Interview Preparation Part One

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Tell Us About Yourself…Part One

Before heading into surgery! This is one of the most commonly asked questions at any medical school interview. So how would you answer the question? What would you say?

It seems simple but in reality it is such a loaded question. What can you say about yourself that will impress the interviewer?

Nobody has just one aspect to their personality and in the many years prior to the interview you would have gone through several different experiences and cultivated diverse interests and hobbies. How do you sum up all of these things in such a limited time? Time is a luxury at an interview. You cannot just ramble on about your life. You have to choose what to say and what to gloss over and for this, you need to do some prep work. Easier said than done. How do you prepare for an interview when there is no way of knowing what the school admissions authorities are going to ask you?

While there are endless questions spanning just as many categories that can be asked at any interview, there are a few that are commonly asked at most medical school interviews and they fall into a few distinct categories. Expect questions about you and your motivation, your personality, aptitude and goals as well as questions related to medicine, academics and a few miscellaneous questions.

Familiarising yourself with these questions and practicing how to answer them will hold you in good stead when you are sitting across the table from the formidable interviewing panel.

Questions About You and Your Motivation

All of the questions in this category appear deceptively simple but they can present a nightmare for students who walk into the interview room unprepared. Worse still, most interviews open with these questions. Fumbling around for an appropriate reply right at the outset is sure to set the stage for an unsuccessful interview. On the other hand, if you are prepared, you will be able to take control of the interview at the start by confidently highlighting your qualities and goals.

-Tell us about yourself

-Why do you want to study medicine?

-What qualities would you look for in a doctor? Do you think you have these qualities?

-Which fields of medicine are you most interested in?

-What are your personal and professional goals?

-Convince me that you would make a good doctor.

-How do you respond to criticism?

Questions About Your Personality-Oriented Questions:

-How do you think your friends and colleagues would describe you?

-If there was one thing you could change about yourself, what would that be?

-What are your strongest attributes?

-What do you think is your greatest fault?

-Which event in the last five years has made the strongest impression on you? Why?

Read ‘Tell Us About Yourself… Part Two’ and ‘Tell Us About Yourself… Part Three’ for more med school interview questions and ‘Tips For Acing Your Interview’.

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