18th June 2020
How Do Universities Use Medical Interviews?
- What are the types of medical interviews?
- What are the advantages of medical interviews?
- What are the disadvantages of medical interviews?
1. Types Of Medical Interviews...
There are three main types of medical school interviews: traditional, Multiple-Mini Interview (MMI) and group interviews.
This type of interview is what you think of
you hear the word ‘interview’. Basically, you sit in front of a panel
‘Why medicine? What do you do in your spare time? Why this medical school? What do you think of the new junior doctor contracts?’
These are the types of questions that usually kick off the interview and then the discussion is taken further by the panel. It will usually be the case that the panel will try to keep the discussion going until you stall.Please don’t be disheartened by this.
Universities such as Imperial College London, Oxford University and Cambridge University use traditional interviews.
This is the same as traditional interviews but
being on your
own you will sit and discuss matters as a group. This means there will
be less pressure
you to give answers. However, you will still be expected to: contribute
to the group
discussion as much as others; respect the other opinions.
Some universities use a mix of MMI and group interviews. For example, at Lancaster University you will have a group discussion about a topic, as well as the MMI afterwards.
This type of interview involves many
Each station will
be about a particular aspect of medicine. For example, one station
could be about the
attributes of a doctor: leadership, teamwork, resilience etc. the next station can be on
pillars of medical ethics. The following station can be a discussion about a
article that you would have read beforehand.
There is usually a certain number of stations and they are all the same length. This includes break stations. For example, 10 stations, 8 minutes each, including 2 break stations.
The vast majority of UK universities use MMI-style interviews. For example, Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol, Cardiff etc.
2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each interview style?
There are many pros and cons to each interview style. You can explore these in depth in our interview guide. Here, we will discuss the main advantage and disadvantage of each style only.
The key thing about a traditional interview is
you sit down in
front of a panel for a long time and you will end up forming a rapport with
Therefore, the advantage is that you get comfortable with the people interviewing you which makes you more likely to be yourself during the interview. On the other hand, if you accidentally mock up a question it may daunt you for the rest of the interview and ruin the rest of your answers.
The key thing about these ones is the
interviews. The stations here are short and you do not build rapport with the
Even if you did, it would only happen towards the end.
Therefore, the disadvantage of MMI is that it is more difficult to show your personality. However, it does mean that if you mock up a question at a station you can easily forget about it because your performance at one station won’t affect your score at the other stations.
This kind of interview encourages teamwork and group
As a result, similarly to MMIs it would be difficult to show your personality since you are not the only interviewee. However, it does mean there is less pressure on you to come up with an answer. Instead you can just build on other people’s ideas. As long as you contribute in a similar amount to others.