviewer comes in for a certain section of the interview day to ask their own set of questions and write their own impressions about you (which they give to everyone else). Like a panel interview, there may be more than one interviewer at a time.

The tips provided below can help you practice for any type of medical school interview!

Before you do anything else, make sure to read over your med school’s website ! This will tell you about the different interview formats, types of interviews and how many they typically conduct. Not all schools will ask you the same questions in an interview, so knowing what to expect is a big step towards success!

There are tons of resources out there that can help prepare you for your phone screen (the preliminary round) if applicable. You could also reach out to current or past students at this school and ask them what advice they have to offer when it comes to their interview day.

Preparation is everything in Medical School…

When preparing for your medical school interviews, make sure to take time beforehand think about these topics and try and come up with specific stories that fit into them. Then practice telling those stories out loud!

Is there anything in your background that demonstrates why you want to be a doctor? (hint: volunteer work, shadowing experiences or research can all show this)

Are you prepared to discuss your family and college life (if relevant)?  (e.g. where they went to school, what they do for living, whether you had any siblings etc.). This is especially important if you are coming from outside of the US.

Have you thought about how an average day of being a doctor would look like? What is most exciting part about it? How is it different from high school/college?

What types of classes have you found most interesting in high school?  And why?

Do you have any questions about the medical school specifically that you would like to ask the interviewer(s)?

Take some time to think of what you want your final words to be. Something along the lines of “thank you so much for taking the time to interview me” might work well!

Remember, you can also try reaching out to faculty members or current students at this school and asking them what they feel makes a good impression during an interview . They will offer unique insight into how their day went and what prepared them best for it.

Above all: relax and enjoy yourself! This is one of many opportunities that allows you to showcase your passion for learning and improving the world.

On Medical School Interview Day…

Once you get to your interview day, make sure to ask your interviewers if they have any questions for you . If it’s a panel, then this gives you the opportunity to answer all of their concerns about why you should be admitted into that medical school. Make sure that you do research on each interviewer beforehand so that when they ask the question, you can actually respond to them with concrete evidence drawn from your application.

If there are rotations where students shadow doctors at their hospital or clinic, try asking if there is an opportunity for one-on-one interviews with some of these physicians or faculty members so you can find out more about what life is like at their school , and how you might contribute to their community.

Before you do anything else, make sure to read over your med school’s website ! This will tell you about the different interview formats, types of interviews and how many they typically conduct. Not all schools will ask you the same questions in an interview, so knowing what to expect is a big step towards success!

When preparing for your medical school interviews , make sure to take time beforehand think about these topics and try and come up with specific stories that fit into them. Then practice telling those stories out loud!

Is there anything in your background that demonstrates why you want to be a doctor? (hint: volunteer work, shadowing experiences or research can all show this)

Are you prepared to discuss your family and college life (if relevant)?  (e.g. where they went to school, what they do for living, whether you had any siblings etc.). This is especially important if you are coming from outside of the US.

The life of a doctor…

Have you thought about how an average day of being a doctor would look like? What is most exciting part about it? How is it different from high school/college?

What types of classes have you found most interesting in high school?  And why?

Do you have any questions about the medical school specifically that you would like to ask the interviewer(s)?

Take some time to think of what you want your final words to be. Something along the lines of “thank you so much for taking the time to interview me” might work well!

Medical School Interview Questions Examples

We also have a great list of behavioural interview questions and answers at www.medapplications.com.

  • Medical School (MD/DO)
  • Medical Residency (CARMS/ERAS)
  • International Medical Graduates (IMG)
  • Direct MD & QuARMS
  • Dentistry (CDA/IDAPP)
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Pharmacy & Nursing
  • Allied Health Professionals

Features

  • MMI Resource Folder
  • MMI Coaching (High Yield Practice Questions)
  • MMI Simulation with Medical Doctor
  • MMI Interview Feedback with Rubric (Via Videoconference)
  • In-Person Prep Subject to COVID-19 Guidelines*     
  • Extended Interview Preparation Sessions*
  • Mix and Match
  • Success Guarantee*
  • Working with Experts – The Match Guarantee

Premium MMI Interview Program

  • MMI Resource Folder
  • MMI Coaching (High Yield Practice Questions) 1 Hour Coaching
     
  • PRA Interview Simulation with Canadian MD 3 Mock Interviews
     
  • MMI Interview Feedback with Rubric (Via Videoconference)
     
  •  
     
  •  
     
  •  
  •  
  •  
     

Comprehensive MMI Interview Program

  • MMI Resource Folder
  • MMI Coaching (High Yield Practice Questions) 1.5 Hours Coaching
     
  • PRA Interview Simulation with Canadian MD 5 Mock Interviews
     
  • MMI Interview Feedback with Rubric (Via Videoconference)
     
  • Extended Interview Preparation Sessions* Available
     
  • Available
     
  • Mix and Match
  •  
  • Working with Experts – The Match Guarantee
     

Ultimate MMI Interview Program

  • MMI Resource Folder
  • MMI Coaching (High Yield Practice Questions) 3 Hours Coaching
     
  • PRA Interview Simulation with Canadian MD 10 Mock Interviews*
     
  • MMI Interview Feedback with Rubric (Via Videoconference)
     
  • In-Person Prep subject to COVID-19 Guidelines*
     
  • Extended Interview Preparation Sessions* Available
     
  • Mix and Match
  • Acceptance Guarantee*
  • Working with Experts – The Match Guarantee