You’ve worked hard to get to this point. Years of taking challenging courses, participating in extracurricular activities, and maintaining a high GPA have all led up to this moment—the medical school interview.
The medical school interview is often perceived as the most important part of the admissions process. While your GPA and MCAT score are important factors in the admissions decision, the interview provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your personal qualities, which are also essential for success in medicine.
The medical interview is also your chance to learn more about the school and determine if it’s the right fit for you.
This guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about interviews at medical school, including how to prepare, what to expect, and how to make the most of your opportunity.
What is the Purpose of the Medical School Interview?
The medical school interview has two main purposes:
- To assess your suitability for a career in medicine
- To provide you with an opportunity to learn more about the school and determine if it’s the right fit for you
What qualities are they looking for?
There are a number of qualities that medical schools are looking for in their candidates. These include:
- Intellectual ability
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Emotional maturity
- Ethics and integrity
- Cultural sensitivity
- Interpersonal skills
How to Prepare for Your Medical School Interview
Preparing for your medical school interview is essential to ensure that you make the best possible impression.
Here are a few tips to help you prepare:
1. Research the school
Before your interview, you should research the school and its programs to learn as much as you can about what they have to offer. This will not only help you prepare for questions about the school, but it will also allow you to determine if the school is the right fit for you.
2. Practice your answers
You should also take some time to practice your answers to common interview questions. This will help you feel more confident and avoid fumbling for words during the interview.
3. Dress for success
It’s important to dress for success when you go for your medical school interview. This doesn’t mean that you need to wear a suit, but you should dress in a way that is professional and conveys respect.
4. Be yourself
One of the most important things to remember is to be yourself during the interview. The admissions committee wants to get to know the real you, so it’s important to be genuine in your answers.
What to Expect During Your Medical School Interview
The medical school interview process can vary from school to school. However, there are a few things that you can expect at most interviews.
1. A tour of the school
Most interviews will begin with a tour of the school. This will give you a chance to see the facilities and get a feel for the campus.
2. An introduction to the admissions committee
After the tour, you will be introduced to the admissions committee. This is usually a group of faculty members, students, and staff who will be conducting your interview.
3. An opportunity to ask questions
After the introductions, you will usually be given an opportunity to ask questions. This is your chance to learn more about the school and get clarification on anything that you’re unsure about.
4. The interview itself
The interview itself will vary depending on the school, but it will usually be a one-on-one conversation with a member of the admissions committee. The interview will typically last for 30-60 minutes.
5. A chance to speak with current students
At some schools, you will also have the opportunity to speak with current students. This is a great opportunity to get an insider’s perspective on the school and to ask any questions that you may have.
6. A final opportunity to ask questions
Before you leave, you will usually be given a final opportunity to ask questions. This is your chance to get any last-minute information that you may need.
7. A debrief with the admissions committee
After the interview, you will usually have a debrief with the admissions committee. This is an opportunity for them to provide you with feedback on your interview and to answer any final questions that you may have.
What Questions Will They Ask Me?
The questions that you’ll be asked during your medical school interview will vary depending on the school. However, there are a few common questions that you can expect to be asked.
1. Why do you want to be a doctor?
This is one of the most common questions asked in medical school interviews. It’s important to have a well-thought-out answer to this question. Your answer should demonstrate your motivation for becoming a doctor and highlight your qualities that make you suited for a career in medicine.
2. Why are you interested in our school?
This question gives you an opportunity to demonstrate that you’ve done your research on the school. In your answer, you should highlight what you like about the school and how you think it would be a good fit for you.
3. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This question allows you to demonstrate your self-awareness. When answering, you should be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. However, you should also highlight how you’ve overcome your weaknesses or why they wouldn’t be a problem in your future career.
4. Describe a time when you faced a challenge.
This question allows you to demonstrate your resilience. When answering, you should describe a time when you faced a challenge and how you coped with it.
5. What are your views on [controversial topic]?
Medical school interviews often include questions about controversial topics. These questions are designed to assess your ability to think critically about complex issues. When answering these questions, you should avoid taking a black-and-white approach. Instead, you should express your views clearly and thoughtfully.
6. What do you do in your spare time?
This question allows you to demonstrate your interests and hobbies outside of medicine. In your answer, you should highlight activities that you’re passionate about and that demonstrate your qualities.
7. Do you have any questions for us?
This is your chance to ask questions about the school. You should take this opportunity to ask any questions that you haven’t been able to find the answers to.
Making the Most of Your Medical School Interview
The medical school interview is your chance to demonstrate your suitability for a career in medicine. It’s also an opportunity to learn more about the school and to determine if it’s the right fit for you.
By preparing for your interview, being yourself, and asking thoughtful questions, you can make the most of this opportunity and set yourself up for success.