Medical School Interviews: What to Expect

Are you fortunate enough to have an upcoming interview for medical school? If you’ve taken the big step and applied for admissions, there are some things that you can do to properly prepare yourself and put yourself ahead of your competitors.

Depending on the school, the interview panel will consist of faculty members and/or medical students. The panel may have one person or it may have five. It would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the school’s process before going to the interview. No matter how many people are on the panel, or what the process is like, the expectations are the same. Every university is looking for the best candidates, and every candidate wants to gain admissions.

What the Panel is Looking for in a Candidate

If you have made it to the interview, it means that you have already proven yourself on paper. Now it is time to let yourself shine in person. The interview panel will want to see a lot of personality and confidence. You can expect to sell yourself to the panel. In order to do so you will need to boost your confidence. Ask yourself these three fundamental questions before going into the interview, and know the answers well.

  • Why would I be a good doctor?
  • What do I possess that others don’t?
  • Why am I the perfect candidate?

Good bedside manner is one of the most important characteristics that a doctor can have. Proving first and foremost that you are good with people will also make a lasting impression on the panel.

Be Prepared for Your Interview

Being thoroughly prepared for your medical school interview is your greatest advantage. First off, make sure that you keep your materials organized. You will want to make sure that you know exactly what you wrote on your application. Carry these materials in a neat portfolio binder. The interview panel will ask you questions directly related to your application, so it is important to know it well and have supporting materials easily accessed. The best interviews should feel like a conversation, so rehearsing your answers and having mock interviews will help calm your nerves.

Introduce yourself with a firm handshake, clearly state your first and last name, smile and make eye contact. Be prepared by thoroughly researching the school that’s giving you the interview.

How to Dress for Your Medical School Interview

When it comes to choosing interview attire, follow your instincts. I recommend that if you have any reservations about the outfit, keep looking. You want to look professional and polished, while still adding some personality. A great way to add some personality is by adding a touch of color or texture somewhere; however be careful not to overdo it. You don’t want to distract the interviewers with over the top accessories.

The Association of American Medical Colleges recommends following these guidelines to look your best:

  • A conservative, professional suit – either blue, black or grey.
  • No piercings or visible tattoos.
  • Keep the focus on you and what you are saying.
  • Simple haircuts and minimal, well-groomed facial hair.

What Interview Questions Will be Asked?

The more rehearsed you are, the better – though you don’t want to appear robotic or scripted. Try to prepare yourself for the interview by getting to know some of the most common questions, and rehearsing the answers out loud.

Some common interview questions that you can expect are:

1. Tell me about yourself?

2. Why are you interested in becoming a doctor?

3. What are your greatest academic accomplishments?

4. Tell me about the Hippocratic Oath?

5. What have you done to prepare yourself for medical school?

6. What is your opinion of the insurance industry?

7. Why would you be a good doctor?

8. What has your pre-med experience been like?

9. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

10. Do you have any questions for me?

Regarding question 10, the answer should always be yes. Always come prepared with questions. It shows that you are eager, prepared and serious about attending their school. Remember, it is all about standing out above the rest and letting your personality shine through.