Preparing for the interview: The truth is you can’t learn for the interview. If the tutors think you already know the answer to a question, they will just move on to something you haven’t read or learnt about before. However, you can prepare by practising the skills you use, and becoming comfortable being asked questions that may be complex. Mock interviews are useful for this, and will allow you to have feedback on your answer delivery style; the pace, structure and content. Your personal statement is really important, make sure you’re comfortable talking about every part of it. I prepared by making mind maps on each of the topics I had mentioned. If you have mentioned books or an article, make yourself familiar with them before the interview so you’re ready to discuss them if required. Keep up to date with current medical news. Two of my interviews asked to me discus something I had read and was interested by, so I would recommend having a few stock subjects to fall back on and discuss. The scientific basis of the interview will be your A Level knowledge, and will stretch it. Make sure you’re comfortable with what you have covered so far, now is a good time to ask your teachers for help with anything you may not have fully understood. I found it was helpful to go over GCSE science content too, as sometimes I was asked about things I had not covered since GCSE and did not feature on the A Level syllabus I was studying. Before my interview I was advised to look up the tutors of the college I was interviewing at, check their areas of specialisation and read about them. I didn’t think this was particularly useful; I was interviewed by a nephrologist, embryologist and cardiologist none of whom mentioned their research or subject. Some of tutors were also not current members of the teaching team and were not featured online. I think your time is better spent preparing by other means. I often get asked if medical ethics should be revised. I’d say to have a good grasp on the topical issues in Medicine and the 4 Principles of Ethics, which would help frame an answer. Some colleges don’t ask about ethics, some do, so it’s worth being prepared. Finally, be prepared to be nervous! You need a way to cope with the nerves so they don’t get the better of you. Controlling them is imperative to thinking logically, clearly and gives you the best chance of a justified representation of yourself. Good luck to all those being interviewed! I hope this post cleared up any questions and misconceptions you may have had.
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