Interview Prep

There are two types of interviews that can be encountered when applying for medicine. These are panel and MMI (multiple mini interviews).

The panel interviews are conducted by 2-3 interviewers including clinical and basic medical staff, someone part of the admissions team, a senior medical student or a ‘lay’ interviewer such as a school teacher (mainly will observe and take notes but unlikely to ask questions or may ask 1 at the end). These will usually last between 15-20 minutes.

The MMI interviews involve a series of scenarios and questions, each station will normally not take longer than 10 minutes and the total interview can be around 2 hours, with breaks between each station.

A piece of advice that we would like to exaggerate is that it is so important to not sound rehearsed and to show that you are genuine in wanting to have a career that can be very challenging and requires a lot of hard work. Interviewers will constantly hear rehearsed answers, so it is important to link personal experiences which will make you stand out and sound interesting, so that the interviewer stays constantly focused on the conversation.

  • Panel interviews:
    • Barts (QMUL)
    • University College London
    • Cambridge
    • Oxford
    • Southampton
    • Glasgow
    • Swansea

For panel interviews, each university has its own layout and this can vary each year. The instructions are usually sent out 2-3 weeks before the interview and there will be ways to prepare for it.

For the Barts interview, they will send you an article a week prior to the interview which should be thoroughly researched. The first 10 minutes of the interview will surround the article and they will ask you various questions where you will be able to showcase your ability to research around a certain topic and really express an interest in medicine.

Oxbridge has multiple interviews and you’re required to stay at the college you have chosen for a couple nights. These are very scientific and you should be confident with GCSE sciences and the content covered for AS Biology. These interviews require out of the box thinking and it’s best to cover key medical areas so that you have a bit of knowledge of everything.

UCL interviews can vary depending on which topics you direct the interviewers towards. You should know your personal statement in and out and be able to link different skills you have acquired to why you would be able to be a good doctor. In the interview, there is normally a situational question, which can be quite challenging, which is why it is important to know the NHS very well and hot topics.

Southampton, Glasgow and Swansea have straightforward panel interviews. These are focused towards getting to know you as a person and making sure that you have the determination to become a doctor

MMI interviews:

    • Aberdeen
    • Anglia Ruskin
    • Birmingham
    • Brighton and sussex
    • Bristol
    • Buckingham
    • Cardiff
    • Central Lancashire
    • Dundee
    • Exeter
    • Edinburgh
    • Hull-York
    • Imperial College London
    • Keele
    • King’s College London
    • Lancaster
    • Leeds
    • Leicster
    • Liverpool
    • Manchester
    • Newcastle
    • Norwich (UEA)
    • Nottingham
    • Plymouth
    • Queen’s Belfast
    • Sheffield
    • St Andrews
    • St George’s
    • Warwick

MMI interviews have many role plays, situational and getting to know you questions. For these types of interviews, it is important to be aware of a few details of hot topics, so that you do not sound rehearsed but you are able to work your way through any type of question. You should be able to link topics quickly and be able to show that you have understood various things through work experiences or volunteering. This exaggerates that you are a well rounded person and have really done your research into such a demanding career.

A couple books i would recommend for interviews are:

    • ISC medicine interview
    • Secure your place at UK medical school

These 2 books have some amazing techniques and notes on the NHS structure. This is important to understand and a video we suggest to watch is specifically for the NHS structure in England is:

NHS England structure

This is very well explained and helps to link different parts of the NHS together. We would suggest reading over NHS Scotland and Wales, as there are some key differences which are worth knowing.

Medical ethics is an important part for interviews and you should be able to link your views and the 4 pillars of medical ethics:

    • Non-maleficence
    • Beneficence
    • Justice
    • Autonomy

Examples of interview questions include:

    • Why do you want to study medicine?
    • What qualities make a good doctor?
    • What qualities do you have that would make you a good doctor?
    • Why medicine not nursing?
    • Why do you want to be a doctor not a nurse?
    • What do you do to cope when feeling stressed?
    • Why did you pick your specific A level subjects?
    • Why is resilience important in a doctor?
    • Why did you apply to this specific university?
    • How will you contribute to university life?
    • What do you know about (example of a current topic)?
    • Describe/outline the structure of the NHS
    • What did you learn from your work experience?
    • You mentioned (a book or journal article) in your personal statement. What can you tell me about this topic?
    • What are the advantages and disadvantages of a career in medicine?
    • Tell us about a recent article you read and why you found it interesting?
    • What do you wish to achieve from a career in medicine?
    • Give an example of a time you demonstrated good leadership
    • Why is teamwork important for a doctor?
    • What is the method of teaching at this medical school?
    • Evaluate this statement: ‘euthanasia should be legalised’.

More questions:

Common ethical subjects:

    • Abortion
    • Euthanasia
    • Gillick competency

Top tips for interviews

    • For MMIs, if you have a station which you felt you did not perform well in, do not think about it and focus on the following stations - your overall performance will be considered
    • If you find a question difficult to answer/you are not sure what to say, it is okay to ask the examiner for a bit of time to think - do not be afraid of silence
    • If you get a data interpretation station/graph to explain, start off with basics like the labels of the axis, do not jump straight into explaining the trend
    • Have your answers prepared for the most common questions, but do not memorise your answer so it sounds more natural in the interview (but so you still have an idea of what to say)
    • Link your answers to your work experience and personal statement to give examples
    • Arrive early on the interview day so you have time to relax beforehand
    • Check over your personal statement and prepare answers to questions they could potentially ask you on e.g. any books mentioned