Simple but effective tips on how to prepare for your upcoming medical school interview – Part 1

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Students waiting on the wards in Tanzania An interview is usually the last step in the long and stressful medical school application process. It is also the most important step in the process. So far, the school authorities have assessed you based on the various documents that you’ve sent them. They’ve read your transcripts so they know you are academically bright. They’ve read your personal statement and are probably intrigued at what you’ve said and the way you’ve portrayed yourself. They’ve also gone through your letter or letters of recommendation and they know what other professionals have to say about you. So far they are impressed and they would like to meet you face-to-face to get to know you better and see if you are really everything they’ve been reading about. They want to see how committed you are to helping people. And most of all, they want to see if you have the personality and passion to be a good physician.

To be able to prove all of this, you have to do some prep work so you do not falter and fall at the interview stage.

 

Things to do in advance of your interview date

Do your research

 There are three areas where you need to do your research before you go for your interview.

1. First, find out all you can about the school that you are applying to. Check out the faculty and the courses and write down questions to ask them so they know that you have done your homework.

2. Secondly, stay up to date with current affairs. More likely than not, you will be asked some question regarding healthcare policies or current medical breakthroughs. This is a vast area and the best way to prepare for this is by reading up on current events in medicine so that you are aware of what is happening in various medical related fields.

3. Thirdly, go through your application a couple of times and then once again before the interview day. This may sound unnecessary. After all you did write the application yourself so what are the chances you would forget anything? The fact is, interviews can be stressful and chances are you could forget an important detail while you are facing your interviewers. Going through your application again on the interview day will help you remember all the important little details should you be asked any questions relating to your application.

 

Do several mock interviews

 Write down a set of common questions that are asked at med school interviews and keep practicing your answers for those questions. Do mock interviews with family or friends and record these interviews so you can watch the replays and see if you make any mistakes. The more mock interviews you do, the more confident you will feel about your replies and the less nervous you will be at the actual interview.   

 

Look out for more interview preparation tips coming up in Part 2!

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